Tim Burgess: On my culture radar

The Charlatans frontman-turned-actor on Stephen Morris’s autobiography, Newry actor Susan Lynch, Craig Parkinson’s acting podcast and laughing with Bob Mortimer

Current favourite book

I'm currently reading Record Play Pause, the autobiography from Joy Division and New Order drummer Stephen Morris. The other members have written books, so it's nice to hear Stephen's take on things, especially as he's less in-your-face than the others. It takes me a while to finish a book – I'm usually a magazine reader as they're easier to put down and pick up again, and I have a six-year-old boy.

TV show

I enjoyed David Lynch’s Twin Peaks: The Return. It felt like a film broken up into 18 hour-long episodes, which made it more digestible. I’m a big fan of David Lynch. I first came across him when I first moved to London in 1991 and I went to watch Blue Velvet. There was an independent film craze at the time, but that one in particular blew my mind. I was touring America when Twin Peaks came out and my mind was blown away again. Since then, I’ve gone to see his films the week they come out. I sell coffee at the Kendal Calling Festival [in Cumbria] for the David Lynch Foundation, which is set up to help people learn transcendental meditation, so I feel like I work for him as payback.


I had breakfast at the opening of Gary Neville’s Stock Exchange Hotel in Manchester, and Tom Kerridge is the chef of the restaurant, The Bull & Bear. It was the best breakfast I’ve had. My friend is a meat-eater and he was well into it, and I’m vegan and I loved the smoothies and the way they cut the fruit and salad with precision. I had all the healthy stuff, with the right sprinkly bits on top.


I’ve known Bob Mortimer’s stuff since the 1990s, and recently we appeared together on Sunday Brunch, the TV show [on Channel 4]. He kept making me laugh between the segments. I don’t know how, but he has a way about him that just makes me laugh. He can turn the mundane into the funniest thing in the world.



I went to Nice recently, and it was the first holiday I’d had for about 10 years. It felt good to get away. It was sunshiny, we took a boat trip, we ran around in the water park. It was bliss. I think Elton John lives there too – I was looking out for him but I didn’t see him.


Nik Void [his partner] makes interesting sculptures in plaster, and she also creates the art for record sleeves. She also makes electronic music that knocks you for six – she was in Factory Floor a few years ago, and now she’s a solo artist.


I saw Susan Lynch in Faith, Hope & Charity at the National Theatre recently. She's from Newry, she's been in things like Waking Ned and Killing Eve, and she's the director of my film The Bookshop. The play was about a refuge for the homeless, and Susan played a mum who was in danger of losing her child – that was the central theme. What was especially interesting was that there were no stage lights – it was normal, office lights, which made it feel hyper-real.


The Two Shot Podcast by Craig Parkinson is always good. It's mostly about acting – he's an actor himself and he has a lot of actors on. But he mixes it up – like, he had Nile Rodgers on recently. The interviews cover a lot of ground. The guest is rarely promoting something – he gets people between jobs, so it feels like you can get a more natural interview. He has hundreds of interviews in the archive, and they're worth a listen.

The short film The Bookshop, starring Tim Burgess, will be available to download on iTunes in late March