During the early nineties, British comedy went through a renaissance. Whether it was the emergence of groundbreaking radio series on Radio 4 including On The Hour and The Mary Whitehouse Experience. Yet live comedy too was on the cusp of a booming period and the Edinburgh Festival still had the power to transform amateur comics into overnight comedy superstars. Writer and comedian Dominic Holland burst on to the comedy scene in 1993 when he won the prestigious Perrier award at Edinburgh. With the confidence of youth together with a sharp comedy mind, Dominic was one of Britain’s sharpest and most exciting acts and performers were queuing up to collaborate.
Press play, below, to watch the interview via YouTube
As a meticulous writer of all his own material, it wasn’t long before fellow performers wanted Dominic to provide them with routines. Legendary comedian Bob Monkhouse had seen his act and was now requesting the young comic to join his writing team. As a writer himself with so much creative energy Monkhouse possessed the stamina of a man half his age and this proved a great shock for the young writer. It was here that Dominic realised that he didn’t much care for writing material for others and despite providing routines for the likes of Des O’Connor and Clive Anderson, Dominic returned to his favoured discipline of merely writing for himself. Performing is definitely the art that Dominic feels at home with and cultivating his own voice is obviously something that he excels in.
Beyond performing, Dominic has also written a repertoire of books. His latest novel The Fruit Bowl; tells the story of an interesting reunion between two former schoolboys over thirty years on from their friendship and how their lives become entwined. Released in July 2020, the book sets to become a cult read for adventure lovers everywhere and sprinkled with lashings of Holland’s unique wit, this is essential reading for fans of literary escapism. The ability to write has been a godsend for Dominic during lockdown as he has been able to continue the work he loves irrespective of the environmental circumstances which we have found ourselves in. This has provided the ideal opportunity for him to embark on a whole host of different projects which hopefully will all come to fruition.
Obviously in recent years there has been a new generation of the Holland dynasty as Dominic’s son Tom has become one of the world’s biggest movie stars following being cast as the latest incarnation of Spider-Man. In terms of advice, Dominic was able to offer him very little apart from the support of a parent and is extremely proud of the career which he has managed to carve for himself. Despite being thousands of miles apart, father and son maintain regular contact and are always on hand to celebrate each other’s successes. Such a feeling inspired Dominic’s 2017 book Eclipsed: Turns Out Spider-Man Does Have a Dad After All where he discusses the bizarre concept of having a famous son. Yet beyond the irony, Holland couldn’t be prouder of all of his children and is proud of the recent Holland dynasty.
In terms of his own career, Dominic is reluctant to reflect on his greatest achievements as there is still so much he wants to conquer. Yet as a result of the fickle nature of television comedy, it proves extremely difficult for established performers who fall outside the ring of preferred comics to make it onto shows like Live At The Apollo. While this could be extremely frustrating for a consummate performer like Dominic, he concentrates his efforts into comedic literature and therefore television’s loss is undoubtedly literature’s gain. It was a great pleasure to interview the great Dominic Holland and wish him well for the rest of his career.
You can purchase Dominic’s amazing new book The Fruit Bowl HERE