Tim Chipping


Timothy Mark Chipping

Character is destiny. You are fascinating enough to be questionnaired by The Mind’s Construction. Starting with where and when you were born, could you briefly describe your life up to this point? 

Born in Poole, which is the largest natural harbour in the world, in 1971 to two Methodist preachers. Evicted from a rat infested hovel aged 13. Re-housed on a council estate where everyone called me gay and tried to hit me. Drifted through school not trying hard enough or fulfilling my potential. Thought a lot about girls and Star Wars.

Wore make-up and dyed my hair from 13 years onwards. Thought I wanted to be an actor so went to college and drama school. Didn’t enjoy it much. Ended up in a pop group with Dickon Edwards called Orlando. Signed to WEA for £250,000 and Universal Publishing £120,000. Consider this a success. Most people said we were a failure. I wrote a lot of the music, produced most of the records and sang all of it.

Drifted into writing about music for magazines and A&R-ing for a label. I have recently acted in a zombie movie called Shaun Of The Dead and a comedy series called Little Britain. I had love for six and a quarter years. I don’t have it anymore.

There is no progress. Yet time relentlessly pursues you in one direction or another. If you were plotting your life’s trajectory on a graph, what would the line look like?

Long flat line with occasional sporadic small peaks. One very big dip.

Keep that line in mind. Describe the zenith. Relate the nadir.

The zenith: Having a pop group, a major record deal, money, friends, a social scene, and the love of the most beautiful and intelligent girl in the world all at once, Summer 1996.

The nadir: Having none of those things, Easter 2002. 

Consciousness is a mere ripple on the surface of the lake that is our mind. Tell me last dream you can remember having.

I do believe there is nothing more boring than other people’s dreams and nothing more fascinating than one’s own.

I dreamt about kissing a girl who was getting fainter by the second. Had to make each kiss more passionate than the last in order to get any sensation.

Truth is felt by instinct, a process which saves time and trouble. Choose – instinctively – from these:

Satisfied Fool or Dissatisfied Socrates?

Satisfied Fool. I have learned I am not as intelligent as I once thought. I am a slow learner.

Skimmed Milk or Full Fat?

Skimmed. Then I add cream. I really do.

Boys or Girls?

Girls Girls Girls Girls Girls

Standing Up or Sitting Down?

Sitting Down on the floor

Mum or Dad?

Mum. Dad’s are shit.

Bookmarks or Folded Corners?

Bookmarks. Agh, how could anyone even think of folding a corner.

(If you had to be) Blind or Deaf?

Blind, then every girl would look like the young Joanne Whalley.

Poetry or prose?

Song lyrics.

Atheist or Believer?

Believer. Increasingly confused but faithful.

Does the mind rule the body or the body rule the mind?

The Mind rules the body but most thoughts are unseen or ignored.

Animal, Mineral or Plant?

Animal. Red panda, dolphin, Irish wolfhound.

There’s no art to find the mind’s construction in the face. What are the differences between your external appearance and your internal make-up?

Internally I am Johnny Depp. Externally I am Johnny English played, hilariously, by Rowan Atkinson.