Billy Kirkwood is a lot of things. You may know him as a comedian of great comedy, in which case you’ll have seen him do stand-up. You may know him as a wrestling commentator of great wrestling commentary (/dick jokes) in which case you’ll have heard him do wrestling commentary for ICW. You may even know him as a father of two with great big babymaking baws, in which case you’ll have seen his children being conceived and I’d hope that makes you either his wife, or at least a semi professional cinematographer. The point is, Billy Kirkwood is a talented and busy man, so I was excited to finally get the chance to interview him. Even more so because he was the first person involved in wrestling who took the time to give me feedback on my stuff and has supported it from then on, so really he’s a big part of the reason I’ve ever interviewed anyone. So if you’re wondering what the tone of this will be, its pretty much “Billy Kirkwood’s a good cunt, even though he’s the reason I’ve now seen (and cant unsee) Troll 2”
We met before “Watch Bad Movies With Great Comedians” The concept for this show is that you sit in a cinema with other paying customers, watching bad movies with comedians who commentate on them. If you needed that explained, maybe reading this, or doing anything that you’d expect a functional human to be able to do, isn’t for you. The bad movie of Billy’s choosing was Troll 2 and it was so majestically awful that this could easily turn into a review of that film as opposed to an entertaining interview with an entertaining man. Lets stop that from happening right away and get right to it. Perhaps with liberal mentions of Troll 2 peppered throughout.
Billy on comedy….
“I was 24 when I got into comedy. So it was quite late on. I’d always wanted to do it though, and had always been a big comedy fan. I remember seeing Robin Williams live at the New York Met and its weird because lots of comics of my generation they’re always more into guys like Louis CK. Or even Bill Hicks. Guys like that. And if there’s a comedian from Scotland who doesn’t say Billy Connolly inspired them they’re a fucking liar, but with me it was Robin Williams. I remember seeing when I was really young and I remember thinking ‘wow, this is amazing, he’s amazing!’ There was no real flow to it but it was entertaining and funny, and I remember thinking ‘I’d love to do that one day’. ”
Watching Billy do his thing makes you wonder how he lasted until 24 years of age without standup comedy. It all seems to come very naturally to him. Like watching Picasso paint a picture, or watching Steve Davis make a 50+ break at the Crucible in the late 80s to a backdrop of auld guys tannin rapid snout. You’re watching a master a work. Like most people from this wee ridiculously creative island that we live on, discovering a talent you have and actually believing in it enough to pursue it often come years apart. As he went on to tell us “On the other hand, I was just a wee fat kid from Ayrshire. We’re not meant to do things like this. Look at Grado too. Folk like us are supposed to have a couple of kids, maybe get a job in a factory or something. I’m the youngest of three brothers, and it became apparent early on I was very different from my brothers. I was actually meant to go to art school, but my mum died during the last year of school and that made me go ‘Nah, fuck art school, I’m doing something mental’. I done TV production and got my degree with honours, only to come out of doing that and think ‘Nah, fuck this, I’m doing something else’ It seems to these shifts of finishing one thing and wanting to do something else after, but I got a job running a TV production company. Still in the back of my mind I wanted to do stand-up, but I ran the TV production company for 3 or 4 years. The way I got into comedy is actually a bit odd. I signed up for a class. A stand-up class at Strathclyde Uni. It was a night school thing, and this will sound daft but the only reason I signed up for it was that there was a gig at the end of it. Its kinda like breaking into wrestling, in the sense that I had no idea how to get a gig. Just like wrestlers don’t know how to get a match or a booking when they’re first starting out. It was run by a woman called Viv Gee and she basically said ‘I can’t teach you how to be funny, all I can do is guide you in the right direction.’ ”
That direction served Billy well, as he recalled the gig at the end of the course going great, but much like anyone embarking on a new endeavour in entertainment and knocking it out the park the first time of asking, it came with a bit of unearned swagger. Like a trainee doing a solid job in his début match, and coming out the next night doing springboard moonsaults and Canadian destroyers off the top of steel cages. Stick to the fundamentals kid. Do a wee armbar or something. Don’t try and re-invent the game overnight. Those early experiences shaped the humble attitude Billy has towards comedy and a genuine streak of thankfulness to be involved in it at all.
