Talk us through tonight’s performance
I thought my performance was awful and I looked a bit fat in the grey suit. I don’t think it could have been any more humiliating if I had walked on in nothing but a pair of wellingtons. And I’d like to apologise to all the people who supported me. I’ve heard there were even rioters who have seen the programme and are now queuing up to take their television back..
Where do you think it went wrong?
I was out of my comfort zone completely to be honest. I thought that by going on first I’d have to pick up a room that was low on energy, but instead it was a very lively room and what a comedian tries to do is have a funny joke at the top and established some credibility with the audience, but it didn’t happen and I never settled. What’s difficult is that you write this five minutes that you’re being judged on and you try and get through that five minutes and I think I did that at the expense of not playing the room. I should have just ripped my script up and just played the room.
It must have been disappointing after last week’s performance went so well.
Well I think it’s very interesting. Last week I was so relaxed, I didn’t want to leave the stage. I had a wonderful time. But this week shows what happens when you take people out of their comfort zone. This business about comedians being able to play any room I think is nonsense. If you look at the army gig, when Rudi came on to close that gig we all thought that room was unplayable, but Rudi received a standing ovation. No one else could have done that, only Rudi. Then with the school gig, that room was void of any energy, those kids hadn’t got a laugh left in them. Yet Pat absolutely took the roof off. It’s no coincidence that last week when they said that we were going to perform to a room full of thirty, forty year old professional people, that I thought that was going to be my week, because I’ve done a lot of corporate speeches in the past. It’s no coincidence that comedians do well in certain audiences. Some comedians specialise in doing gigs at drunken stag and hen dos and they are very good at it. And other comedians play at art centres and theatres. It’s not snobbery and one is not better than the other, but they are completely different disciplines, requiring a completely different skill set. And for me this programme really highlights that.
The judges were unanimous in their decision to evict you from the show; do you think their comments were fair?
You know they’re getting paid to judge and I think they were fair. I think Kate has a very impressive knowledge of anatomy [laughs] and seemed very interested in my testicular region. She was quite right; I didn’t see my testicle s for at least two days. I thought they’d never return. [Laughs]. But when you walk into a room that you’ve never seen before, bright lights in your face, six cameras follow your every move and there’s two million people on the other end of the camera, three judges scribbling every time you talk and a room of people just staring at you, some of whom just want you to fail, it’s difficult to stay calm. Especially when you’re trying to recite five minutes of material that you’ve written the day before and you’re not really quite sure how funny it is. If people don’t think that’s a terrifying experience then try it. I think that I was hoping because I’d had a good week before that I’d have a yellow card this week. Everyone else had done before when they’d had a bad gig. But after seeing the programme I think a straight red was appropriate and I was lucky to avoid a five match ban.
What did you learn from the experience?
Avoid rooms like that for the rest of my life. Just like Rudi will avoid playing to twelve year olds. What you do is take a massive chance. Thousands of people applied to be on this show, and to get on the show was a massive achievement, but you still take a massive chance and you’re hoping you’ll find your audience. People will have watched me go through this and some of them will never want to see me again. Others do want to see me again and they are the ones I’m interested in. I hope I’ve found some audience.
So what have you got planned for the future?
I’m as keen as ever when it comes to comedy. I’m very resilient. As well as being a comedian I’d like to do some TV work, I’ve got a few ideas about writing for TV. I think it’s been years since we saw a really good quality police-based comedy on television and I think I’d be in good position to write something like that. Ironically I wrote a show in December called ‘I predict a riot’, with the intention on taking it to the Edinburgh festival. But I used my leave up from the police to do this show, and so I’ve been sat at home with this show watching the riots. But next year I’d like to take it Edinburgh. I’d like to also be on QI on the opposing team to Alan Davies.
Who do you think deserves to win?
I think Stuart’s a fantastic performer, Dan is quirky, Tiff is very consistent, Ellie is very talented and Pat has got so much charisma that you can’t take your eyes off him. I can’t answer who deserves to win without giving away who is in the final.