Doug Stanhope: "I hate London more than anything in the world"

On the day the Scottish government announces its plans for a referendum on the issue of Scottish independence we catch up with the eternally hungover Doug Stanhope for a brief insight into his thoughts on all things British... and Irish

Feature by Barrie Morgan | 27 Feb 2012

The Skinny: How's your morning going?

Doug Stanhope: "Well, I'm alive."

TS: And hungover?

DS: "Actually, I just call them mornings now."

Relaxing in his bathtub Stanhope comes across as comfortable, content and surprisingly personable. He interviews well and speaks openly, honestly and often misguidedly about any topic you wish to throw at him. We found it appropriate to discuss Scotland given the the circumstance ahead of his upcoming tour and more importantly: independence and the possible break up of the United Kingdom..

"I think it's great. Personally, for me, all it means is that it's just another fucking border I have to go through to work. But yeah, I wish the 50 states would break up. Lose the centralised government. More choice. How do you want to live, there's 50 different ways! You hate black people? We've a state for that. You wanna have an abortion? Here's a state. You like drugs? Here's a state. I think we should just keep breaking up countries now so they become just individuals. It's the borders that are a pain in the ass.

"I mean the problems over there are so deeply rooted. I've done bits on it and it's like people hate each other for reasons that are centuries old and might not even be actual stories. I remember the first time I played Scotland the only thing you have to remember is, 'Don't fuck this up and call this England'."

Being Irish I'm interested to find out what he thinks of us too. "I love Ireland. I mean, I hate the whole fucking island, in terms of weather and shit it just depresses me, but as far as people go I fucking love Ireland. I love Scotland too. I remember we did Aberdeen last year and that was a fucking blast." And England? "I hate London. I hate London more than anything in the world."

He's just as at home discussing national politics as he is discussing booze: "I mean I don't drink for the flavour but you guys drink like you've got a gunshot wound and you need to kill the pain immediately;" or neds: "I'll never forget the day someone said to me, 'fuck them they're neds'. But they just look like some bags of shit. I suppose they could be quite dangerous but they just look like some retarded homeless orphans." Stanhope is a journalist's dream.

Proving this, at the end of the interview he openly requests I make up as much stuff as possible about him. "Write it up however you like and feel free to include giant lies! If you put in whatever you want, say that I said them, and I'll back you up. Makes the creative writing process more fun." So, for the record, Stanhope's favourite movie is 50/50, he's got chronic tuberculosis and his favourite tipple is Buckfast.

Doug Stanhope Live is at King's Head Theatre, 7.30pm, Fri 30 Mar. Tickets £21!/shows/212