Saturday, 22 September 2018

Henley meeting led pair to tour

Henley meeting led pair to tour

TWO top TV comedians who first performed together at the Henley Festival are playing the 1,800-seater New Theatre Oxford later this month — after joining forces for a UK tour.

Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan told the BBC’s One Show they had been “thrown together” at the 2014 festival and ended up getting on “like a house on fire”.

Carrott, 71, said: “[Henley] asked if I would do an hour and I wasn’t quite ready to do an hour at that stage because I hadn’t worked for ages but I could do half an hour and he [Alistair] could do half an hour, so that’s what we did.

“I’ve got a bit of form with working with impressionists because I did nearly 300 shows with Phil Cool [in the early Nineties]. So we know that it actually works.

“It’s two different styles of humour because an impression is not that personal — you don’t get the person on stage because they work behind the characters for the majority of the time.

“But I work very personally — talking about stories, my views, whatever. And that’s why it works, because it’s comedy — two hours of comedy — but it’s very different.

“Alistair goes on first for half an hour and then I’m backstage, sweating, thinking ‘Please don’t run them out, don’t run ’em out...’ He’s had a few coconuts into the back of his head before now! And then I go on [for half an hour] and then second half it’s the same.”

McGowan, 52, said there might be another reason for the success of his and Carrott’s pairing.

“We’ve got similar taste levels, I think, so people in the audience know they’re not going to suddenly have a really jarring morality or language thing. We both use the same language, the same ideas, so it’s a nice balance.”

l Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan play the New Theatre Oxford on Monday, March 20, at 7.30pm. Tickets are £28.75 plus a £2.85 transaction fee. For more details and to book, visit

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