Tom Wrigglesworth: Taking things apart makes me feel whole

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Stand-up Tom Wrigglesworth might be at odds with the universe but here he reveals how his love of gadgets got him on TV.

MOST people think I’ve always loved gadgets. It’s not so much that they’re wrong as, well, it was never a conscious decision.

In a bid to escape my chaotic family I used to sneak off to my granddad’s shed, which was full of old telephones and broken radios. On the odd lucky occasion, I would be able to fix them, and enjoy records like Do They Know It’s Christmas being played at the wrong speed. As much as I can recall the song as if sung by chipmunks, I can’t ever remember hearing the word gadget.

Back then, technology was housed in wooded cabinets or Bakelite shells, they were far too noble to be tainted with the disposable tinge of the word gadget. Rather, all these wires and bits of speaker that slowly moved from the shed into my bedroom became known to me and everyone else, as my “electrical tackle”.

As society moved into the terrifying world of consumer electronics, giving us “built in redundancy”, I kept up the mind-set of “I bet I could fix that”. A few years ago, a journalist phoned for an interview. At the time, I happened to be fixing a bread machine a neighbour had thrown out. The interviewer surmised that I dismantle people and situations to find jokes, in the same way I approached my “electrical tackle”. Not a bad analogy, I didn’t think about it again until a researcher for a TV show looking at how technology has shaped the home read the interview and got in touch.

So the reason people think I love gadgets is very much aligned with me fixing anything. Both are pure fluke. That said, I’ve just heard the bread machine beep to announce another loaf has finished. Perfect.

Tom Wrigglesworth: Utterly At Odds With The Universe, Pleasance, Courtyard Above, until 25 August, 7.40pm, £6-£12, 0131-226 0000