Interview: Limmy reveals how coding skills made him famous

Brian Limond, creator of the hit BBC Scotland series Limmys Show, will release his second book of short stories next month. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Brian Limond, creator of the hit BBC Scotland series Limmys Show, will release his second book of short stories next month. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

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The creator of the hit BBC Scotland series Limmy’s Show followed an unconventional route to stardom, writes Chris McCall

Brian Limond, the creator of the hit BBC series Limmy’s Show, admits he would be “devastated” if his young son didn’t develop an interest in the gaming skills that made him famous.

Limmy built up a following thanks to the success of his 2006 podcast series, Limmy's World of Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Limmy built up a following thanks to the success of his 2006 podcast series, Limmy's World of Glasgow. Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

The Glaswegian comedian took an unconventional route into the world of entertainment by learning coding as a student and subsequently taking a job as a web developer.

It was this interest in technology that led him to create his own games and videos, which quickly found a mass audience online. The success of the Limmy’s World of Glasgow podcast, which introduced several of his best-loved characters, saw him offered a BBC Scotland pilot episode in 2008. Three critically-acclaimed TV series followed.

“Learning code makes all the parts of your brain tingle - the bit that wants a laugh, the bit that likes design, the bit that reacts to colour,” he told The Scotsman. “You can make whatever you want - wee animations, video or music.”

Like most children today, Limond’s son Daniel, six, has grown up surrounded by technology in a way that would have seemed scarcely believable even a generation ago.

Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

Picture: John Devlin/TSPL

“He already makes his own videos - but I’ve not uploaded them to YouTube,” he said. “It’s incredible how natural he is in front of the camera already. I think that’s magic.

“Coding is a great thing for kids to learn. It means you can create things. You learn about logic, and dimensions, and how to bring things to life.

“I would be devastated if he didn’t show any interest in it!”

Limond, 42, grew up in the Carnwadric and Priesthill areas of Glasgow and admits he had no ambition of becoming a performer while at school.

“I only got into it all by accident,” he said. “It wasn’t like I was in sketch group at school. No one I hung about with did that.

“What I do now started with my website - which I only made because I was working as a web developer, and wanted to make funny wee videos.

He continued: “It was great making my website. As soon as I started putting videos on, it was getting popular right away. Even 300 visitors in one day seemed incredible. There was no reason then for anyone to know who I was.

“I loved working out what things I could add to make the page more ‘sticky’, as they say.”

Limond believes it’s never been easier to encourage pupils to study computing subjects.

“At least now you can say to them: you could make an app for your phone, or a game,” he added. “They can see them on their own phones and understand. Where as before, with Flash sites, no one knew what that was.

“I know I sound like an old man saying this - but you don’t see the kinds of Flash sites people used to make ‘for art’s sake’ - it wasn’t for a company, it was just an experiment. Now it’s all corporate websites.”

Limmy may have conquered the world of social media - he has 291,000 followers on Twitter alone - but retains a love of the printed word. His second collection of short stories, That’s Your Lot, will be published on May 4.

“These stories are longer than my first book - there’s one 10,000 word story,” he said. “It’s a wee bit more serious - it’s not all punch lines.

“I did enjoy writing it but I am wondering what people will make of it, as it’s a bit different from my first book. But I like that. I enjoy changing things. I made sure the second season of Limmy’s Show was different to the first.

“I would like to write a full novel. It’s daunting. I enjoy going on long cycles. I think it’s similar. You’re embarking on this long journey and you’re not sure where you might end up.”

Limmy: That’s Your Lot is published on May 4 by Harper Collins

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