Tim Key on his student life: Corned beef hash, Hooch and debauchery
Tim Key

With a new batch of fresh-faced students preparing to move to new cities, WOW247 spoke to performance poet and all-round funny guy Tim Key about his time as a student in Sheffield.

Tim Key

What did you study – and did you actually study?

“I studied Russian at Sheffield University and yes I actually studied. I think I overstudied. I think I missed about a handful of lectures over the four years. SQUARE. But I had to because my degree was too hard.”

Do you still keep in touch with anyone you met in Fresher’s Week?

“YES! We crashed a corridor in Sorby Hall and I met someone called Emma. I once took her to watch Jimmy White vs Matthew Stevens. She now has lots of kids and a husband. She patiently watches my shows when I’m in Sheffield.”

What was the single greatest act of laziness you achieved in your time as a student?

“I slept through a fire alarm in Fresher’s Week. It was a drill. I’d had a lot of Hooch.”

What would be your best piece of advice for those going to live in Sheffield as a student?

“Get to know someone who has a car. Then you can get in their car and they’ll drive you out into the Dales. Massive fringe benefit of living in Sheffield, ten minutes from complete escape.”

What was your go-to meal when you were a student, and would you share the recipe?

“I cooked a corned beef hash in Fresher’s Week. Absolutely disgusting. One tin of corned beef. Some potatoes. Some onions. Some seasoning. Some baked beans. Some other stuff that’s to hand. Fry it all up. See what happens. What will happen is you’ll have a horrible dinner. But it’s all part of growing up.”

What was the weirdest night out you ever had?

“Pyjama Jump. It was the stuff of legend. Cross dressing, marauding, shivering. Debauchery. All the pubs and clubs, locals and students came together in a night of hedonistic celebration. A girl I lived with kissed a hundred men that night. Barely sounds plausible. I know a man who had sex on a pool table. Awful! Girls were queuing up to kiss police horses. Weirdly, it was banned the next year.”

Any extracurricular achievements you’re particularly proud of?

“I played for Vodsoc in the Intra Mural 5-a-side. We were greater than the sum of our parts. Simon Kerins was our manager (we were the only team with a manager) and he had us well drilled. We ruffled feathers. We caused upsets. We were a nuisance. We reached the quarter-finals. Got beaten by dentists or cricketers, but it was a very memorable run.”

What was the most important thing you learned in your time as a student?

“Mm. Not sure. DO STUFF. I guess that’s important. Get involved. And I actually think working hard’s probably fairly useful. You won’t have to study after that, so you may as well get all educated-up whilst you’re there.”

Tim Key’s tour Single White Slut tour begins on September 23 and he plays Sheffield Theatre on September 29; more info

Looking for more Sheffield student info? Check out our 22 tips for making the most of the city. 

What would be your best piece of advice for students?

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