FRIENDLY, thoughtful and softly spoken are not terms you would typically associate with larger-than-life comedian Johnny Vegas.
But that’s exactly what his creator, Michael Pennington, was as he signed copies of his new book, Becoming Johnny Vegas, at the Waterstone’s bookshop in Wigan’s Grand Arcade.
The book, which details, among other things, the 42-year-old’s time at a priest school in Up Holland, is full of other surprises too.
It also tells of the likely origins of his infamous alter ego and his inner battle to regain control.
Earlier in the week, Johnny had chatted with top screenwriter Frank Cottrell Boyce in front of a captivated audience at St Helens Town Hall.
As well as reading extracts from his book, he spoke with touching honesty about his “blissful” childhood and his favourite teacher.
But why choose now to put pen to paper?
“In the last few years I’ve been doing different work and, after becoming a dad and life settling down a bit, I felt I had enough perspective and confidence to sit down and write this book,” he said.
“I had gone from being Michael to Johnny Vegas for so long that in a lot of people’s eyes he had control over me.
“So I decided to go right to the roots of Johnny’s takeover bid after Edinburgh 1997 and it’s quite an emotional journey.
“It’s a good job I wrote the book and not Johnny, though. Can you imagine him writing a book? It would be all crayons and threads ... in fact that would probably be the title!”
READ THE FULL INTERVIEW IN THE WIGAN EVENING POST (SATURDAY) ...