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Page last updated at 07:43 GMT, Thursday, 19 March 2009
Justin Lee Collins: 'I'm not retiring'

Justin Lee Collins, or JLC for short, is preparing to launch his new ITV2 chat show, imaginatively called The Justin Lee Collins Show. The Sunday Night Project host says there'll be plenty of karaoke, lots of interactive retro sections and the mandatory interviews but denies he'll be retiring soon.

Justin Lee Collins

But first there's been a lot of speculation that you're about to retire. What's all that about?

I gave an interview to one particular publication, I wasn't drunk, I wasn't drinking, it was during the day. I'm off the sauce at the moment. But I'm trying to wonder how we got to that place in the interview. I think I was probably asked where I saw myself in five years, that kind of thing. If I'm still doing the work that I love in three years time, I'll continue to do it. But, if in three years from now I'm not in a place that I want to be in, I'll stop. And that will be, honestly, the easiest decision to make for me. I'm not going to do anything I don't want to do.

Moving on to your new chat show, you're well known for your love of all things 80s. Is the show going down that route too?

It ticks the retro box, I'm all about that. We've got an item called Blast from the Past. Every show I'll throw a Rubik's Cube out into the audience. Whoever catches the cube, I'll attempt to win them some retro prizes by guessing, from asking yes or no questions, what a particular guest was famous for. So, during one of the run-throughs I had quite a thin chap with glasses who came on. I said, 'OK, have I seen you on TV?', yes. 'Did I see you in an advert?', yes. 'Are you Mr Muscle?', yes. I probably asked him 40 questions, I'm self editing, but in a nutshell he was Mr Muscle.

Are you tempted to give your guests a bit of a grilling on the show?

If Michael Jackson was to come on to plug his 68 shows at the O2, there's not a list of questions I'm going to have in front of me that I'm going to tick off. It's not like, 'Right, I'm going to ask him about that, I want to ask him about Bubbles, I want to ask him about the Elephant Man, I want to ask him about the court case'. It's not like that, it's just a chat show. I'm not Martin Bashir.

There's plenty of karaoke action on the show, and the last time we saw you singing was on stage in the West End musical Chicago. Any plans to go back?

Justin Lee Collins sings It's Not Unusual

They've asked me back you know, September, to do a full run. I would absolutely love to, it's just the timing. The thing is, I'm so busy and that is a massive commitment. They would want maybe a minimum of six weeks, and it's eight shows a week, I just don't have the time.

Do you get fed up with people asking you about Alan Carr?

Not at all, no. If we didn't like each other I'm sure I would, but he's one of my best friends. We holiday together, he comes to my house, he stays with my family, he's a great mate of mine, so I never get sick of it.

How come you didn't do anything for Comic Relief?

I wish I could say I was climbing a mountain, or going down under the sea to wrestle a shark. Actually maybe I'll put in a last minute call, let's say I am going to wrestle a shark. I'm going to go to Hawaii and wrestle a Tiger shark. I know how to beat it, because lots of people are saying to me, 'You're never going to beat this shark', but I've got the key, I've got the secret...

The Justin Lee Collins show is on ITV2 at 10pm on Thursdays.



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