Comedian Simon Brodkin has had a momentous year – from showing Fifa’s beleaguered president Sepp Blatter in dollars in Zurich or climbing on stage at Glastonbury.

As he prepares to bring his Lee Nelson character to Croydon on October 16, Mark Wareham caught up with Simon and, for once, he stepped out of character to reveal his inner workings...

I wasn’t expecting your voice to sound quite as much like Lee Nelson’s. Are you turning into him?

I’m used to doing Lee in work mode. I hardly ever do interviews as me. The other day when I was on breakfast telly, my dad said, ‘Why did you sound like a cross between you and Lee Nelson?’ That’s probably what you’re experiencing now.

Why do interviews as Lee and not yourself?

As a comedian I’m always trying to be as funny as possible. As Lee I can be more playful and get away with calling people bellends. If I did it as myself it would go down less well.

Getting on to your momentous summer, pranking Sepp Blatter and Kanye West... You did the Blatter stunt as footballer Jason Bent, didn’t you? A few of the papers credited it to Lee Nelson.

A few comics came up to me, ‘Great stunt but they got the bloody character wrong. I’m really annoyed for you.’ It didn’t bother me at all. The funny thing was seeing Sepp Blatter showered with dollars.

Was that always your intention?

It had crossed my mind, but you never know how these things are going to play out. You don’t get a rehearsal. When I handed him the first big bundle of dollars, I kept another bundle just in case... But I was fully expecting to be slammed to the floor and shot in the back of the head. But it’s a bit like going into a conversation. There are a few avenues that could play out... You’ve got to feel it in the room.

How did you infiltrate the conference?

I was right down the front. I can’t give too much detail as it’s part of an ongoing criminal investigation. But I was in the press conference and just before he started up, it seemed like as good a time as any.

When you pull a stunt, how far ahead are you planning it? What about the Kanye West stage invasion at Glastonbury?

That was a few days before. I got that ‘Lee-zus’ T-shirt printed. Then someone I thought could get me an entry backstage said, ‘Sorry mate.’ But I was there anyway doing the comedy, walking around and I saw a cheeky little gap in a fence, and I got further and further in, and I thought, ‘I might be able to do this on my own...’ So I spent the next couple of hours buying an outfit to make me look a bit like a rapper...


Yep, somebody actually had the guts to stage-crash Yeezy. Kanye got Kanyed.


So, no performer’s pass? You just blundered on stage...

No mate, not a single pass. In hindsight, that’s the cooler thing to do. If you’re a big rap artist, you don’t need a thing.

I had the microphone I’d bought at Argos for £8.99 a couple of days before. I’d managed to get through lots of layers of security, but you’ve got the final golden inner circle where I got ushered away.

Then I found myself backstage in hospitality. Pharrell [Williams] was there... looking happy!

So I got out the mic and thought, ‘Show time!’, and started bouncing towards the stage.

When this security bloke stopped me, I said, as confident and cocky as I could, ‘Mate, I’m meant to be on stage, yeah.’ And he goes, ‘Sorry,’ and lifts his arm up...

I hadn’t seen any of the set and I’d assumed there’d be backing dancers and a host of musicians, but it was just him and some torches. I was expecting to have to weave around some saxophonists and jump over the drums and navigate past the backing dancers.

Instead, after two steps, there he was with a very large head. Kanye West. I was like, this is it. Let’s get pretend rapping.

Simon Brodkin’s Lee Nelson Live: Suited and Booted is at Fairfield Halls on Friday. Go to