This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site you consent to our use of cookies unless you have disabled them.

eMag | Directory | TNT Travel Show 2017 | Events Search | TNT Jobs


Are you looking forward to the Balham Comedy Festival next month?

Yeah. I’ll do what I’m doing out on the Season Four tour now, and maybe try out a few little things for Edinburgh. 

What do you talk about in this show?

The only [topic] that springs to mind is my fascination with double-decker buses. I’ll do all that in my usual way. And I have more imaginary people along, too. 

Talking of imaginary people, your act has changed a lot since the early days when you started out …

What happened was I came back to stand-up having washed my hands of it for many years. My wife said, “You have to go back to it.” What I had been doing was being an emulator, I was like [Michael] Barrymore, that Saturday night type. Which is not what I wanted to do at all. 

Now it’s based around vocalising the voices in your head to the audience …

It started with this one part where I talked about going to a bar in New York and them not understanding me. I said: “Can I have a medium white wine?” And they said: “There is only one size.” Then the voice would be me going, “Go on, give them some of that bulldog spirit.”

How did it change from there?

One particular night I started saying how bad my career was and going back to it again and again, slagging it all off. I came off the stage and [stand-up] Ben Norris said, “What are you doing?” Being the professional that I am I said, “I don’t know, I haven’t really done that before.” He said, “You have got to do that, it’s mental, but don’t be so bitter!” 
Are a lot of your shows improvised?I’ll have an idea sometimes and go with it and turn it into a piece. I am like coral, I sway with what is going on – things grow and die. 

Have you changed off stage as well?

I am a very different being myself, not just in the show. I’ve matured and let myself mature – I used to be frightened to let myself do that. Now I don’t fear anything. When you’re younger you’re always in fear, about what you’re wearing, what you look like or what you are saying. [Now] I’m at a point where I don’t care. 

That must be quite liberating?

It is, just as a person when you get over yourself. I’m teaching stand-up at Colchester Academy school [in Essex] and trying to get them [not to be frightened] which is hard when you’re that age. So many comics panic about reviews or someone saying something daft on Twitter. They can be like, “How dare they?!” But I look at that and go, “That’s hilarious!”

You have a routine where you get on your back and perform the show through your talking shoes – how did this potentially risky bit come about?

It was not meant [to be dangerous]. It was me doing what makes me laugh. I was at The Comedy Store in London and I did the shoes. I got a standing ovation and came off stage and saw [Comedy Store owner since it opened in 1979] Don Ward, who went, “The fucking shoes! They’re fucking genius!” I said: “Well, that’s it – they’re staying in now then,” and it’s grown from there. 

Is it tricky not being able to see the audience?

If the audience doesn’t dig it, then I will ram the car into the wall – I will crash that car. My rule is, if I am not making it funny then make it interesting. I will take it where I want to and then see where it goes, so it is a win-win situation. 

Does it ever go wrong?

At the Greenwich Comedy Festival a few years ago I started doing the shoes [routine] and someone started heckling me quite angrily and aggressively – but I dealt with it all through the shoes. One of the shoes was pissed off, with the other going, “Woah-woah, just calm down!” And the other goes, “What did he fucking say?”

How did a meeting with Eddie Izzard affect your career?

I was at The Comedy Store in 2008, in the dressing room after the show and he [Izzard] was there. We talked for about 45 minutes and he said, “No one can do what you do, I can’t do what you do – that is the brilliance of it.” He said I couldn’t just keep doing the comedy clubs. “You need to go out on tour,” he told me. “Get out there on stage and they will come.” So I thought, “If I don’t do it now I won’t do it.” And that was what got me doing it. 

Balham Comedy Festival. July 5-13.
Terry Alderton plays July 6. 9.45pm. £16.  
The Bedford, 77 Bedford Hill, SW12 9HD  
balhamcomedyfestival.com  
Tube | Balham


Talkback


Interview - Terry Alderton: The comedian on Eddie Izzard's career advice and why communicating through shoes is awesome
Digital Mag

Latest News

Stay connected on social networks
Like us on Facebook
Follow TNT on Twitter