“The first gig went really well. It was at the Buff Club on November 30th 2004, and thankfully I went on after a couple of guys who had died on their arse as well, so that made me seem amazing. The next night I died on my hoop. Went out and with a whole new set and completely died on my arse, but the guy gave me a tenner and I was like ‘Yasssss! first paid gig!’ but it was never meant to be a job. It was always meant to be a hobby, but I’ve always been of the mindset that if you don’t enjoy doing something, go do something else. I know times are hard and its easy enough for anyone to say that, but I don’t see the point in doing something that you don’t enjoy on some level at least. As time went on I started getting more and more bookings, and then I got a job writing and acting for kids TV.” A role that would see Billy presented with enough stability to give comedy a proper shot “The way this went down was, I realised I could pay my bills for 6 months with this job. It wasn’t a huge amount of money, but it was enough for me to think if I’m a bit frugal with it that I can pay my bills for 6 months, and I can still take on gigs and stuff like that and sort of throw myself out there a bit. So I decided ‘fuck it, we’ll go with that’. I handed in my notice to my boss at the TV production company while explaining to him that there was no real plan, and he was giving it “Aw you’ll be back!” I probably will be! but I’ve been doing comedy for 11 years now and I’ve been a pro for 9, so that was 9 years ago now.”
I’d hazard a guess that Billy probably won’t be back at that production company any time soon. Although he remains adamant that even though he’s an established comedian on the circuit now, there’s a big difference between being established and having enough work to pay the bills “I’ve always been of the mentality that if it came to it, I’d go stack a shelf in ASDA. I see comics moaning sometimes at not getting bookings and what have you, and I feel like saying to them ‘Go do something about it then!’ go and write something or do something different. ” Speaking on his style, Billy cites the likes of Vic Reeves Big Night Out as inspiration when it comes to keeping it as diverse and interesting as possible. “I try to keep myself as diverse as possible, doing different kinds of comedy. If you come and see me at a show, it’ll be a lot different to what you see at ICW. There’s some right surreal shit in there, that some people pick up on and some people don’t. Some proper silly shit, and that’s the stuff I like the most. You can make all the fanny jokes you want in the world, but that’s the stuff I really love. It all comes from a love of comedy and its led to a lot of awesome things. Like the connection with ICW for example! Long before comedy, there was wrestling. I’ve always loved wrestling”
Billy on wrestling…
Billy Kirkwood really likes wrestling, in case you hadn’t guessed that already. While his role on commentary calls for all sorts of patter for to suit the wrestling variety show that is ICW, there’s a time and a place for it, sometimes the wrestling itself does the talking, and the respect Billy has for the performers oozes out of him as he speaks about wrestling with just as much passion as he does about comedy.
“People ask me if its ever crossed my mind to become a wrestler, and to be honest. No. it never has. I done a wee stint of training with GPWA for 6 weeks. It was an 8 week course and I couldn’t make the last 2 weeks, so I fucked it up slightly. I’d booked a weekend of gigs, so I had to tell them I wasn’t going to be there. Then I broke a rib…well I cracked a rib in training, then I broke a rib abseiling so I told the guys I couldn’t make it. They actually said to me at the end of it “Well, you’re not awful!” and I thought to myself “Well thats awrite eh!” I was delighted with ‘not awful’. The guys done all they could to make it fun, that introductory week was a lot of fun in particular and the GPWA guys put a lot of effort in to it. I can see how people get hooked on it. Hell, I’d be tempted to give it another go. Just to learn a bit more about it all and get a little refresher on the basics. They invited me to come in and train whenever, and I thought ‘Yeah, maybe I will’ but then I was in a car accident last year and I thought ‘Nah actually, I think I’m done’ After going through something like that you’re not really up for taking any more bumps or anything like that. In case I take that one bad back bump and that’s me never moving again. ”
While there’s definitely no deep seeded desire there to become Ayrshire’s own luchador, aka the first person for Ayrshire to put on a mask and not immediately rob a corner shop, Billy didn’t close the door on making an in-ring appearance completely. “I never wanted to do a match or anything, I purely done the training just to learn a bit more about it. There’s guys like Andy Downs and Louise Marshall who were involved in ICW before training and I think they were a bit different in the sense that they did have a desire to do matches and stuff. The only type of match I could ever see myself doing is something really ridiculous. Like I get in there with Mark Coffey and he just absolutely smashes me or something.”
