Interview: #DriveByComedy Star Neg Dupree

Vauxhall has teamed up with comedian/prankster Neg Dupree, who is best known for his 'urban sports' stunts on C4's Balls Of Steel and his Facebook clips, for its current #DriveByComedy campaign. To see what happened when Neg (and his better half) took the Vauxhall Corsa out for the day around London visit @vauxhall on Twitter and Instagram or click here. We spoke to Neg about his antics and more below.  

 

 

Tell us about Drive by Comedy.

Vauxhall wanted to make people laugh and feature their new Corsa, so they looked at what gets a great reception - fun-filled pranks – and that’s where I came in.

Together we created #DriveByComedy. A campaign with a simple brief: pull over in the Vauxhall Corsa and make people laugh! I was tasked with pranking some unsuspecting members of the public around London to produce lots of short, sharp, funny social content. Some of the reactions were just brilliant. That geezer who got me out of seeing the 'in-laws' is an absolute hero!

We’ve created a series of videos that we will be continuing to post for the rest of the month on Facebook and Twitter but if your followers can’t wait until then, they can watch the rest of the videos here. I hope you enjoy watching them as much as I enjoyed making them – it’s been a right laugh.

 

Why did you choose to work with Vauxhall?

The Vauxhall Corsa is a legend, loads of people have owned or driven one and it’s packed full of fun, for example, I can’t parallel park and it has a nifty feature which parks the car itself! It was good to be reunited with the Corsa as we filmed a couple of skits for Balls of Steel in a blue one which really added to my character, so it’s been a natural fit. Working with Vauxhall has been a lot of fun. TOOT TOOT.

 

What irritates you?

Everything. I'm always getting the hump. The one thing that really annoys me is people who never finish their…

 

What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done onscreen?

Jeez. This could be any number of things.

I did a football promo vid where I had to roll down a mountain in Austria inside a zorb - a giant inflatable football. During the test run I came hurtling down a steep slope out of control and missed this brick hut by millimetres!  We hadn't inflated it properly and each rotation the thing was crushing my neck, so that would not have ended well if I had hit that building. No more Neggy!

For my Channel 4 TV show, Balls of Steel, on the very first day of filming, this huge security guard was the first person we were going to try and get. I had to force him to chase me for my Urban Sprinting sketch and he was on duty in a shop where the owner had set him up. So, I took a security tag out of the shop, the alarm went off as planned but as I turned to goad this guy he was already chasing me, I mean, he really CHASED me, all the way down the street. He went berserk and grabbed me but I just got away when the producer came out to calm him down, then he swung for him too! The guy refused to sign a release form and didn't want to be in the show. When it calmed down I thought to myself, “what have I got myself involved with here!?" I then got a broken nose and chipped bone in my arm on the final version of Urban Sprinting that went out on TV. I've been injured a lot filming these pranks. People who think my stunts aren't real can take a look at my hospital record!  

 

What is the most stupid thing you have ever done off screen?

Off screen... Oh God how long have you got?  There's hundreds of idiotic incidents. Maybe when I skateboarded down the stairs and got embedded in a wall. Or when I cycled into a supermarket wearing nothing but a tent. Once I ran to the petrol garage wearing nothing but a skirt and hat made out of tin foil making robot noises, the bloke who worked there was so used to it he just served us as normal.

  

What has surprised you the most during your career? 

How me being an idiot on TV has meant so much to people. I get called a 'legend' a lot which is daft, but it is so nice to get so many lovely messages from people. Someone DM'd me on my Facebook fan page last week saying that her mum had recently died and she's been so depressed, then she watched my videos on Facebook and had laughed for the first time in months. Stuff like that is a huge surprise and makes me so happy. Getting recognised all over the world from my comedy videos is so cool. I guess as long as people are laughing I'm doing something right.

 

What do your parents and children think of your job?

My parents know what I'm like so they're not surprised that I ended up making an idiot of myself for a living. My son tells his mates that, "daddy throws food at people on TV", which I think is hilarious but gives me basically no authority over him at meal times. Now I say, "don't mess about with your food unless you're getting paid for it!".

 

What’s the worst thing about your job?

Although I write and produce a variety of projects, when I take a new hidden camera idea to TV execs, they normally assume it's going to be chucking burgers at people. The thing is I'm a comedian and I do loads of different characters. It is amazing to think of the success we have had with The Urban Cowboy. But it's time to hang up the hat and focus on new characters now. I'm so busy with other projects and businesses but I hope to get my long overdue TV show next year. We have been very close to this before but I've been writing some new ideas and I can't wait to unleash my new characters on the public.

Also I can't order ANYTHING in ANY fast food places ANYWHERE without people double taking!

 

Who is your favourite person ever and why – not including family or friends or other comedians?

I absolutely LOVED the American actor Ted Danson for years. I don't even know why. 

Watch Neg in action below:


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