Sean Lock, laid back star of TV comedy shows including 8 on 10 Cats who was also an original and confident performing artist – obituary
Not only could Lock be impassive with phrases such as âI have genuine political reasons not to vote for David Cameron; he has a small mouth “, he could also make old jetty gags:” I have a few big friends – well, two: it looks like more.
Lock pointed out that comedy never came easily: âThe real secretâ¦ is spending tedious hours every day straining on a blank sheet of paper trying to think of something funny. Some days I prefer to try to lay an egg.
He was born in Chertsey, Surrey on April 22, 1963, the youngest of four children to Sidney Lock, who worked in the construction industry, and his wife Mary (nÃ©e McCreesh). Contrary to widespread rumors, his first television appearance was not in 1974, having Uri Geller bend his spoon. âBut I was happy enough that people believed this,â he said with a laugh.
In his teens he stayed up late on Friday nights watching arthouse films on BBC Two and “hoped to see some sex”. Although his wishes were often granted, he also came to appreciate their intensity, naming Andrei Tarkovsky’s sci-fi classic Stalker (1979) as a film that touched him deeply.
Leaving education with a bachelor’s degree, Sean began drinking, traveling and doing a variety of odd jobs. He worked on a kibbutz in Israel and spent six weeks on a French farm. âMy job was to take 26 goats to a forest in the morning, let them graze all day, and then bring them back in the evening,â he said. “The time in between, I spent smoking weed, which the farmer kindly provided with my packed lunch, and taking a nap.” Goats often took advantage of his sleep to disappear.
He graduated as a construction worker from ‘freeze my stuff’, work to which he attributed his first diagnosis of skin cancer in 1990. on my back? ‘ he said. Malignant melanoma was spotted by a lady named Tina during their one night stand, although he never saw her again.
Deciding he needed a profession, Lock chose to act and enrolled at the Drama Center in North London, but quickly realized he had made a mistake. Unable to leave without repaying his grant, he began to do wrong in the hopes of being kicked out, but the tactic backfired when his new approach was widely applauded. Finally, he organizes a student insurrection, and returns to the construction sites.
During this time he had attended comedy shows in London pubs. âThen I started doing open mic spots, and it was a hobby for many years,â he said. His first official concert, in a Stoke Newington pub in 1988, included a misguided skit about the Specials’ anti-apartheid anthem, Free Nelson Mandela, in which he sang for the release of Myra Hindley, murderer of the Moors.
He was paid Â£ 15 for those 20 minutes ‘and that’s when I realized you could make a living off of it’, though he still had to endure the indignity of being booed out of. the scene in Woking.