To be clear, Billy was joking when he said that and has no desire to wrestle Mark Coffey. The main motivation behind that is probably his desire to not need facial re-constructive surgery to get a bunch of forearm shaped dents out his jaw, but another is his general philosophy on non-wrestlers being involved in wrestling at all. “I’m a big believer that in most cases non-wrestlers shouldn’t be involved in matches at all. It was interesting learning how to take bumps and stuff like that. I think at most I’d do something like being a manager. I’d have to the biggest arsehole possible though. Like I’m not saying I’m not an arsehole now, but I’d have to really commit to it. All the humour would get stripped away and I’d be there saying the most horrible shit. The most obscene shit. I’d want people to fuckin’ hate me. But yeah, that’s as far as I’d ever go in terms of actually getting involved. The guys did leave the door open, but I can’t see anything happening in the future”
If the bug ever does bite, and a wee reminder of what can happen when non-wrestlers get in there with wrestlers is ever in order, a viewing of Mark Dallas vs Jackie Polo from 2013 might be the thing to knock any notion out of him. Non-wrestlers tend to get their cunts kicked in when they’re in there with big powerful bastards. The fact of it is, wrestlers are often really big and adept at throwing fully grown human beings about like empty crisp pokes. “Aye fuck that! I hope Mark Coffey doesn’t read what I said earlier and he’s right up for it, like ‘IT’S HAPPENIN!” and he forearms the shit outta me. If it had been something daft I’d have considered it. Like I don’t get things like Vince McMahon wrestling Shawn Michaels and stuff like that, I mean are you actually serious? Aw yeah yeah, thats what to do, put me in there with one of the best. Put me in there with BT Gunn, we’ll have a great match! More like he’d have a great match around me. Even McMahon, look at the condition the boy’s in and then he’s got guys like Pat Patterson completely mapping everything out for him. So naw, I am completely happy where I am and lets keep it there. Lets not give anybody any ideas. I would loved to have done a spot at the Square Go though. Like without getting actually involved, my number gets called and I make my way down to the ring, only for one of the Coffey brothers or something to look at me and go “Haw you, what you playing at? Get out!” and I just go “Right, fair enough, I see yer point, don’t know what I was thinking” and out I go. I always liked the idea of getting sent out of it like a scolded wean. Every comic fancies themselves as a bit of a bad guy, and you feel like saying ‘Fuckin shut up’. I think the only exception to it is Neil (aka The Wee Man) but he’s had proper training and all that and he’s brilliant”
Indeed, when The Wee Man appeared at the Square Go and revealed a 6 pack and a couple of 3 inch pythons, he set the benchmark for entertainers getting involved in wrestling. A mark that family life, the odd 4am bit of chocolate cake, and a donation of bone marrow sees Billy fail to live up to. “I’ve put on like a stone and a half in the past 6 months. That’s what having kids does to you. You’re up at 4am making a bottle and you think to yourself “I’ll just have that bit of chocolate cake” (because what else is being up at 4am for apart from lobbing empties the TV when WWE PPVs end badly) I also donated bone marrow at the end of December, and after that you can’t train at all. You’re just weak all the time. Today’s actually the first day I was told I could go back to training, but Monday’s a cheat day anyway, so we’re having pizza for dinner. And chocolate cake wrapped in a chocolate cake for dessert. ”
Involvement in wrestling was the birth of a unique friendship between Billy and former ICW Champion Chris Renfrew. Renfrew has since gone on to appear at Improv Wars as well as being a regular guest on wrestling based comedy shows like We Are The Tag Team Champions, a show Billy does with another wrestling obsessed comedian, Chris Brooker. Although Kirkwood and Renfrew’s main collaboration at the moment isn’t actually wrestling based at all. “I miss doing the wrestling podcast with him. We’re a pair of fucking ramblers so I think that’s why we get on so well. The main thing we’re doing right now is the 1,001 Things To Do Before You Die podcast, the difficulty with that is getting everyone together to record it on a regular basis but we were actually talking about that earlier, trying to figure out the best way to do it. Fingers crossed, there’s supposed to be a podcast network launching soon that we’re supposed to be on. The difficulty with it is the fact that there’s 4 guys on the podcast. Busy guys. Even Graeme who does it with me, Simon Cassidy and Renfrew is a photographer and has a day job. So we’re all busy. Renfrew’s been on Improv Wars as well and we actually filmed a sketch for the BBC a couple of weeks ago which is not being used. Not that theres anything wrong with it. They asked us for a topical sketch and by the time they got round to it, it wasn’t very topical anymore. But we’ll definitely put it out there.”
