Trying to tie this funny man down – and getting a straight answer from him – is very difficult. So, in the true Blue Peter spirit, here’s one we made earlier.
Hello Tank, good to see you. Let’s start with a memory test. What is your earliest memory — and how old were you at the time?
TS: “I was about 3 years old. My mother would take me to St Thomas Pleasure Park in St. Thomas, Exeter, where we lived, and my earliest memories were of a beautiful warm summer’s evening being pushed across the grass by my beautiful mum.”
And I bet you were making them laugh, even then. Moving on a few years, what was your favourite subject at school — and which was the lesson you always wanted to avoid?
TS: “I loved history, something that has stayed with me to this day (big Time Team fan!!). Always wanted to avoid Cross Country. Never saw the point of running 3 miles through fields, mud and stream to return back to the start line!! My own fault though, healthy eating didn’t exist for me back then.”
If you had to escape from a fire, what three things would you take with you?
TS: “I would hope that my pets would run out anyway, but I would have to take my wife Julia, and my son & daughter, Chris and Amy.”
Well I can see the dogs running out on their own, but I suspect your other pet might need a helping hand!
Tell me Tank, how do you relax?
TS: “It used to be Sea Angling out in a boat, but due to work commitments, it is now watching the television, feet up on a pouffe, eyes wide shut!!”
If you could change one thing about yourself or your life so far, what would it be?
TS: “To have looked after my fitness (diet and exercise) a lot sooner than I did.”
If you were a car, what type would you be — and why?
TS: “I would be a Ford Prefect E493A. The reasons quite simple. It had a large chassis (ditto) an engine that plodded on (bit like me) and needed constant servicing (no comment) and love and attention!!!”
Watch a film, go to the theatre, read a book or talk to friends — which would you prefer?
TS: “Watch a film.”
If you could take part in one television programme, which one would it be?
TS: “The Royal Variety Show (well, we can all dream xx)”
Tank, I’ve set the earlier questions; now it’s your turn: Write the last question yourself and use it to tell us something about yourself, your life or your work.
TS: “My question would be: ‘What do you love about your chosen career?’ I love to go out on stage and make a difference to peoples lives. Laughter is the best medicine and to know that for an hour that I have made someone forget the rubbish that is going on in their lives and to have lifted their spirits – its a priceless feeling.”
And having sat with tears rolling down my cheeks at more than one of your performances, I can testify that it’s certainly a great tonic. Tank, thanks for taking the time out of your busy schedule to come and talk to me.
If you want to find out more about Tank, his website can be found here.
[This interview was previously published on the blog of local author Elizabeth Ducie.]