Steve Hili: ‘I don’t have guilty pleasures. I revel in my pleasures’

The London-based stand-up comedian Steve Hili tells all in our Q&A

Steve Hili: You can be puerile and still want to change the world. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in that
Steve Hili: You can be puerile and still want to change the world. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in that

Having first come into the public eye with his risqué radio shows, Steve Hili is now a professional stand-up comedian based in London and performing all over the world. With credits for BBC and Sky, Hili is also the creator of the yearly Adult Panto in Malta and has just returned to Maltese radio with The Big Drive Home on XFM 100.2 which he is presenting live from his London flat! He is also about to launch a brand new podcast. Hili’s first book – State of the Nation – a no-holds-barred satirical takedown of Maltese society, was released in 2016  

What’s the first thing you do when you wake up in the morning?

Same thing I have done ever since I was 5. As soon as I wake up, my hand shoots down to my penis. Just to check that nobody stole it during the night.

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Make sure nobody ever steals your penis during the night. Apart from that, before I got married my mum told me that over the years Kat (my wife) and I would end up arguing over small silly things. And when we do that, I should realise how lucky I am that we never argue over the big, serious things.

What do you never leave the house without?

A sense of wonderment. I mean my keys. 

Pick three words that describe yourself

Energetic, mischievous, smartarse.

What do you consider to be your greatest achievement?

Three-way tie. I was the first and (as far as I know) only person to leave Malta, come to London and become a professional stand-up comedian. I am very proud of that. Also, I created the Adult Panto in Malta.

Mixing no-holds-barred adult humour, satire silliness and me in a mankini. There is nothing like it and that fills me with pride. And thirdly, away from my work, a few years ago, Kat and I went abroad to do some volunteer work for about 18 months. Amongst the things we did, we were instrumental in setting up a medical centre in Cambodia which changed some people’s lives. I am very proud of that.

What is your guiltiest pleasure?

I don’t have guilty pleasures. I revel in my pleasures. Although maybe I enjoy 80s power ballads a bit too much.

What is the most important lesson life has taught you?

You can be puerile and still want to change the world. And there is absolutely nothing wrong in that.

Property and cars aside what’s the most expensive thing you’ve ever bought?

I’m not very materialistic so I’m not sure. Possibly a few trips to far-flung places.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

That you should ignore people who tell you that you need to grow up.

Who’s your inspiration?

Rik Mayall.

What has been your biggest challenge?

Doing comedy full-time in London has been a tough challenge. You are literally trying to prove yourself against some of the funniest people in the world. And more specifically this bug that has been doing the rounds for the last few months and has stopped me from earning any money has been annoying.

If you weren’t a comedian what would you be doing?   

I miss radio so I want to do that again. (Since conducting this interview Steve has now started presenting The Big Drive Home on XFM)  Also, I kind of fancy getting into politics…

Do you believe in God?


If you could have dinner with any person, dead or alive, who would it be?

All the top TV commissioners on the planet. Then I would tell them that their food was poisoned and only give them the antidote if they promised to air my latest stand-up special.

What’s your worst habit?

I like being the centre of attention a bit too much. Also, when Everton lose, I can get really moody.

What are you like when you’re drunk?

Fun and loud. I usually take off my clothes.

Who would you have play you in a film?

Me. If someone is making a film about me, the least they can do is give me the role.

What is the trait you most deplore in others?

Prim and proper judgy-ness.

What music would you have played at your funeral?

‘One Step Beyond’ by Madness. And of course, Jennifer’s ‘Dead by me!’ (look it up).

What is your most treasured material possession?

When I got married, I wore a specially made reggae suit. I’ve still got it and I still use it.

What is your earliest memory?

I was about four and I remember sneaking downstairs to dip my finger into the icing that my mum had put on a cake.

When did you last cry, and why?

Last week. After learning that if you put too much baby oil on another body and run at it, there is a very good chance you’ll slip off. So don’t do it near stairs.

Who would you most like to meet?

I would have loved to have met Bob Marley.

What’s your favourite food?

Lasagna. But I also love a good curry.

Who’s your favourite person on social media right now?

Not really on social media but podcasts (and radio-wise of course) I love Chris Moyles.

If you could travel in time, where would you go?

Just before the discovery of fire so I could set a fart aflame and be adored as a god.

What book are you reading right now?

‘The Inverted Pyramid’ which is all about the evolution of football tactics. It is brilliant and baffling at the same time.

If you could have any superpower, what would it be?

Mind-control. And flight. And the ability to make everything taste like beer.

What’s one thing you want to do before you die?

Invent the cure to death.

What music are you listening to at the moment?

I stumbled upon a few old ‘90s “Now” playlists on Spotify and they’re great.

In the shower or when you’re working out, what do you sing/listen to?

Oldschool reggae. Love it.