© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion
As we approach the long awaited launch of Noel Fielding’s Luxury Comedy, TVO was keen to talk to one of the main stars of the show with a unique perspective on its production thanks to his titular sibling: Mike Fielding.
Thankfully, Mike was keen to talk to us too – and what follows is a candid and frank insight into a criminally underrated performer who at last, has been given a real chance to shine. TVO’s editor in chief, Paul ‘Didymus’ Holmes reports…
Naboo The Enigma. That’s what they called him. A mysterious shaman, either in a drug-fuelled trance or listening to Fleetwood Mac. For three television series and two mammoth live tours, Mike Fielding was Naboo, and ultimately, he remained the real enigma throughout. Whereas Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt projected hyper-real versions of themselves into Vince and Howard, Mike was a mystery: the dvd extras revealing the persona of just about everyone else working on the show except him. Sure, we got the odd little wisecrack here and there, but only a few interviews had ever really hinted at the real man underneath the turban.
Meeting Mike again, away from the madness of the Boosh Tours was an experience – not just because our meeting occurred whilst he and his cohorts were knee deep in filming for Luxury Comedy in a North London studio. Here was an instantly likeable man, every bit as charming as his sibling – but in a subtler, more relaxing manner than the star of the show who, quite understandably, was feeling the pressure a lot more when we spoke. Perhaps it helped that Mike is less than three years my elder, so our frame of reference was undoubtedly similar. When he wasn’t needed on set, he was keen to mingle with The Velvet Onion team, ensuring we felt at home, and I’m sure I wasn’t alone in our crew by appreciating him a lot more after that hot weekend in July.
© Lauren Taylor / The Velvet Onion
Catching up not long after his thirtieth birthday, I find Mike in a reflective, but positive mood – open, honest, and as per usual, downright hilarious. We’ve been talking less than thirty seconds and he apologises for not sending his private jet to Manchester to pick me up, only for us to have an impromptu discussion about how it would resemble a hard-boiled, hollowed-out egg, complete with plasma screens and pick ‘n’ mix. With Mike, there’s always pick ‘n’ mix – and it’s clear that he shares his brother’s childlike sense of wonderment with the world – something he pegs on the Boosh itself.
“Before Boosh, I was the shyest person in the world,” he tells me. “I was scared of my own shadow, I wouldn’t talk to anyone that I didn’t know. Boosh has made me who I am now. It’s given me an animated, childish confidence. People say that when you’re thirty, you can’t be stupid like that anymore, but who says? There’s no rules!”
He is quick to agree that the show gave him something of a Peter Pan complex: “I think its important to feel young and stay a bit young. If you get bogged down with the reality of it all, you’d just sit in a hole moaning about bills and cats… …cats? I’ve haven’t got cats, but a lot of old people get cats when they get old. ‘Oh, I’ve got cats, it’s all over for me!’” I suggest, cynically, that you never really grow old, but simply get childish about more boring things – a suggestion that seems to ring true. ““Yeah, it’s important to laugh every day,” he explains. “Not a lot of people do. They get in their office and they go: ‘Oh, I couldn’t possibly let myself go for five minutes and laugh at something.’ I never want to be like that.
“People follow the trend, and think they have to act in a certain way when you turn 30. You don’t. It’s ridiculous. Can you imagine me and Noel ever fully growing up? That’s weirder than anything we’ve ever done, I think.” I wonder out loud if the two of them ever discuss insurance or mortgage finance? “You never know,” he says, “I might be the face of Admiral or something one day. That’s when you know your young days are over.” Continue reading