This article is from our archive. It was published in 2011.

Jon Richardson interview

Published October 2011

Stand Up For The Week. Image shows from L to R: Seann Walsh, Paul Chowdhry, Jon Richardson, Sara Pascoe, Josh Widdicombe. Image credit: Open Mike Productions.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. Image shows from L to R: Sean Lock, Jimmy Carr, Jon Richardson. Image credit: Zeppotron.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.

Stand Up For The Week. Jon Richardson. Image credit: Open Mike Productions.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!

 
Keith Lemon's sketch show

Keith Lemon's sketch show

ITV2 has commissioned a brand new sketch show starring Leigh Francis's alter-ego, Keith Lemon. Read

E4 gets some Chewing Gum

E4 gets some Chewing Gum

E4 has ordered a new comedy series called Chewing Gum, written by and starring Michaela Coel. Read

Roy Chubby Brown is bad!

Roy Chubby Brown is bad!

A police camera has caught comedian Roy Chubby Brown reading a newspaper whilst driving. Read

Backchat moves to BBC Two

Backchat moves to BBC Two

Jack Whitehall and his dad will move to BBC Two for a second series of Backchat. Read

Jonny Sweet's BBC3 series

Jonny Sweet's BBC3 series

BBC Three has ordered a new comedy series called Together. The show is written by & stars Jonny Sweet. Read

BBC Three gets Top Coppers

BBC Three gets Top Coppers

BBC Three has ordered Top Coppers, a 'silly, gag-filled, action comedy' which follows two police detectives. Read

Fried gets a series

Fried gets a series

Fried, a BBC Comedy Feeds sitcom pilot set in a low-rent fast food chain shop, has been given a series. Read

BBC3 orders Josh series

BBC3 orders Josh series

BBC Three has ordered a full series of Josh, the sitcom starring and co-written by Josh Widdicombe. Read

Harry Hill's new show

Harry Hill's new show

Harry Hill will host a reboot of singing show Stars In Their Eyes. ITV wants to do more comedy too. Read

Pre-Gig Notes: Photos

Pre-Gig Notes: Photos

A photo gallery providing an intimate insight into the pre-gig routines and notes of some of comedians. Read

Foster's Award Nominees

Foster's Award Nominees

The shortlists for the prestigious Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2014 is here: Read

WitTank get E4 sitcom pilot

WitTank get E4 sitcom pilot

The sketch group WitTank, stars of Live At The Electric, are now developing a sitcom project for E4. Read

New show for Hugh Dennis

New show for Hugh Dennis

Outnumbered star Hugh Dennis is to appear in You Should See My Family, a new hybrid comedy format. Read

Romesh Ranganathan

Romesh Ranganathan

Stand-up Romesh Ranganathan talk schools, comedy writing advice and more in this interview. Read

Adam Hills new panel show

Adam Hills new panel show

Channel 4 are to pilot a new panel show format hosted by Adam Hills called Welcome To My World. Read

Stuart Goldsmith interview

Stuart Goldsmith interview

An interview with stand-up comedian and podcast host Stuart Goldsmith. What is his own masterplan? Read

SYTYF? finalists

SYTYF? finalists

Profiles of the nine new stand-up comedians taking part in the So You Think You're Funny? final. Read

The Full Monty live show

The Full Monty live show

Gary Lucy, Andrew Dunn and Louis Emerick are amongst the stars for The Full Monty live UK tour. Read

Top 10 Fringe jokes 2014

Top 10 Fringe jokes 2014

Tim Vine has won the award for the funniest joke at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe festival. Top 10 gag

Holly Walsh poster award

Holly Walsh poster award

Holly Walsh's Edinburgh Fringe marketing design has won at the first ever Comedy Poster Awards. View

Tom Craine interview

Tom Craine interview

Stand-up comic Tom Craine talks about the cultural panic that exists around being single nowadays. Read

Video: Hangover cures

Video: Hangover cures

A bunch of comedians offer their suggested cures for that inevitable festival-based hangover. Watch