Perhaps best known as Count Fuckula in Ricky Gervais's Extras series, James is also a stand-up comedian and the son of a publican. Over the last three years he has been touring all over the world with his show, James Dowdeswell's Perfect Pub, and has recently published a book based on his love of pubs, described as an "ode to pubs and a call to arms to try and save them." 

The Pub Manifesto: A Comedian Stands Up For Pubs is available now from the CAMRA bookshop.

 

Plate or slate?
Plate. I feel slate is a little pretentious. No parent has ever said "You can't leave the table until you've got a clean slate." This is dinner, not some form of atonement.

 

Cocktails or cask ale?
Cask Ale. The first draft of beer is heavenly after a hard day's graft, and even better after no work at all. Beer is something we look forward to, it tackles your thirst in a way wine and spirits do not. My favourite has to be Thornbridge Jaipur (5.9 % a.b.v.), and my preferred session ales are St. Austell Tribute (4.2% a.b.v.) and Timothy Taylor's Landlord (4.3% a.b.v.)

 

Background music or silence is golden?
Silence is golden. Scientists have proved that playing music loudly in pubs and bars makes people drink more and faster. I drink fast enough as it is. I like going to the pub to relax, so I prefer the warm, soft hubbub of friendly chat.

 

Dyson Airblade or hand towels?
It depends where you are. Dyson Airblades feel great, and not just in motorway service station toilets. They are wonderfully futuristic, so may well be out of place in an olde worlde country pub.

 

James Dowdiswell

 

Table service or order at the bar?
Order at the bar. This is not the continent ... yet! There is nothing like emerging from the bar, ferrying three pints of foaming beer and a packet of nuts between your teeth. I find table service frustrating. You often have to wait for an eternity for the bill to arrive. Imagine the frustrations of trying to embark on a continental bar crawl.

 

Karaoke or pub quiz?
My singing voice is terrible, even by karaoke standards. In fact, it is so bad I have to mime at football matches. So I shall opt for the Pub Quiz.

 

Cash or Apple Pay?
Cash is king. Besides, Apple Pay sounds like we're bartering with fruit.

 

Mustard cords or skinny jeans?
Ha! When I moved to London, I asked my neighbour whether he was in the wine trade. He was flabbergasted and said, "How did you know?" It was the mustard cords.
Skinny jeans for the pub, mustard cords for the wine club.

 

Live sport or big screen bans?
I am an ardent Aston Villa fan and do enjoy watching football in a pub. However not everybody shares my passion, so I believe it should be screened in a separate sound-proof room or an outdoor courtyard.

 

Dogs allowed or the only animals are on the menu?
Dog friendly pub definitely. As dog owners, my girlfriend and I always seek out a dog friendly pub. Also, the clientele tend to be friendlier in a dog friendly pub.