Thick of It and Mock the Week star speaks

Chris Addison will perform at the Embassy Theatre next week.
Chris Addison will perform at the Embassy Theatre next week.

HIS razor sharp wit and fresh faced charm has made him a regular guest on panel shows and landed him the starring role in an award-winning political satire.

However when Chris Addison brings his latest critically acclaimed stand-up show to the Embassy Theatre on Friday, December 9, audiences will have the chance to see him returning to the format that first began his career in comedy many years ago.

Speaking during an exclusive interview with the Standard he explained his lasting love for live comedy has kept him coming back year after year, ever since his first show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 1995.

“The pleasure of stand up is that you are the final arbiter of everything that happens - you are the last word.

“That means there’s such a direct connection with the audience and when you have a good relationship with the crowd that is a glorious thing.

“With radio and TV the show has to go through a filau pastry series of layers so we really are not the final arbiter, but with stand up you are in complete control.”

His latest show ‘The Time Is Now, Again’ is the ninth stand up he has written and his favourite so far.

He is reluctant to summarise what the show is about, saying ‘it’s just a stand up show, it’s not about anything, just a man being silly on stage.’

When pressed, however, he has described it as ‘laughs, lies, stories, a bit of sweating and lots of noise.’

Having starred in the BAFTA award winning ‘The Thick Of IT’, made regular appearances on BBC’s ‘Mock The Week’ and hosted ‘Show and Tell on E4, he is now a fully fledged television celebrity, known and loved for his charming wit and polite, middle class manners.

However when he first started out on the comedy circuit in the mid 90s alongside working class heroes such as Johnny Vegas and Peter Kay, he took on an altogether different persona in an attempt to fit with the comedy tastes of the day.

“People pretend to be something they are not when they go on stage. In the 90s there were a lot of ‘mockney’ comedians when you knew their parents were really doctors or solicitors.

“When I first went on stage, I played up the northern aspects of my background and used to go on stage with a cigarette.

“It’s only when I admitted my middle-classness that I was able to feel comfortable on stage.

“The only way is to embrace who you are and where you come from and build on that and I did that relatively early on.”

Although he has no qualms about being referred to as a middle class comedian he thinks it is ‘insane’ to assume audiences of a certain social background can only appreciate a particular type of comedy.

“That’s like saying a middle class person couldn’t appreciate the Royal Family or only an Elizabethan could appreciate Blackadder - it’s mental.”

l Chris Addison is performing at the Embassy Theatre on Friday, December 9, tickets are available from the Box Office on 0845 674 0505.