News: Martin Hughes On Sean Hughes – "Winning the Perrier Award made him but it also began the disintegration of him."

Sean Hughes

The brother of Sean Hughes has spoken movingly and honestly about his awarding-winning sibling who died last month aged 51.

In an interview with the radio station ABC Radio Melbourne Martin Hughes, who lives in Australia, suggested that huge success at such a young age may have played a part in his early death.

Martin Hughes ended up living in Australia after visiting the country as Sean's guest when he appeared at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival.

"Sean was absolutely brilliant. He was the best comedian in the world," he said.

But there was a downside to the acclaim. "In a sense winning the Perrier Award in 1990 made him but it also began the disintegration of him. He was 24, he enjoyed massive success, he was heralded and celebrated for his profound creativity. He had money, he had fans, he had everything. He also had a lot of vultures and sycophants who became the scaffolding of his life."

Appearing regularly on the BBC pop quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks made him an even bigger star but not in the way he wanted: "He became a celebrity for being on a quiz show and he grew to hate that. He began to resent being a celebrity for anything but his profound creativity so he kind of adopted this tortured artist personality. He drove his audience away, he drove his friends away and he drove his family away. But because we were brothers I always came back. I fell out with Sean more than anybody but because I was his brother I had the pleasure of making up with Sean more than anybody too. My only regret is not getting back into jaunty step with him as easily as he did. He didn't bear grudges.

Martin Hughes came to London to arrange the funeral and read the "warts and all" eulogy of the complex comedian at his funeral in north London in October. He spoke on the radio of his appreciation of the tributes to Sean as a groundbreaking artist in the press. "It was nice to see that Sean was being remembered for what he loved the most. The bottom line is I think he developed some kind of personality disorder and I blame that on the fact that he enjoyed too much success too soon."

There was a further tribute to Sean Hughes last night at the King's Head pub in Crouch End close to where Hughes lived. Among those that appeared were Stewart Lee, Arthur Smith, Carl Donnelly, Miles Jupp and Nick Helm.

Listen to the full interview here.

 

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