Five minutes with... Jim Howick, actor, Spurs fan
Sat 18 June 2022, 08:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Jim Howick, 43, has been a Spurs fan since, well, his father Neil brought down his extensive collection of programmes from the loft. That was the mid-1980s. He's also an actor who has starred in a number of hit shows including Horrible Histories, Broadchurch, Sex Education, Ghosts and, most recently, Here We Go on BBC1.
How are you today?
Jim: “I’m hot! I’m very well. I’ve had a very nice day. I’ve been writing in central London, and doing the mix for Ghosts 4, so, Mat (Mathew Baynton, friend, fellow Spurs fan, fellow cast member of Horrible Histories and Ghosts) and I have been working together on that. I’ve just got off the Tube and what I really want is a cold shower!”
Sex Education, Ghosts, Here We Go - things appear to be going well, Jim!
Jim: “They are, yes. I’m touching wood right now! I can’t complain at all. What can I say? I guess I’ve got a good agent! Things are going well, I’m really enjoying my work and all the projects I’ve been lucky enough to be involved in have taken off in some way or another.”
How do you approach your roles?
Jim: “I find with comedy, it’s much more collaborative. You are left to your own devices a lot more. I’ve done a lot of comedy in the last 20 years, most directors I work with are very generous and there is an element of trust there because of my experience. Broadchurch, I have to say, wasn’t too much different. It wasn’t a huge part, a couple of episodes, but it was a hard-hitting piece. I spoke to the director and the producers, and I wanted to do a truthful job, to get myself away from being funny, and it can be quite hard to step out of that. The subject matter was so harrowing, it wasn’t hard for me to come across as a psycho and for people to believe it, because the writing is so good on that show. Everyone’s approach is different, comedy, drama, it’s different for everyone.”
Tell us your Spurs story...
Jim: “It was my dad. He used to holiday in Bounds Green, funnily enough. He was from Chichester, his aunt and uncle lived in Bounds Green, and he would go to visit them for a week in the summer holidays. This was 1960/61, when we were the best team in the land! He used to go down to the ground on the bus, buy a ticket on the day and stand in the Paxton. So, when I was a kid, I was brought up in Bognor Regis, lots of kids supported Liverpool, quite a few supported Spurs, but I remember there was a kid I hung out with who was a mad Liverpool fan, and my dad could see I was going that way, so he got his box of programmes out of the loft one day and said, ‘have a look at these’. He’s got a great collection. That was it. I saw the cockerel, done.”
Do you remember your first match?
Jim: “The first game I went to was at Fratton Park, Portsmouth away, because we lived down south. It was 1985 (27 November, fourth round replay), the Milk Cup. We had the likes of Ardiles, Hoddle, Falco, Mabbutt, Perryman, a classic Spurs team. I remember being completely captivated seeing the players and being in a ground, seeing a pitch, a magical moment. My first home game was Gerry Francis’ first game in charge (Villa, 19 November 1994), I was 14, quite late, but we were in Bognor, and it’s a bit of a mission to get up there. We drove up, parked, got a fry-up, went to the Club Shop, dad bought me a coat he probably couldn’t afford, one of those big, manager-style coats. We lost 4-3, Dean Saunders scored the winner. It was also the first day of the National Lottery, and everyone wanted to get back home. We drove to my aunt’s and piled in to watch it ourselves. We won our money back! My mum gave my dad a bit of an earful because he bought the coat for me, but we won the money back. I couldn’t even use the coat! My dad bought it for me for my paper round but I couldn’t get over the crossbar on it, because it was quite long! It’s ridiculous, really.”
What is your favourite Spurs shirt?
Jim: “The 2001/02, adidas/Holsten home shirt, Teddy’s return, it had a pale grey collar. Lovely. My first kit was the Hummel ’86 kit, I slept in that.”
What is on your Spurs 'to-do' list?
Jim: “A pitchside interview! I did one at the Lane, that was when we played AS Monaco, 2014. You won’t catch me abseiling off the Dare SkyWalk, so I’ll go for that.”
What is your favourite Spurs goal?
Jim: “It’s got to be Gazza’s free-kick in the 1991 FA Cup semi-final against Arsenal. I wasn’t at Wembley, we were watching from home. The buffet went everywhere, sausage rolls, crisps, everything. What a match. That’s my favourite.”
What are you up to for rest of the week?
Jim: “I’m busy doing post for Ghosts 4, hopefully between that I’ll be walking the dogs and enjoying the sunshine. On Sunday, I’m taking my dad to an Air Show at Duxford for Father’s Day. Having said all that, I miss going to Spurs at the moment!”
We spoke to Jim on Tuesday...