An id­iot in­spired

He made a TV ca­reer out of moan­ing, but Karl Pilk­ing­ton’s sec­ond se­ries of The Moan­ing of Life may be his last la­ment, he tells DEB­BIE SCHIPP

The Sunday Mail (Queensland) - TV Guide - - NEWS -

CLAD only in undies, shoes, and a mo­tor­bike hel­met in New York’s Times Square, car­ry­ing a hand-painted sign ex­hort­ing passers-by to “slo-o-o-o-w d-o-o-o-wn”, Karl Pilk­ing­ton is hav­ing the time of his life.

Ricky Ger­vais, who loved his friend and ra­dio pro­ducer’s straight-talk­ing grumpi­ness so much he sent him out to ex­plore, star in – and whinge about the world – in hit se­ries An Id­iot Abroad would barely recog­nise his 43-year-old mate.

Is that really Pilk­ing­ton crack­ing a smile and con­fess­ing to ex­pe­ri­enc­ing an adrenalin rush so ex­treme af­ter de­liv­er­ing his off­beat per­for­mance art that he found it dif­fi­cult to sleep?

Well, yes, Pilk­ing­ton ad­mits from his home in the UK – where he is “sat in my car. I al­ways do in­ter­views in the car, it’s a lit­tle thing I like do­ing” – it was the mo­ment he en­joyed most film­ing se­ries two of The Moan­ing of Life.

“It was prob­a­bly my favourite thing I did in the se­ries. The feel­ing I got from it, the fact that Matthew (Sil­ver, the per­for­mance artist with him) was really happy with it.

“I got up that morn­ing think­ing, ‘I can’t do this’. I say at the start of the seg­ment: ‘I’m prob­a­bly not go­ing to do this be­cause it’s sort of em­bar­rass­ing, in­nit?’

“I don’t know, the adrenalin kicked in,” Pilk­ing­ton says.

“It helped that I really like Matthew. If you get on with some­one it can be quite in­fec­tious and you sort of don’t want to let them down.

“The di­rec­tor was stood there not say­ing any­thing. It was sort of, ‘Where’s this come from?’”

Pilk­ing­ton’s sec­ond se­ries of The Moan­ing of Life is as off­beat as ever. Back on the road in search of an­swers to life’s big ques­tions episode one sees him in New York ex­plor­ing the point of art, where as well as his Times Square stunt he meets artists who make sculp­tures out of dog poo, strips to a G-string to be­come part of a painted hu­man sculp­ture, and tries to cre­ate a mas­ter­piece from his own vomit.

Later episodes see the bald Pilk­ing­ton re­turned to his 20s with a re­al­is­tic wig “that doesn’t look like shite” and try­ing on the life of a Bud­dhist monk, re­turn­ing an­i­mals to their homes, which all goes well un­til the monk gets sea­sick re­turn­ing fish, and also re­turns that day’s clam chow­der to the ocean.

But, Pilk­ing­ton warns, this se­ries may be his last.

“This is prob­a­bly the last thing I’m go­ing to do,” he says. “Really. I think I’ve been every­where and done ev­ery­thing now. I think you once you make art out of dogs--t (one of the arts he pur­sues in New York) you’re run­ning out of things to say.

“I’ll do a book about it and ex­pand on it, but I think you know you have to call it a day at some point. “

THE MOAN­ING OF LIFE

TUES­DAY, 7.30PM, BBC FIRST

WHINGE­ING IT: Karl Pilk­ing­ton (right) and Matthew Sil­ver in New York’s Times Square.

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