Comedian John Bishop talks to us ahead of his Rollercoaster tour
The Liverpudlian has spent his year taking on charity challenges and hobnobbing with the stars
‘Two days ago I was sat with Edward Norton, Will Ferrell, Graeme Le Saux and Patrick Kielty,’ John Bishop marvels. ‘Then Edwin van der Sar joined us, then Gerard Butler. We’re having a chat and Kenny Dalglish comes over and says, "Do you want a drink?” Now that’s a dream innit? The next scene has to be me naked in Tesco because it can’t be real.’
Playing football at Old Trafford for Soccer Aid. A ‘week of hell’, in which he cycled, rowed and ran from the Eiffel Tower to Trafalgar Square for Sport Relief. Just two recent episodes prompting the Scouse comic to reflect on a life flipped upside down over the last three years. Eschewing his sons’ suggestion of My Dad’s Not That Funny, he called his new tour Rollercoaster. A 45-year-old millionaire, sat in an exclusive hotel in Glasgow’s West End, Bishop reasserts his everyman credentials with his ongoing bafflement by fame. His primetime BBC One vehicle John Bishop’s Britain and forthcoming Sky One series, John Bishop’s Only Joking, feature members of the public cracking gags alongside him.
Unwilling to interpret his charitable endeavours as simply a mid-life crisis – ‘everyday I’m trying to prove I’m not dying. But crisis implies you’re not happy with where you’re at’ – he’s not fazed by the prospect of his kids leaving home soon. ‘If your comedy is like mine, based purely on “guess what happened last week”, you’ve got to figure something else will turn up in their place.’
Initially reluctant to return to arena touring, he dismisses the notion that audiences are too ready to laugh at famous faces. ‘Ten minutes grace is all you’ve got. You can’t disappoint because the expectations are so high. Stand-up is such a great leveller because no matter how big you get or are supposed to be, you still have to be funny.’
SECC, Glasgow, Mon 8--Wed 10 Oct.