Image credit Stephanie Yt
Where did the idea of tourist trap come from?
A very clever person at the BBC. Not me. I just rocked up and had a chat and they decided that my natural personality was exactly that of an idiot who worked in Marketing for the Welsh Tourist Board.
Have you ever met a real-life Elaine Gibbons?
You mean people who are lovably terrible at their jobs? Oh yes. Frequently. Most of my teachers were a bit like that. Especially my RE teacher who couldn’t work out how the lights in his classroom kept switching off half way through each lesson. We started saying it was a sign, that the spirits were with us. He actually got quite scared and used to stare at the switch by the door, convinced someone was sneaking up and flicking them off. They weren’t. There was just a hidden second switch at the back of the room which we we’d discovered. Poor guy. He very nearly lost his faith.
Which area of Wales do you think needs the hardest sales pitch?
Newport. It’s really not as bad as people try and make out. It’s got a cracking new shopping centre, a lovely river, and some very good rail links. What more do you want? Swindon??
Did you do the tourist trail to prep for the show? And what do you think is the best tourist attraction in Wales?
I drew on my experiences as a child - looking thrilled with castles until I found out they were used to suppress my ancestors. That was always the awkward bit. I think the best tourist attraction is the Severn Bridge. It really brings people into Wales.
You have had the opportunity to work on some amazing shows based here in Wales, including Stella and Tourchwood, which had the best budget in regards to catering? Or were they all Gregg’s lunches!
Great question. I’m glad you asked me that. Stella food was pretty good, and it’s not bad at Radio Wales (where I do my news satire show The Leak, powered by a canteen supplying broth and cappuccinos, in the same mug). But Torchwood was incredible. When it was in America. The craft services were so good, they actually had to cancel the show because everyone got too fat. True story.
You're currently working on a Doctor Who radio play, are you able to introduce a Welsh Dalek?
Yep I’ve been doing some Torchwood radio stuff for Big Finish productions. Not only do they do the best food, they also allow me to bring my dog into the studio. Who then eats the best food. She will also be shortly playing the role of Welsh Dalek. You heard it here first. And almost certainly last.
What was the best interview opportunity you have had, and what was your killer question?
I was interviewed by the Radio Times about my joining the station. They asked me what job I’d most like in radio, and I said weekend breakfast. Please. I then got it.
Where do you find material for your stand up shows?
Google, mostly. And a childhood lived with a weird mother, thick glasses, and an unerring ability to repel all girls.
Who are your comedy legends?
Rowan Atkinson, Steve Coogan, Tina Fey. And my mother.
TV, Film, Radio, What’s next for Tom?
Well, apart from some lunch, I’ll be having far too much fun on my weekend breakfast show on Magic Radio in the run up to Christmas.
Catch Tom in Tourist Trap on BBC iPlayer and on the Magic Radio Weekend Breakfast Show.