What was your most lucrative project?
To be completely honest, it wouldn’t be a single project, it would be doing a radio show with Elis. [James]. While we didn’t get paid a lot when we first started doing this, building this audience was the best business decision. Even that wasn’t a decision, it just happened unexpectedly.
Building that audience meant we could now do things like go on tour, release a new podcast, and know that people would listen to it.
What was it like doing a stand-up show on Netflix?
I shot a special episode of my show, The Darkness of Robins, for the BBC, which was later released on Netflix.
I didn’t realize my show was on Netflix until people started tweeting at me, “Your show is on Netflix.” It’s remarkable how these things can happen. It was a complete surprise to me, I had absolutely no interest in taking him there.
BBC Worldwide owned the rights and I think what happened is that they had sold a number of shows and somehow there was a miscommunication that the people involved in that package didn’t know about. It wasn’t just me, I don’t know how many there were, could have been six, could have been 20, could have been 100. It was kind of crazy for people to be able to see my show. .
Have you ever invested in property?
Six years ago I bought a house with my ex-girlfriend and that relationship ended and I had to buy it, which was very difficult. But this process was less difficult than it could have been, as we communicated with each other in such a gentle way.
It could be disastrous, and I think a good rule of thumb for people who find themselves in these kinds of situations is to try to be as polite as possible in all your interactions, but I know that’s not always possible.
The crazy thing is that I wouldn’t be able to afford this house even now, because the house was stupidly expensive, but because it was nearly impossible to buy a house on your own.
Are you collecting anything?
I have a queen shelf. I have a pretty small house, so there’s a limit to the number of Freddie Mercury models you can have. I think the only thing I have of real value to the Queen is a gilded guitar copy signed by Brian May. This is probably worth around £2,000 or £3,000.
I didn’t meet him at the time, that was 1998. I took him backstage at Colston Hall in Bristol and a security guard took him to him.
John Robins is working with accounting software firm Sage to help bosses solve their tax returns. Together they launched a new tax jargon buster (sage.com)