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INTERVIEW BY ALEXANDER TAN
You’re friends with Greg Davies and Al Murray. What’s the best piece of advice you received from fellow comedians?
– The best piece of advice I have ever had was actually from Jason Cook, my mate and creator of Hebburn… He said “to get good at stand up you need to compere, compere, compere” but then I found out he’d got that advice from the Frank Skinner book, so…
Obviously your comedy style is completely different to your Hebburn co-star Vic Reeves. How do aim for your style to be perceived?
– You can never control how someone will perceive your style, I’m sure there are people out there who see me as a haircut with a microphone! But I’m a storyteller, and I like to banter with the crowd. My material is always personal and I like to think the crowd know a bit about me when they leave (at the end of the show I mean, they don’t just walk out during… Much)
You’re famous for being precious about your hair? Would you ever get it cropped or do you think that would have a Samson like effect on your comedy powers?
– Haha I’m honestly not that bad! It’s people like Al Murray who’ve started this vicious rumour! I’ve actually just had quite a drastic trim as it was doing my head in… haven’t done a show since though, so fingers crossed it doesn’t have the Samson effect.
You were given a red card on Soccer AM after using an‘inappropriate’ word. Do you often get in trouble for saying things you shouldn’t?
– Ah yes, the red card incident. I look like an absolute fool on the youtube clip as I sit trying to work out what I’ve said wrong. Idiot. I do stuff like this quite often, usually it’s on a recorded TV show so it can be snipped out, but sadly Soccer AM was live. I’m at my worst if you put me in a room with someone who is quiet… I just talk and talk until I’ve dug myself into a massive conversational social hole.
It’s cold up north – does that mean that you eat hot curries to protect you from the cold winter nights?
– Yes, of course. And we all have flat caps and whippets and build ships and work in mines and love gravy…
Do you cook much at home? Do you make any spicy dishes?
– I love to make a really spicy seafood pasta with loads of fresh chillies. I attempted a curry from scratch once and it was an absolute disaster, I ended up getting a take away… I’ll try it again one day, exorcise those demons.
As a panellist on Celebrity Juice, you’ve played the toilet Chinese whispers game. What’s the most unusual Chinese whisper you’ve heard about yourself?
– You get to hear loads of things that people say about you when you start doing this kind of job, but the maddest one I heard was the day my ex-girlfriend came home from work to tell me that her mate said I had been in South Shields (my hometown), ‘flashing the cash’ on a night out and had asked someone if I could buy their jeans (THE ONES THEY WERE WEARING) from them for £10. I was astounded… it was £20 and they were bloody nice jeans. I’m kidding, it was total lies. I have no idea where it came from. It’s insane and let’s be honest £10 for a pair of jeans that a person is currently wearing is not FLASHING THE CASH… if anything it’s a full on insult… and how on earth would he continue his night?! South Shields bars don’t have the strictest dress code but even they would draw the line at clubbing in your kegs.
FULL INTERVIEW IN CHAAT! MAGAZINE issue 13