Andrew Dipper

Jason Cook on his new stand-up show, life after Hebburn

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"During Hebburn I slept for three hours a day for three years. It takes its toll on you."

Hebburn creator Jason Cook has been speaking to The Journal newspaper about his new stand-up tour and the BBC’s decision to cancel Hebburn. Below are some of the highlights.

On his new show, Broken:

“It’s just about how I’ve had too much on and eventually it broke me. During Hebburn I slept for three hours a day for three years. It takes its toll on you. I had to see a therapist. I’m on my seventh one now.”

On turning personal tragedy into comedy:

“You look for the joke in everything and it becomes automatic after a while. I’ve been doing this for 13 years. You look for the joke and often it’s not appropriate, others will tell me. For me it’s when sad things happen. You find the humour in something that’s really sad because it’s more interesting.

“When bad things happen in the family it’s always a joke that helps to bring things back down to earth. When my dad had a stroke in 2006 he was given three copies of The Strokes album from members of the family. He loved it. He’d had a heart attack some years before, on February 12, so he got all this Valentine’s Day stuff, t-shirts with hearts on them.”

On the Edinburgh Fringe:

“Doing Edinburgh after a couple of years away – being able to wake up and know I was doing stand up every day – was like Christmas morning every morning. It was my 10th year at Edinburgh, so I’ve got my favourite chip shop and know to get a flat close to the venue so I can walk to work. I’m very comfortable up there.”

On moving back to Tyneside:

“I’d forgotten how friendly everyone was, and I’d forgotten how frequently you can find a Greggs. Manchester was not good for Greggs’.”

On the BBC’s decision not to commission a third series of Hebburn:

“It was a decision made way above my pay grade. We had set out a third series and there was more material. It’s based on my family so I only have to give them a poke to say stuff that I can write down.”

On Hebburn USA:

“It’s set in Pennsylvania and I’ve read the scripts. It’s pretty good. They’ve taken elements of what we’ve done but they’ve got to put American references in.”

Jason Cook: Broken is currently touring the UK, with dates in Harrogate, Newcastle, Southport, Saddleworth, Stockton, Manchester and Chorley amongst others. For details, see