Aside from the podcast, they also combine for ICW On Demand’s very own panel show, which they both had a hand in creating. “He’s also one of the co-creators of ‘chairshot
s (ICW On Demand’s panel show Have I Got Chairshots For You) which is cool, because we get to come up with weird games and stuff. Wrestling specific, but we like to keep them quite improv as well. All the wrestlers thrive in that situation, especially when they don’t take themselves very seriously and they can give themselves up easily, and Renfrew’s got a really good comedy mind. He’s one of those guys who just makes me laugh generally. I think even if I hadn’t got into comedy that would be my thing anyone. Surrounding myself with people who make me laugh.”
The friendship saw its beginnings on the One Wrestling Show, where both men shared hosting duties, at times combining to cause pure and utter baws oot carnage, as Billy explained “People wondered when he was on that NAK run as a top villain ‘how are yous two pals?’ It goes back to when we done the wrestling radio shows, and I knew of his work before I met him. The first thing we done wrestling podcast/radio show wise was The One Wrestling Show. This is going back a long way now. But I think it got to be a reasonably big deal. We were one of the first shows of that kind in the UK, and I was the one that said we need to get Renfrew on the show. He actually phoned in to the show the first week we were on, and I encouraged the others to get him on. We were almost like the misbehaving kids, bless everyone else we were on with. Pity any poor bastard who had to put up with us”
Billy on ICW, wrestling royalty he’s crossed paths with, and commentary in general..
While his name has been synonymous with ICW for most of its storied history, it was his friendship with Neil “The Wee Man” Bratchpiece that brought the promotion to his attention as a fan. Going along to support him as he settled into his role as the chief of The Bucky Boys ned squadron. “I went along to support Neil and really enjoyed it. Even back then you could see Dallas’ vision and what he was trying to do. It was clear to me and a lot of other people even then that ICW were going far. At that point they were running shows on Saturdays so it was difficult for me to even get to them because of gigs, but eventually they started running on Sunday’s at the Apollo 23. Which was weird, because on Saturdays it was Jongleurs the comedy club, so you’d be in that room for comedy and a night later you’re there for wrestling. What eventually happened to bring me in was that there was meant to be a guest ring announcer. A radio presenter called Des Clarke was supposed to do it but for whatever reason he couldn’t make it. At that point me and Neil had just started doing a wrestling podcast together. That came about because of Chris Duke actually, he used to come to Improv Wars a lot back then and noticed me slipping a lot of wrestling references is and he asked if I wanted to be on a wrestling podcast, and at that time I jumped at the chance. Me and Neil were sitting after recording one of the podcasts and he got told about Des not being able to make it and asked me if I was free. They’d had a few comedians in before who weren’t really wrestling fans and completely died on their arses. A really good mate of mine called Richard Gadd, who is a bit of a wrestling fan, came out and done a Rock impression. Now I’ve heard his Rock impression and its a really good, but it stank the place out and he ended up getting clotheslined by Joe Coffey. ”
Rock impressions at an ICW show sounds like a fine way to get yourself clotheslined in general, but when it leads to a specialist in the field wanting to personally remove your head from your shoulders, its maybe an indication that its not the right type of crowd for that. Being a wrestling fan certainly stood Billy in good stead as he embarked upon his ICW adventure which was originally meant to be a one time gig. A one time gig that caught the ire of the ICW ring announcer at the time, MC Tommy.”I expected to just come in and be a ring announcer. I wasn’t worried about being shouted at or whatever because I can deal with that, so was just nice to be a part of it. I met MC Tommy, ICWs ring announcer at the time and he clearly wasn’t happy that I was there, for whatever reason. The idea originally was that I was meant to come out, say a couple of things about how great it was to be there, and then I was supposed to turn heel on the crowd and start giving them shit. I was a like “eh…ok, I can do that” but I think back then because nobody really knew each other they didn’t actually know just HOW big a wrestling fan I was. So I’d met Tommy, and I got the impression he didn’t really like me because he’d given me nothing but the cold shoulder.”
