Character actress and musician Isy Suttie is better known as Peep Show’s IT siren Dobby.
Here the Matlock-raised comedienne reveals how her take on technology – and her musical background – has shaped a new stand-up show…
What’s your iPod?
I’ve got a shuffle.
Is there any other technology you love?
My Toshiba laptop. I like the fact it’s really old and it takes a long time to boot up. I’ve also got a BlackBerry, which I didn’t like at first at all, but I do like Word Mole on it, so that’s my gaming. It’s so addictive.
Music, comedy, acting – what came first?
Acting. I was always in youth theatre, and I’d said I wanted to be an actress at the age of four. I always did music alongside it, and comedy also came into that. When I started playing guitar, aged about 11, I immediately wrote funny songs.
So who are your musical heroes?
Frank Zappa and Tom Waits. I’ve always been attracted to storytelling, not big riffs. I got very into Antony And The Johnsons for the stories, and because the songs are so haunting and weird.
Alan Partridge, Brass Eye and The Day Today. As a kid I’d dream of being the receptionist in Alan Partridge rather than being a stand-up. But there was a really seminal moment in 2003 when I saw Johnny Vegas do Late And Live in Edinburgh. He was phenomenal, and showed me there wasn’t just one path to stand-up.
How did you get involved with Peep Show?
I went to the audition and got it ha ha! It was complete chance, but I felt the character of Dobby was quite similar to me anyway.
How do you mean?
Dobby sort of says f**k it, I’ll do it anyway, which is what I’ve done all my life. Whatever it is, I’ll try and eat it, or jump over it… when I was a kid I jumped off a bridge for a £1 bet and broke my ankle. She’s a bit like that, especially with Mark [played by David Mitchell].
Recently you played Kiki in Whites alongside Alan Davies. It was a great show, and it’s a shame it’s not been re-commissioned.
We’re gutted, but that’s telly! It was brilliant, we were really close. We all lived together and went out every night, or played computer games together at home.
Tell us about your Edinburgh show.
It’s called Pearl And Dave. I had a pen pal for a lot of my life called Dave, and it’s about a relationship with a woman he met on holiday. I play myself and him and her. It’s got bits of my own relationship history woven into it. The relationship develops through the internet and a lot of the emails they send each other are sung. It’s also a comment on how the internet has changed the way people get to know each other, how to hide behind a fantasy. I’m not anti-internet, but I never surf. I really like Twitter, but I’m not on Facebook, it’s too personal. Why should I show someone I met at a gig in Slough a picture of me skiing?
Isy's 10 most-played tracks...
1. Complainte Pour Ste-Catherine – Kate and Anna McGarrigle It sounds like people having a knees-up.
2. The Robots – Kraftwerk This was on the playlist to getting through a really hard season in Edinburgh.
3. Sugar Spun Sister – The Stone Roses A great melody and really anarchic lyrics!
4. Crows – Gaggle It’s 20 or 30 girls doing really mental, hypnotic a cappella. Very different.
5. One In A Million – Chris Wood A beautiful love story about a woman in a fish and chip shop.
6. Dance Wiv Me – Dizzee Rascal Cheeky and sexy, it just makes me want to dance.
7. Johnsburg, Illinois – Tom Waits It’s a beautiful poem following a single thought or memory.
8. Concentration Moon – Frank Zappa This is brilliant, with lots of mad tangents.
9. Cello Song – Nick Drake Reminds me of walking along the canal with friends on our way to work at Oddbins.
10. Multiply – Jamie Lidell My favourite summer track. It’s about relationship problems, but the melody really lifts me up.