Over August I will be writing and performing in Brown Eyed Boy‘s Alchemy sketch show in Edinburgh. The gist is that a bunch of writers/performers/stand ups get together on a Thursday, bringing scripts and ideas. We have a big read-through, vote on the sketches/ideas we like the best, and somehow on the Saturday night we produce a brand-new ninety-minute live sketch show. It’s crazy exhilarating, and so much fun. Basically, it’s the sort of show I’ve dreamed of doing for years. I am a bit chuffed to have lucked into it.

We’ve done it twice already and the shows have been really strong, but next month is when shit gets real ‘cos we’re doing it for a paying audience throughout the fringe. And there’ll be guest presenters each night, and some of them will be off the telly. Telly people! The best kind of people! Susan Calman hosted the last two – she was brilliant and really got involved in the writing process. Her musical version of the life of Rosa Klebb was something to behold.

Fancy coming along? You’ll find details here. Hopefully see you there!

Shooting Stars

Hoorah! I have got two jokes in the next series of Shooting Stars, airing in the Autumn. I hope they are good jokes. I imagine it will go something like this:

The man on the left doesn’t really get it, but that’s ok, my jokes are not for everyone. He probably has a lot on his mind anyway. And if he doesn’t like the first of my jokes, he’s really going to hate the second one, I expect. But I’m not going to worry too much about him, because the man in front of him is going to lose his shit completely when he hears my second great joke, especially if it’s the one about trains.

Anyway, if you hear a joke on the next series of Shooting Stars which makes you lose your shit completely, it might well be mine. In fact, let’s assume it is and say no more about it.

Babies of the Future

Um… what?

Looking at lots of cartoons lately, ‘cos I seem to be writing for animation more and more. This week I’m pitching for two projects, one ten minute animated short I’m doing with Mr Ben Klimmek called Long Shot (which will definitely win a BAFTA when it’s made) and a feature-length stop-frame animation called Clowntown which I’m writing with Mr Mole Hill. It’s a town full of clowns! This shit writes itself!

I’m also working on a short animation called Light Music, again with Mr Ben Klimmek, which should, fingers crossed, be featured on the BBC Comedy website when it’s done.

And then I shall sleep.

Peg Powler + Arc: Words

Tuesday night at 6pm is the first chance to see February’s set of exhibitions happening on Level 2 in Stockton’s art centre, ARC, curated by Peg Powler. You can see the exhibitions anytime throughout February (Monday-Saturday, whenever the Arc is open).

Part of the exhibition is a section called ‘Words’ – a themed exhibition featuring:

-Michael Duckett
-David B (of The Modern Lonely)
-AJ Garrett
-James Harris
-Elle Green
-Tom Flynn
-Aimée Charlotte
-Josie Long

I have 27 manageably-sized bits of art hanging up there, each one throbbing with up to three levels of meaning and seven possible emotional responses. Email me if you’d like a set of guidelines as to how best to “enjoy” the work, but the main advice I can give is to stand around two to three hundred metres away and imagine they’re brilliant.

I’ll be at the launch. See you there?

2010 in review

The stats helper monkeys at mulled over how this blog did in 2010, and here’s a high level summary of its overall blog health:

Healthy blog!

The Blog-Health-o-Meter™ reads Wow.

Crunchy numbers

Featured image

A Boeing 747-400 passenger jet can hold 416 passengers. This blog was viewed about 3,500 times in 2010. That’s about 8 full 747s.

In 2010, there were 153 new posts, growing the total archive of this blog to 348 posts. There were 178 pictures uploaded, taking up a total of 10mb. That’s about 3 pictures per week.

The busiest day of the year was June 27th with 69 views. The most popular post that day was My Night With Terry Gilliam.

Where did they come from?

The top referring sites in 2010 were,, Google Reader,, and

Some visitors came searching, mostly for ramshackle charm, “ramshackle charm”, optimistic, optimistic images, and the uninvisibles.

Attractions in 2010

These are the posts and pages that got the most views in 2010.


My Night With Terry Gilliam June 2010


Optimistic Duck March 2010


Friday’s Short Story February 2010


Fact File #7: Polar Bears January 2010


An A to Z of Writing part 1 June 2010

So that was 2010. I blew kisses at Terry Gilliam, drew lots of ducks, joined a brilliant company dedicated to kicking peoples arses into writing stuff, became an actual artist with an exhibition and everything, had a fag with Jo Brand, met Stewart Lee and Bob Mortimer, drew more giraffes than in all my previous years combined and made films about tree huggers, insomniacs, talking turkeys and teleporting teens.

And I just slept in Fyfe Dangerfield’s bed, which I think bodes well for 2011. How’s your year looking?


I was sorting through some stuff today and found a little envelope filled with pictures of me, so I did this. And now it’s freaking me out a little because I don’t remember being half these people. I mean, who are they? And why do so many of them have beards?

Short Stories

About a year ago I was writing a short story every week (and by short I mean between 500-800 words). I was going through an interesting time back then so they’re all dead metaphorical about how awful the world is when you’re sad and misunderstood and all that, but there’s jokes and references to crumping, ketamine and the final battle between Christ and Antichrist on the plains of Megiddo so, you know… something for everyone, really.

I would generally write them on a Thursday, pop ’em on the blog every Friday and pretty much forget about them. But lately I’ve noticed there’s a few places online that accept submissions, and a burgeoning zine scene occuring in the area just now, so I’ve been flinging them around and a couple of places have accepted them*.

So! You can read Them Bloody Kids and I Don’t Know Why You’re With Me at Friction Magazine:

Them Bloody Kids

I Don’t Know Why You’re With Me

It’s not really a magazine, but then I’m not really a short story writer, so we’re all good.

And another story, Brian Isn’t Coming Out Tonight, will be seeing print in issue two of King Ink’s zine I’m Afraid of Everyone.

You can come along to the launch at Python Gallery on Dec 10th at 7pm. I’ll be doing a reading and stuff, and there’ll be nice lamps and hats. It’ll be good!

*and more than a couple have rejected them, but I won’t be blogging about THAT, no sir. Maybe I’ll write another short story containing thinly-veiled allusions to how unfair everything is instead.

James Harris says…

Oh God. Teesside art, culture and budgerigars zine Making It Look Accidental issue 2 launches tonight and there’s an interview with me in it. Criminy! Way to alienate your key demographic. I really was in a tetchy mood that day.

The rest of the zine, incidentally, is brilliant. Funny, rude, life-affirming stuff. Buy it! Read it! Just remember that when I talk about the human race, I’m probably not referring to you.

Get both issues of Making It Look Accidental here.

Messing With Minds. One-Man Vigilante.

Which, as a title for an interview with me, is mint but it does make me sound cooler than I really am ie not cool. I honestly don’t remember doing this interview with Mesh Magazine. In fact, I could have sworn I’d never heard of Mesh Magazine before today, but such is life when your memory is swiss-cheesed like Sam Beckett’s.

Anyway, here is an interview I suppose I must have given:

Messing With Minds. One-Man Vigilante.

It must’ve been a while ago, like last year some time, cos I didn’t try to plug The Story of Grass or anything. Have I told you about The Story of Grass, by the way? Available now, if you know where to look…