David Mitchell's best rants

David may play a timid sort of fella in Peep Show but in real life he's a satirical tiger, like Rambo with a copy of Private Eye tucked under his arm.

David Mitchell

Always railing against the system, crushing politicians with his wit and going off on one about unfairness, David's a people's champion with a side parting. Here's a guide to some of his best rants to date.

On Derren Brown 'predicting the lottery'

David lost his rag slightly when, on Mock The Week, the topic of Derren Brown's lottery predictions came up. As David pointed out to a slightly sad-puppy-faced Russell Howard it doesn't strictly count as predicting if you do it after the numbers have been revealed on national telly. He also pointed out that the best bit of the trick was the fact he'd managed to convince people to describe it as 'predicting the lottery' when in fact it was just saying what the numbers are after they'd been announced. No flies on David, are there?

On adults liking kids' stuff

One of David's online Mitchell's Soapbox videos saw him railing against adults' habit of enjoying stuff aimed at kids way too much - and to think it all came from him realising he wasn't enjoying the new Doctor Who. He's not a big fan of the dumbing down of culture, and pointed out that in the 1920s you wouldn't have found grown-ups settling down for a nice read of Winnie The Pooh unless there was a kiddy-wink being read to. No fancy adult covers for Winnie, unlike that wizard chap. He makes a fair point, does David – we nearly wet our SuperTed pyjamas from laughing in fact.

On dancing

David, you'll be surprised to learn, is not much of a dancer. Seeing him quickly dissolve into rage when Jonathan Ross and Jimmy Carr tried to goad him into busting a move to Lady Gaga's Poker Face on Channel 4's Big Fat Quiz Of The Year in 2009 was quite the treat, not least because he came out with the sublime rebuff to the floppy haired one – "I'm paid to sit here and be sarcastic, not to dance around like some [naughty word removed]". Just as well his fellow jigaphobe Charlie Brooker was there to back him up or it could have got messy...

On signing boobs

Of all the celebs you'd expect to be amenable to a bit of boob-signing, David's probably about on a par with Anne Widdecombe and The Pope. Nonetheless, as he beautifully described during one of his Soapbox rants, some plucky birthday girl did make such a request despite her fairly humble mammaries, a fine-line architect's pen and her apparent unease with the entire situation. David soldiered on and scratched his name on her clavicle, in the end, but summed it up best with the line "the situation called for double-D cups, a magic marker and Russell Brand".

On government speak

David, being a grammar-buff and all-round wordsmith, doesn't like it when people misuse language. Perhaps the finest example of just how much he dislikes it came on 10 O'Clock Live, when he ranted about the government's use of words to create false oppositions and generally make anyone who disagreed with them seem like a dream-smothering baddie. As irked as he was by Cameron's chat about the Big Society, it was his pointing to claims that an email sent to soldiers by mistake was described as "absolutely unforgivable" which was the peak of the righteous fury, not least because it produced the line "Jesus himself would say chemical castration was too good for them".

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