The stage was set for Billy to make his ICW bow, the only thing left to do was figure out how in the name of fuck you actually get IN to a wrestling ring. Surely the first lesson in training is on how to enter the fucking thing without looking like a dafty with limbs made of sandpaper and jelly. A struggle ICWs lead commentator could empathise with.
“I came out and done the WORST attempt at getting in a wrestling ring you’ll ever see. It had never occurred to me that I actually didn’t know how to do it, and I ended up sliding under the bottom rope like Jake The Snake.” The fans weren’t sure what to make of me, but they didn’t boo me or anything. Its like when someone makes the draw at a football game or something. The fans might not have any fucking idea who that person is, but they’ll be polite enough. So I hit the ring, and I get the mic off Tommy and I said “Right you, get tae fuck!” and what follows that is a massive cheer followed by a ‘Get tae fuck!’ chant, and I thought to myself ‘awwww naw, thats maybe not what they’re after’. I’ve got the mic, and I wasn’t really sure what to do, so I start making some wrestling jokes. I rip into myself, TNA, John Cena, that type of thing, and it was getting a good reaction. So then I’m just about to do the heel turn, and they mistimed it and played the video to start the show. The heel turn never came, and later in the show The Bucky Boys chased me away and Tommy got his job back.”
Despite not all going as planned, Dallas invited Billy back, with no real plan as to what role he would have. A stint as The Gold Label’s own ring announcer followed, a night that Billy doesn’t remember with a great deal of fondness as he explained with a look of mild anguish as he got flashbacks of the huge amount of anguish he was experiencing at that time “I had done FIVE shows at the Edinburgh Festival that day, so I was frazzled. So fuckin tired. I was terrible as a heel as well, came out in a wee gold hat chantin “Ah sold out! ah sold out!” I was meant to do this thing with Renfrew at the end of the night as well, I think I was supposed to say something like ‘You suck so much cock you could sell your spit at a sperm bank.’ and I completely fucked it up, so I get ‘You fucked up’ chanted at me and I waited until it was finished and just went ‘Anywayyyyy’ and got on with it. That was the thing Dallas was most impressed with, that I didn’t let that bother me at all, but they still weren’t really buying me as a bad guy. I actually got caned by Renfrew that night. I turned round to have a go at BT Gunn, turned round and Renfrew hit me with the cane. Just the once, bless him. I could have got BATTERED and I didn’t. I think that’s why I consider Renfrew a pal. Even then when I was meant to be a heel, I couldn’t help myself, and I’d untied my laces so when I got hit, my shoe would fly off. ”
Another shift as a ring announcer followed as Dallas expressed interest in giving Billy a more permanent role. Eventually asking him to do commentary for the shows due to air on MyChannel. A role Billy jumped at, and a role that has seen his voice become synonymous with ICW, as much as Wolfgang’majestic Swanton from the top rope, and Kid Fite’s glorious baws. “I was excited. Really that’s the only thing I could actually do in wrestling. I didn’t really see the point in being a ring announcer, but this was sort of the perfect thing for me as a ‘talker’. Although believe me, I know there’s improvement to be made. I’ve got no one producing it in my ear or anything like that. Which is good and bad. Sometimes I do think I maybe need to be reigned in. We have changed it slightly. Its not quite as in your face and sweary as it once was. Although Adam Carrel could blackmail me with some of the shit he’s cut out. If he’s kept that shit I’m fucked. I’ll have to leave the country.”
