Ross Noble talks about his new stand-up tour
Ross Noble has been speaking to ITV ahead of his new stand-up tour, Tangentleman. Below are some of the highlights.
“I started doing stand-up when I was 15, and I’m 37 now. And I’ve pretty much been gigging relentlessly that whole time. It was 1999 when I stopped doing the comedy clubs and started touring on my own. But when you tour the UK and Ireland, and then go off and do the rest of the world, and then go off to Australia for six months, is that all one tour or not? I’ve released my 9th DVD, and most of those have got a couple of different shows on them. I suppose I’m a bit like Bob Dylan, I’m just on one never-ending tour.”
On his favourite comedy venue – and why he doesn’t play arenas anymore:
“Playing Newcastle City Hall is special, because that’s my home crowd. That’s the place where, when I was a kid, I looked at and went ‘Anyone who plays there has made it.’ I always get a buzz off that. The older theatres that were designed by Frank Matcham are perfect for comedy. It’s fun to do a thousand-seater theatre where it’s quite intimate, but when I’ve played arenas, you’ve got the big screens. So, weirdly, you can do stuff that’s even more intimate because even the people at the back can see you close up. But then you’ve got that odd disconnect of the fact that people are essentially watching it on telly. On the other hand, once you start to get 10,000 plus people laughing, there’s a noise and an experience that becomes really exciting. On this tour, they’re all theatres, and I think that’s the best, because no-one’s having to watch you on a screen.”
On his unique comedy style:
“I think what I try and do is do the show that I would want to see if I went to see somebody live. I like to keep it interesting for the audience, and I like to keep it interesting for myself. I’m naturally quite playful in the way I approach life, and that’s what I try to bring to the live shows.”
On fans leaving gifts for him during intervals:
“I have no idea where it started, but people just started giving little gifts on the stage. Then it just became a thing where people tried to outdo each other. There are some nights where there’s so much I have to get a broom and just push it all off to the side. When people make stuff themselves, that’s amazing, the best one I ever had was somebody made me a proper suit made out of bubble wrap. It was great. And people leave vegetables that they’ve carved into the shape of my face, stuff like that. But I have to be careful, otherwise I’ll suddenly discover that I’ve done an hour of just talking about the stuff people have left onstage..”
“I’ve always been a stand-up through-and-through. Some comics just want to act. I’ve always thought ‘If I ever do that, it’s got to be fun.’ Two years ago, Peter Richardson asked me if I wanted to be in the new Comic Strip. So of course I did that, and it was so much fun that I wanted to do a bit more. So I then did a horror film, Stitches, playing a murderous undead clown out for revenge. So I got a taste for them, but didn’t write either of them. Then a friend of mine who makes an Australian show called It’s a Date, a drama about people going on dates, suggested I co-wrote and starred in an episode. It can be anything you want. Now, I could have chosen anyone to star with, instead I said ‘I know exactly what I want to do. I want to play a gay fella who’s on Grindr, looking for a guy, and he thinks he’s going to meet somebody who looks like Antonio Banderas.’ And my mate said ‘Right. And who would you be on the date with?’ And I said ‘Ian Smith. Harold from Neighbours.’ So I wrote the script and that was it. Even as it was happening, I couldn’t get my head around the fact that Harold was my love interest. Maybe one day it’ll get shown over here.”
Ross Noble: Tangentleman is currently touring the UK with dates in Leeds, Hull, Harrogate, York, Middlesbrough, Newcastle and more. Click for tour dates.