Comedian Lloyd Griffith on an ethereal Icelandic church and Belfast’s best pubs

Lloyd shares his favourite on-the-road experiences (Picture: Getty/ Shutterstock)

Lloyd Griffith is well-known in the world of comedy for his stand-up and has even supported the likes of Rob Beckett and Jack Whitehall.

His comedy career has taken him around the world, including to exotic locations like Egypt and Kinhasa.

We chatted to the comedian about gunfire and kidnap in the Congo, being a church nerd and the pubs to look out for in Belfast.

What is your favourite on-the-road moment?

I’m a massive cathedral and church nerd, and I love observing different towers and spires.

My favourite cathedral is Exeter — it’s unlike any other cathedral in the country, with an undisturbed beam that goes all the way from the east end through to the west.

Hallgrímskirkja is a breathtaking Lutheran chuch in Iceland (Picture: Shutterstock / Ghing)

Outside the UK, Hallgrímskirkja in Reykjavík is beautiful. I went there on a choir tour in 1996. I usually prefer old buildings but this one, built between 1945 and 1986, is truly stunning.

It’s visible throughout the whole city and was built to represent trap rocks and glaciers in Iceland. The inside is like a Fleet Foxes album: ethereal and it makes you want to cry.

And your favourite city?

Exeter. I absolutely adore the place, having sung in the cathedral for four years while at university.

The cathedral is truly one of a kind. There’s so much to take in, from its astronomical clock that dates back to 1484 and the vault roofing — the longest continuous medieval vault in the world.

Sandy Bay Beach – not a joke, it’s actually what it’s called – is a lovely, secluded bay 25 minutes away.

Lloyd recommends a visit to Exeter’s Sandy Beach Bay (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Then head to the Imperial. Full disclosure. It’s a Wetherspoons pub but it used to be an old stately home and you can take in a deliciously priced Carling in the orangery.

When were you most frightened travelling?

I once had to do some work in Kinshasa, capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo, and it was easily the most scared I’ve ever been. It was a real eye-opener. In the hotel corridor on my first night there was actual gunfire.

I had to call a private security agency while trying to sound like I wasn’t utterly petrified. Turns out someone had tried to kidnap Miss Congo 2010. I’m still keen to go back, though.

What’s the best souvenir you’ve come home with?

I love antiques so I research where the best spots are when I’m touring and see what gems I can find.

The best things I’ve found are a rare London Fire Brigade helmet in Hemswell, and a sketch of St George’s Chapel at Windsor Castle in Glasgow. Bring back Lovejoy!

What has been your most life-changing experience while travelling?

Seeing the night sky in Port Ghalib was an unbeatable experience (Picture: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

I was working in Port Ghalib, Egypt, in 2015 and to get there we had to fly to Hurghada, then drive for three hours at midnight.

It was one of the best experiences of my life because I’ve never seen the night sky like I did that evening. There was next to no light pollution for miles around and I got to see the stars in the sky displayed like never before — utterly breathtaking.

What’s the worst meal you’ve had abroad?

While working in Russia. As someone from Grimsby, I like fish as much as the next man, as long as that next man isn’t a Russian bloke who makes sweet fish cakes. That’s right, a dessert. Sweet cakes made from fish, complete with ice cream.

Where’s the strangest place you’ve spent the night?

It’s quite rare for comedians to have tour buses but when I supported Jack Whitehall our bus had been used by a member of One Direction and Jack took the palatial bedroom at the top. I had a coffin-sized bunk that became my bedroom for two months. Loved it, smell aside.

And the best place you’ve spent the night?

Belfast’s Spaniard Bar is a cracking place for a night out (Picture: Alamy Stock Photo)

You can’t beat Belfast for a night out. The Spaniard is a great pub that has everything you’d want in a boozer (Twitter @SpaniardBelfast), and The Thirsty Goat, just up the road from it, does a great pint.

Where are you off to next?

I once went to Japan for 48 hours for work but literally saw nothing aside from the airport, hotel and conference centre. I’d love to go back and see the country.

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