While he’s not keen on many of the commentators used in British Wrestling, Billy did have kind words about a few who share his profession. Perhaps they share it with less references to genitalia, but they share it nonetheless. Fuckin PG shite. I’m boycotting wrestling until I hear Michael Cole call someone a baw gargling cuntpuncher.
“People expect me to have a go at the likes of WWE and TNA for their commentary but I like their stuff. I even like Matt Striker which you’re maybe not supposed to say, but I think guys like Michael Cole and Mauro Ranallo do a great job. Even JBL has the odd moment. Over here I just think they make every mistake in the book. I hate when they mention there’s a botch in the ring, or folk who try and push their own character. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d probably watch my own stuff back and think ‘Aw you’re such a fuckin knob’. For example, Wolfgang wins the Square Go and I’m there screaming in Grange’s face ‘YOU OWE ME A BLOWJOB!’ like we’d made some off-screen bet. We didn’t know who was going to win, but I’d picked Wolfgang and Grange kept changing his pick. But yeah, I make mistakes. If anything thinks I’m not aware of that they’re wrong. Its easy to fall into bad habits, but I swear to god I’m trying. The criticism is in the minority and I think some people forget that with social media, a lot of the time you’re shouting into a void. Not that anyone isn’t entitled to their opinion, but I could just as easy go on to their Facebook pages and tell them I don’t give a fuck about their lives either.”
At this point the interview was paused as one of Billy’s co-conspirators for the show that night, Joe Heenan entered the auditorium. Another man blissfully unaware as to what horrors awaited him when the play button was hit on that Troll 2 DVD. We uncovered the fact that Joe Heenan is a distant relative of Bobby Heenan, and that he had a short, entirely fabricated run as the AJPW Champion before we got back into the interview. Billy also spoke fondly of Joe’s ability to make him laugh, and about a voicemail he left Billy as Christopher Walken. No just any Christopher Walken, Christopher Walken on the Atkins Diet struggling to take a shit. Anyway…business time mate. Interview n that. Stop reading this, look at the photo below, then read the words below that.
While most wrestlers have the desire to one day make it with the WWE, its a different kettle of fish for Billy. WWE don’t have a show you can say the word ‘cunt’ on for a start and a lot of what’s required from Billy as ICW commentator maybe wouldn’t translate to a WWE audience, but that doesn’t stop the hunger to improve and adapt with ICW as the company adapts to a busier schedule, while running the ICW On Demand service. “People sometimes ask what I’d say if WWE ever wanted me, but to be honest they’d have to change everything about me. I do understand that, and sometimes I think even we could maybe swear a bit less and stuff. I’m doing commentary for the GPWA shows now and that’s a lot straighter. You’ll notice on ICW commentary, particularly when its a big match or a big moment, all the swearing and all that disappears. That’s my qualms with some of the guys on the British scene, even in that kind of situation they’re still trying to make shit jokes. At the end of the day, its about the wrestling. If you can’t be a bit diverse with commentary, give it up. People will probably have a list of all the times I’ve done it, but I fuckin hate it when a commentator is trying to get their character over in the middle of a big storyline. Like, just shut the fuck up. Its not about you.”
His role with ICW nowadays calls for more than just commentary, with the On Demand service comes more of a creative license, and a chance to let ideas that might not have had a platform before be presented to the ICW fans. His influence is even felt in the locker room, having gained a level of respect that leads to performers seeking his advice regarding promos. “I’m always happy to sit and talk promo’s with guys, even just as a sounding board for any ideas they have. With the On Demand service I’ve had the chance to get some ideas in there. Stuff like the documentaries and getting Simon Cassidy’s podcast on there. All that good shit.”
