Mo Gilligan: ‘My greatest achievement? Getting a house. I didn’t think that was possible’

Born in London, Mo Gilligan, 33, began his career uploading comedy clips to social media, and was given his own Channel 4 series, The Lateish Show, in 2019. His Netflix special, Momentum, has been released in 190 countries, and he won the 2020 Bafta for best entertainment performance. He produced and fronted the Channel 4 documentary Mo Gilligan: Black, British and Funny. Currently touring his show There’s Mo to Life, he stars in the latest Purplebricks advertising campaign. He lives in London.

What is your earliest memory?
I’ll never forget my first day at nursery. My mum dropped me off and I was like, “Wow, this is fun.” I was playing on the swing and the slide, and turned around and she was gone. I remember losing it.

What is your most treasured possession?
My passport.

Describe yourself in three words
Laid-back, charismatic and funny.

What would your superpower be?
To stop time and sort out my punctuality.

What makes you unhappy?
Rainy days.

What do you most dislike about your appearance?
The bags under my eyes.

What is your most unappealing habit?
I slurp drinks when they are very hot.

What scares you about getting older?
Not being able to keep up with trends.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?
I love trainers. Wherever I go in the world, I will look for trainer shops and probably buy four or five pairs.

Which book are you ashamed not to have read?
My own: I haven’t got my copy yet.

What is the worst thing anyone’s said to you?
About four years ago, someone asked for a picture when I was on the phone. I said, “Give me two seconds.” And they said, “Oh right, it’s not like you’re famous.” What? I’m just taking a call.

Would you choose fame or anonymity?
Fame – I got a PS5 for free!

To whom would you most like to say sorry, and why?
Some of my old teachers for disrupting lessons. I was the class clown.

What does love feel like?
I always relate love to happiness.

What is the worst job you’ve ever done?
Handing out leaflets for a dry cleaner’s, because no one wanted them and, if people did take them, they just threw them on the floor.

What has been your biggest disappointment?
Not investing in bitcoin.

If you could edit your past, what would you change?
I don’t think I would change anything because it might not have got me here.

If not yourself, who would you most like to be?
Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson.

What would you like to leave your children?
A house.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Getting a house. I didn’t think that was a possibility for me. I’ve been able to do amazing things – Netflix, tours, winning a Bafta – but having something you own is hard, so that’s really up there.

What keeps you awake at night?
Material. I wake up in the middle of the night and write jokes.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?
To enjoy it.

Tell us a joke
My life. It’s literally built on jokes.