Jon Richardson interview
Jon Richardson is now the main host on topical Channel 4 show Stand Up For The Week, which returns this Friday. Time for a chat we think...
Hi Jon. Are you looking forward to taking charge of Stand Up For The Week?
Yeah, I'm really looking forward to it. I can't wait. I've told everyone it's a promotion. As the host, I can now talk about what I like and am interested in. On the last series I was covering sport - I love sport, but when Bin Laden gets shot and you're scraping around for an angle on something a footballer has said... Now I can open the papers and pick whichever story annoys me the most.
So, in a weird way, you're probably hoping for some dodgy things to happen over the next few weeks so the newspapers are full of juicy stories?
Yeah, absolutely. You always want something big to happen just because, arrogantly, as a comic you want to be the guy that does the routine that goes around on the internet and everyone's talking about.
We think you're great on 8 Out Of 10 Cats (pictured below). Now you've got two concurrent topical shows a week do you worry about coming up with enough jokes?
Well, they're slightly different. Stand Up For The Week is about taking one thing and picking it apart on my own, whereas on 8 Out Of 10 Cats you're discussing five stories with Louie Spence, so you know - with all respect to Louie Spence - it's a different level of investigation into a topic.
8 Out Of 10 Cats is more about saying something that you hope will get a reaction from Jimmy Carr and Sean Lock and then, between the three of us, feeding off that. That's what I like about panel shows - you can get comedians working on things together. So I don't think it's going to be too much of a clash.
You're signed to management company Off The Kerb [who also look after the likes of Michael McIntyre, Jack Dee and Lee Evans]. Did they help get you these gigs, or do you think you'd have been offered them anyway...
They've been absolutely essential I'd say. Off The Kerb never push me to do anything I don't want to do. They're a great company because they don't need me to do certain shows to make a certain amount of money for them, so I can work at my own pace.
More than anything they tell people you're good. My instinct is always to talk myself down, so if I have to phone up for a gig myself I'm more likely to say that actually I'm shit, and you should probably get someone else. But your agent's job is to lie on your behalf and tell everyone you're the funniest comedian they've ever seen.
How long did you think about taking on the 8 Out Of 10 Cats job? It's obviously a great opportunity, but being on a weekly topical show obviously does add pressure and commitments...
Yeah. I must admit I didn't think about it for too long because it came so out of the blue for me. I would never have put my name in that pot - I assumed someone else would have got it, so when the call came in I was so flabbergasted that, not only was I on the list of possibles, but they were offering it to me... so I said yes pretty quickly. My concerns are just about... well, when you pop up every now and again you perhaps don't get recognised that much, but when you're a part of the firmament of a show, that's when you start getting looked at... so that's only thing I get worried about, rather than say the writing process or the stress.
You mention stress. Do you find it stressful then?
I do a little bit. Being on a panel show I think you need to surrender to the moment, and not be afraid to react... and there's a part of my brain that can't forget. Like this interview will go online and will be there in some form forever. I'm not going to imply that people will still be checking it out in 30 years time, but I might. Part of my brain is aware that if I'm 60 years old and Google myself I'll be able to find some pretentious answer that I gave. So I'm still going to hate myself in 30 years.
With the panel shows - if I say something that is quite mean or doesn't come across right, that's going to go on telly and someone can clip it and put it online... You're only ever one stupid decision away from saying something horrendous. So, yeah, I find that side of it quite stressful.
Do you have any control over the editing of the show? Say, for example, to ask for one of your gags not to be broadcast?
Their editing is great and, you know, it's in their interests to make everyone look good. They don't want to put out a show that's full of people appearing to be horrible to each other... but, if I said something that I didn't mean, absolutely - I could ask them not to include it.
I remember when we had Jedward on - I said beforehand I wasn't going to say anything cruel to them because, you know, I don't think that's my job... and then they annoyed me, so I did. I had that debate after the show... did I mean what I said and did I want that bit to go out.
Changing the topic of conversation... your fun book It's Not Me, It's You is about your search for a girlfriend. If it's not rude to ask, how's that search going?
It's going ok thanks. I've been seeing someone for a few months now actually... which in terms of my private life and happiness is absolutely great... but in terms of my career is probably career suicide. I've got a new tour next year so I'll see whether that is my swansong. Ha ha.
Talking of the tour, are you looking forward to that?
I can't wait. I want to get back on the road and do a new show. After Stand Up For The Week I've got a few months where I'm doing nothing but club gigs to build up the next tour, and then I'll tour that from March... can't wait!
Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series. Read
The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read
Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a sports-based comedy panel show for ITV. Read
Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read
A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read
Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Back To The Future film. Read
Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the Election with a new hour-long Wipe special. Read
Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read
Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Joe Wilkinson. Read
Frankie Boyle will follow his 2014 Scottish independence referendum special with a new iPlayer election show. Read
Martin Clunes and the rest of the Doc Martin cast are now in Cornwall to film Series 7 of the hit ITV show. Read
Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read
ITV2 has ordered more Plebs, the Ancient Rome sitcom starring Tom Rosenthal, Joel Fry and Ryan Sampson. Read
Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read
BBC Two has ordered Jack Dee's Help Desk, a series starring Jack Dee and a panel of comedians. Read
Michael McIntyre is working on two new series for BBC One, however his chat show format won't return to TV. Read
Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View
Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read
Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have won two gongs at the Royal Television Society Awards. Read
Jeremy Clarkson is still currently booked to act as a presenter on the next series of Have I Got News For You. Read
Rik Mayall has been named as the recipient of the Leicester Comedy Festival 'Legend Of Comedy' award. Read