Comedian and LEGO super fan Johnny Vegas speaks to Brick Fanatics ahead of his appearance on LEGO MASTERS tonight
Johnny Vegas is entering the LEGO MASTERS Build Room in tonight’s episode, in which he will allow ten LEGO builders to make busts based on him using bricks. It is a good thing that his professional stand up life has seen him stared at and judged by strangers, as the experience sounds like rather disconcerting.
The comic, who once directed a music video for Paul Heaton, takes some time away from the Build Room to speak to Brick Fanatics about his love of the plastic brick.
Have you always been a LEGO fan?
Yeah I was a huge fan as a kid, but mainly when I was at nursery and things like that. We had some LEGO at home and then the big kid in me… when Star Wars came back after all those years and Star Wars LEGO started coming out, I was reliving the childhood I never had.
Star Wars is so often the gateway drug when it comes to LEGO collecting.
It is, isn’t it? Yeah, I just bought basically every single piece that came out. I built all of them, my living room was just covered with them all, then when my son came along he had different interests. He would buy sets, but he would happily break them all up and mix and match, free build. I’m a little bit OCD with mine, with my collection, his are toys…. I superglued a set of his together years ago. Because I had just spent two days building all this Indiana Jones LEGO, he played with and he took it apart and he said, “do it again”. So I superglued it brick by brick. He had no interest in it after I’d done that because like I say he just likes to destroy and free build.
What are his favourite themes?
He will go through different ones, he’ll throw everything into a box. So he’s gone through Spongebob, to Indiana, to just loose bricks. I get a lot of the Star Wars LEGO, he didn’t really, he didn’t really get into them films. I’ve still got a lot of it, I’ve got a garage at home and half of it is just full of LEGO I’ve yet to play. It’s just finding areas to store it… I’m actually considering if I could rent somewhere. I need a separate space for it. It is technically a workshop but you know…
What have you built recently?
I did the Sandcrawler. Big set. That was a big build that was, it was a good few days.
That is such a nice set.
It’s a gorgeous piece. What was the last thing? I built the bomber from the last Star Wars series. I built that because I’d actually been on that ship while it was being built at Pinewood. So I’d got to build that one.
Have you put a minifigure of yourself in that set?
Got to be done, hasn’t it? I remember I built some of the Batman LEGO, what’s his name, the voice of it…
Will Arnett. So I presented him with the Batmobile on Sunday Brunch with me and him in it. That was another one, he was having a bit of fun about me being a stalker on that show. So yeah, I still want to break out my son’s, and it’s really funny because I just get to think my son’s over it, but it is that toy – they just break it out again. It is something I’ll never get rid of, I have got a two and a half year old now, some of that Star Wars stuff will get built.
And minifigures. It’s so funny when we’re at the till, and somebody is assuming that the minifigures are for my son, he does pull a face. I’ll looking be on my phone in Sainsbury’s, I’ll be rubbing the packets trying to figure out which ones I’ve got and which ones I haven’t.
What’s a lovely little build, Iron Man Hulkbuster. It’s a beauty, the way the little Iron Man goes inside. That’s actually in my office while I write. That’s something I’ve not wanted to leave alone.
Do you have an all-time favourite LEGO set?
The Blockade Runner, that is a very, very cool bit of kit. I have been dropping the hint with the family now, with the 50th looming, with regards to the new Falcon. I like to go in the LEGO shop and hold it, just lean against it, just sense what a build that would be.
Like I say, my younger son now, I’m really hoping he gets into it because I’ve got so many, some are stored, some are built and stored.
There seem to be a lot of comedians who are also LEGO fans. What do you think it is that draws comics to LEGO?
Yeah there is, I don’t know… Leigh Francis, I think he’s quite the LEGO nut. I don’t know what it is. For me it’s the same as if I’m doing ceramics. When you’re thinking, there’s nothing duller than sitting at a computer trying to write comedy or trying to work on something. So it’s almost like a distraction for the mind for me, you sort of free form think a lot more because you’ve got something to do. You get a great amount of satisfaction from building this while your brain is going off into comedic little sparks and stuff.
As LEGO Star Wars is your favourite theme, I have to ask – which is your favourite Star Wars film?
Well, it’s Empire. Empire Strikes Back, mine has got to be. But I’ve got to say I was, Rogue One –
Such brilliance. That belongs for me in with the original three. They did such a good job of it. And that’s the one film, that’s the one that my son has really got into that he will sit and watch with us. That got some lovely little builds as well.
After watching that film, is what the first time in ages I had felt really elated leaving the cinema.
Some of the others yeah you went, hmmm, hmmm, has its moments, but hmmm.
This week, the teams will have to construct a bust based on comedian Johnny Vegas and come up with a functional arcade machine. Episode 4 will air on November 27 at 8.00pm on Channel 4.
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