Interview: comedian Keiron Nicholson of BBC Radio Scotland series Backpackers Anonymous
'All of the stories involve me being an idiot in some way'
Travelling tales can be a great resource for any comic but Keiron Nicholson's routines from the six months he spent roaming South East Asia earned him a BBC Radio Scotland series. Backpackers Anonymous was so-called 'because all of the stories involve me being an idiot in some way, they're confessional like Alcoholics Anonymous,' he says. These dispatches recently finished airing and the 28-year-old Glaswegian reflects that 'such a wealth of experience packed into such a short time, meeting new people, some of whom are very nice, some of whom are very strange, it's just so much to draw upon'.
Unfortunately, the show's afternoon slot meant there was no opportunity to include the 'Museum of Dead Babies' he stumbled across in Bangkok. 'Like the back room of a university, lots of them preserved in some kind of fluid,' he recalls. 'Some had little gifts on them, like a packet of Quavers, one of the most bizarre sights I've ever seen. That was a bit dark for radio.’
Beginning comedy in Brighton three years ago, and having performed in Hong Kong and Australia, Nicholson now plays The Stand clubs and is a regular fixture at Vespbar's new material night in Glasgow. Ghosts of the Happy and High-Spirited, his recent Fringe show with Nicholas Cooke, took a macabre turn when their venue flooded mid-run. 'The water waited until the exact moment when it became clear it was going to be a nice, good-sized audience to start pouring through the ceiling,' he laments. 'But because it was about ghost stories, at least one person thought the dripping was an atmospheric touch. Instead, I had to play fire warden.'
The Stand, Glasgow, Sun 22 Sep, Tue 1 Oct; Vespbar, Glasgow, Wed.