My Bristol: Meet actor and presenter, Joe Sims

It’s likely many people will already know Joe Sims. In fact, his iconic Bristol tones might just be the first thing you hear each morning. Sims (who’s previously called himself ‘the proudest Bristolian in the world’) has been waking up the city each day since last autumn, when he started presenting BBC Radio Bristol’s coveted breakfast slot.

Sims was no stranger to the airwaves though, having voiced many characters, including a run on BBC Radio 4’s The Archers. He also starred in three series of ITV’s gripping drama Broadchurch, as well as Dr Who. Much closer to home, Sims worked on the six-part sitcom Ruby Speaking, which writer Jayde Adams wanted to reflect working class Bristol.

He also co-founded BristolAF productions alongside writer-director Paul Holbrook and writer Amy Trevaskus – who all share an ‘insatiable desire’ to tell Bristol-centric stories…

I’m born and bred Bristolian.
I think what makes this city so special are the people that live here. The city is full of incredible people who are working really hard to – as my friend, Bristol-based artist known as #DFTE, says – ‘be the reason people believe in the goodness of people’.
At the moment, I’ve got my nose in a book.
I’m currently reading Bob Mortimer’s autobiography And Away. Though I’ve also been glued to the new series of interviews from Louis Theroux, which is on the BBC.

He’s been talking to Pete Doherty, Joan Collins and Anthony Joshua [and there are also interviews with singer Raye, actor Ashley Walters, and whistleblower and activist Chelsea Manning]. Music-wise – I’ve had Bristol band Idles and Australian group The Chats in my ears.

If you can be anything, be kind. Also, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.”

I’m shooting a new film this year.
It’s called Blockhead, it’s being filmed in London and the script is incredible. It feels Fight Club-esque and I play the Ed Norton-type character.

Wanting to tell Bristol-centric stories is an honest response to the city that we love.
Holbrook, Trevaskus and myself are passionate advocates of all things Bristol and want to tell the city’s stories through the lens of our working class backgrounds. There is such a rich vein of comedy in our city borne from our own personal experiences, people we’ve met, things we’ve seen, and urban legend (like the Bristol Zoo car park attendant [who was said to have collected £1 for every car parked over a 25-year period, despite not actually being employed by the organisation]). We’re keen to tap into that and offer something new, authentic and fresh while offering opportunities to Bristolians on both sides of the camera. To let them know that a career in television is absolutely possible because we knew growing up how hard it is to get a foothold. Talent is everywhere but sadly opportunity is not. I’m keen to rectify that.

I love presenting my morning show on BBC Radio Bristol.
What luck to be playing tunes and speaking to interesting people and getting paid for it. I love Bristol and its inhabitants and I’m very keen for people to know this is their radio show.

A ‘Proper Bristol Breakfast’ couldn’t happen without the city that listens and I want us, altogether, to turn the show into something that the city wants and needs. Shining a light on all the incredible things that you’re all doing and having a bloody good laugh while doing it. I want to put a spring in Bristol’s step and a smile on their faces every single morning.

If I could have dinner with anyone, from any era, it’d be the comedian Bill Hicks.
He always delivered such insightful social commentary alongside belly laughs. That sounds like my ideal night.  

My philosophy in life?
If you can be anything, be kind. Also, it’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice.