I've always said that with kids' TV that people get stuck in it from drama school but that's not fair because I know myself that when you go in creatively, kids are so much more open to ideas. You're so much freer to mess about and try things.
Being behind the camera is where I feel comfortable. I've found something that I feel I, as 'Michael,' can be as confident in as 'Johnny' was on the stage. It's great being part of the creative process. You're right at the start of an idea, and you get to see it all the way through till the end.
There was always that thing with 'Johnny' - I always saw myself as his writer and PR. But when he got out there, I had no control. His whole thing was going off on those flights of fancy. Going, 'Let's see what we can possibly do that hasn't been done before up here.' And when it works, it's lovely; it's a great night.
In credits, I'm 'Michael' sometimes now, but people know you as something, so there's no point fighting it. 'Squiggle,' you'll always be 'Prince,' and 'The Rock,' just accept it. I want to move on, but not that much. So I'm still known as 'Johnny Vegas.'
From a certain age, I sort of accepted myself for what I was. And although to other people it was like nothing ever goes right, I had a really nice attitude that I'd inherited from my parents, and especially from my dad.
I came from a very loving home, had a happy life with no great aspirations, but going to the seminary changed me. There was a chunk of my childhood missing. Once I'd realised it wasn't for me, I still felt a tremendous pressure to continue for fear of letting everybody down.
I thought I could play the hellraiser and then put 'Johnny Vegas' back in his box. I found popularity through self-destruction. The more you damage yourself, the more people are drawn to you, and that can be quite addictive. It is not a lifestyle you can maintain.
I don't want to demonise 'Johnny.' I was really proud of what he achieved. Especially within stand-up. He was quite a unique voice. I will always possibly be trading off 'Johnny's name, but there's a lot more things that I'm able to do now - the strengths that 'Michael' can bring to it.
Some comics are in it for what they can get out of it. Others are in it for a love of comedy. I think those that are in it for a genuine love of comedy find each other within the circuit and become friends.
I am very proud of what 'Johnny' achieved in stand-up comedy because he believed entirely in giving an audience the best kick he could. But he was someone who was quite detrimental to my health, both emotionally and physically.
I've been offered all the reality TV shows but have turned them down. If I did it as 'Johnny,' there'd be no jungle left! It was really hard regaining control of myself, so I am reluctant to let 'Johnny' back out of the box.
I couldn't be 'Johnny' in front of a camera in acting jobs and behind the camera I like to be 'Michael.' With directing, you can't do it by halves. There's a lot of reflection, and I have found that I, as 'Michael,' thrive on it. It's lovely coming home and feeling that stuff from a day's work as myself.