You're unlikely to meet anyone more brutally honest than Karl Pilkington – or better travelled. After Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant sent him around the world for An Idiot Abroad, the comedy figure is now globetrotting on his own terms in The Moaning of Life, and he's actually... enjoying it?
We got an early preview of the new season, which kicks off October 13 on Sky 1. The good news is that Karl is as to-the-point as ever, though he does admit to being "more sociable" as a result of all his adventures. However, he says he's still not a fan of the idea of tweeting.
"I thought it would have died out by now," he told us in a Q&A session. "It's not really for me. I don't know what is for me at the minute."
But Karl does love nature. And YouTube. In fact, there's a part in the second episode involving Mexican pointy shoes that happened because Karl clicked on a related video link on YouTube's sidebar.
"I love YouTube. I shouldn't be saying that, I should be saying watch Sky 1," he said. "I didn't do well at school, didn't learn much. If YouTube was around when I was a kid I'd be doing something better than this now. Its just great, isn't it? I can learn about black holes and then you have a bit of light relief with a cat running into a glass door, and then back to a mimic octopus."
But despite his love for wildlife, Karl said he's not after Bill Oddie's job just yet. Which, quite frankly, is a huge shame.
"I do love nature. I do like it. But there's people who are qualified a bit more. It's not enough to just go 'I love that'. There's that mimicking octopus I was talking about, you've got to watch it. I'm asking you to watch me doing performance art and everything, when nature sh**s all over everything, and I'm not talking Springwatch, because it's pretty sh*t.
"It annoys me. It's like Springwatch Live – it shouldn't be live because there isn't enough going on. They keep cutting to a box with f**king owls in it, in black and white. I've got HD telly, colour, and they're showing me this fuzzy image, it looks like cotton wool in a box. Everything should be not live, I don't think live adds anything to any telly."
Who is Karl Pilkington?
Karl also talked about writing his new book, some of which mulls on identity. It's a theme which also defines one of the new episodes, and the director even considered churning up Karl's family history for the show.
"I still didn't find out [who I am] at the end of that," Karl said. "Karl Pilkington's dull, isn't he? The director looked into getting me looked into, like 'Who do you think you are?' And apparently it's the dullest family line going."
While researching for his book, Karl looked over his own internet history to see what sorts of things he likes to search for.
"I think a good gauge of working out what sort of a person you are is looking at your internet history," he said. "Forget your family tree, if you just look at what you look at... a few days later you just think 'why was I looking at that?'"
As for Karl's own history: "It was a mixed bag of nature stuff, I do love a cat video, honestly I love cats, I was watching the Um Bongo video. I remembered it when I was a kid and I wondered if I still remembered it."
But after a grand total of 99 flights around the world, have Karl's experiences changed him at all? Not much, he reckons.
"I think you just go right back to how you lived. I think nothing really changes you. I'm sure when Lenny Henry has been out in Africa saving kids and he comes home, if there's no milk in the fridge he still goes apes**t."
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