Paddy McGuinness Q&A |

Paddy McGuinness Q&A

How did you get started in comedy?

I did a few open spots pre-Phoenix Nights but decided not being able to eat for days before the gig, due to nerves, was not worth the hassle. It was only after the second series and being surrounded by a lot of talented stand-ups that I thought, ‘bollocks to it, let’s have another go’.

What’s the single best experience you’ve had doing it?

You have certain shows on tour where everything just seems to be right. The audience are up for it, the sound’s fantastic, it’s Saturday night and your good self feels indestructible but I’m not sure if I have one defining moment. I suppose it’s always nice to sell out and play Blackpool Opera House.

And the worst?

The exact opposite of the last answer really. Room doesn’t feel right, audience are a bit subdued, it’s a Monday night and you’re full of a cold.

Is there anything you regret doing – or not doing - in your career?

I feel that I’m still at the beginning of my career but I’m more than happy with the way things have gone so far. I’ve been asked to write the odd thing for some very well known faces but didn’t feel it was the right thing to do at the time.

And of what are you most proud?

It was probably a one off I did for comedy lab, The Unknown Stuntman. I worked my balls off writing and filming it, along with a very talented Director (Ed Tracy) who now has had great success with Fonejacker. We had very little budget and along with a tight belt (I’d put on a couple of stone to play the main character) and an even tighter schedule we managed to pull it off, the show that is (sorry couldn’t resist).

Why should we buy this DVD?

If you’re a fan you’ll love it. It’s a lot stronger than the last tour and it’s got a lot more special features on there this time. If you’re not a fan, the box is a lovely colour.

What are your plans for the next 12 months?

It makes me cringe when people talk about pipelines and the stuff they’ve got in there, so I’ll try and avoid that. But yeah I’ve got a shit load in the pipeline.

And your long-term ambitions?

When I first started earning a wage at 16 the only thing I wanted was a nice house, a car and a few quid in the bank. Job done, bang!

What advice would you give to any comedian starting today?

Try out some of your material on friends and family in a subtle ‘I’m not trying to tell you a joke’ type way. If you get laughs then jump to the next level, an open spot at a comedy club. If you find yourself on the top of a multi-storey, the audience’s jeers ringing in your ears and someone from social services trying to coax you off the ledge then it’s not the career for you. If on the other hand you got a few titters then get yourself a nice thick skin and crack on.

Who – or what – makes you laugh?


Published: 20 Nov 2008

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Tim Key headlines this night of comedy, music and poetry, fundraising in aid of the National Autistic Society tonight (Thursday) at 8.15pm, after the clap for carers.

Other comics taking part include  Harriet Dyer, Jack Carroll, Jay Foreman, Milo McCabe, Paul 'Silky' White, Edy Hurst, Tony Wright, and Will Andrews.

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