From all that good shit, to all that bad shit. And by “bad shit” I mean of course mean death. There is no light hearted sign off question here mate. This is real people having a real conversation, and at some point or another that’s eventually going to end up leading to some talk about deid guys. “Robin Williams was my guy, and it was not outwith the realms of possibility that we were going to cross paths. It even turns out we’ve got mutual friends, so to lose him and in the way we did was tragic. Not for me never meeting him, just him passing that way in general. I do gigs for Mind, which is a mental health charity. Its something that I truly believe touches us all. Rick Mayall also passed and he was another big hero of mine. So yer like “Are you shitting me!” I was involved in the production with last thing he did sort of by proxy, and they were talking about a series 2, so I could even have worked with him, but that didn’t happen either. That’s why when people ask me these days if I fancy working with them, I tell them for their own good that maybe we shouldn’t haha. Because it is the kiss of fuckin death.”
The passing of Rowdy Roddy Piper touched every wrestling fan with a functional soul, Billy feeling it in particular after working with him shortly before he passed. “I worked with Piper about 8 months before he died. I was so fuckin nervous about meeting Roddy Piper. I was nervous about meeting Mick Foley the first time I ever met him as well. Same thing for meeting William Regal, but it was SO nervous about meeting Rowdy Roddy Piper, because he’s Roddy fuckin’ Piper! Then you meet him at a Holiday Inn just outside of Glasgow and you’re thinking ‘This is just…odd’ . We ended up becoming friends over the course of the tour, which I never would have predicted. We ended up becoming pretty close. I know acquaintances come and go, but we got on pretty well. He called for me to see me at one point, and I was sitting with Chris Brooker. At this point Chris knew him a lot better than I did, so when his manager came down and said ‘He wants to speak to you’ we both assumed he meant Chris, but he was asking for me. I remember looking at Chris dumbfounded and going “Eh……why?”.
In my head I’m thinking ‘Have I done something? Have I said something’ and that was the longest fuckin’ elevator ride of my life.”
Part of the ominous feeling was due to a bit of a heated back and forth between Chris Brooker and Rod’s manager the night before. A dispute that was settled when Billy rushed across a busy parking complex to Yakuza kick the cunt in the face.” I don’t think anyone would mind me saying, but the night before Chris and Rod’s manager had got into a bit of an argument. I’ll just come out and say it, Rod’s manager was being a bit of a cock, and he shouted at Chris so I got involved. Chris is a big bear of a guy but he’s also a gentleman. Although I’m standing there with Rod while they’re getting into it and had to turn to him and go ‘I can’t let him speak to my friend that way’ and I go running across to tell him to shut his fucking mouth. It got sorted, but he was a fucking cock. He was in a band apparently, ask him, he’ll tell ye all about it. But Rod ended up being the sweetest, nicest cunt you could ever meet. He called me up there to tell me he had a lot of time for me and that I had a friend in him and all that, and I don’t think anyone would mind me saying. Rod being a typical wrestler is standing there in his boxer shorts and your’re left thinking ‘What the fuck is going on!?’ but he was super cool. I’ve remained friends with Mick Foley as well, we done that little tour the first time and he asked for me as his support act when he came back to Scotland. I like to think that connection was what got him in to ICW, although thats established now. He did legitimately think the show would have 800-1200 people at it. When he said that he was being honest, so he was completely blown away by the crowd.”
I really wanted to ask Billy his thoughts on Donald Trump to round off the interview and I fuckin shat it guys. There were other people in the room when we were finishing up and I just couldn’t do it. So instead of rounding this all off with some hilarious patter about him wae the pish stained straw combover, we’ll end it by saying this. Billy’s a cracking guy and someone who’s become a pal since first giving me words of encouragement back when I first started doing this. At least enough of a pal that if I was short of 10p for the vendy and he was the closest person to me, I wouldn’t feel embarrassed about tapping that 10p. If that’s not friendship, fuck knows what is. Go see Billy Kirkwood do comedy things. He’s good at them. And for fuck sake go see Troll 2. Its one of those experiences that everyone has to go through, then subsequently get a lot of therapy for.
Big thank you to David J.Wilson, Warrior Fight Photography, and anycunt else who’s photo’s I bumped off google/Billy Kirkwood’s Facebook page.