He started out writing for The Fast Show and The Mrs Merton Show before striking out on his own, and has emerged as a wry storyteller with an acerbic wit and a shrewd political observationist. He also has a soft spot for festivals, as Clare Vooght discovers.
Is it hard performing comedy at festivals where people are there for the music?
This is one of the things where Latitude is different – lots of people go there and don’t watch any bands, they watch theatre and the diverse, weird mix of things going on. With the literary tent, where I am, you see people 20 minutes before it starts, making out their patch at the front. Last time I was on the same time as Blondie. I felt like saying: “Go and watch Blondie! You might not get another chance!”
What’s the best part of playing a festie?
Seeing things I wouldn’t have paid for. I saw Robbie Williams at T In The Park once – not my style, and you couldn’t say he didn’t do a decent job.
What’s your best festival memory?
I was with the woman who’s now my wife. We were at Latitude and walked past one of the lakes where there was a big wedding. We were going to join in but then walked past. My favourite memory is deciding not join in on that day as it would spoil it if I ever did it for real.
What’s the most absurd thing you’ve seen at a festival?
What’s odd is how quickly you accept the absurd. It takes about four hours to become immune to it all.
Who are your comedic idols?
If you ask me tomorrow, it’ll be a different list, but today: John Hegley was inspirational, I grew up adoring Morecambe and Wise, I love Bill Bailey, Tim Minchin – the list never ends.
Any tips for up-and-coming comedians?
Australian Celia Pacquola is just fantastic.
Your new book Dave Gorman Vs The Rest Of The World is out – is writing for the page different to writing for the stage?
Writing is something you get better at but I never find it easy – it all happens at 3am, when I can’t be distracted. You read about authors who say they get up and write 1000 words before breakfast, but I can’t do that.
What do you do in the downtime on tour?
You don’t have a lot of free time – I usually have two hours to kill, which is not enough to be a tourist. I’ll often put something on Twitter saying, “Anyone fancy a game of darts?” and then meet strangers and play darts in a pub.
Any other projects on the backburner?
With the book and tour I’m busy but not creating. I’ve never thought “my next book will be about this”. They come as things happen. When I get ‘unbusy’ I’ll start living again.
» Dave Gorman will be reading excerpts from Dave Gorman Vs The Rest Of The World at Latitude Festival, Southwold, Suffolk. July 12-15.
He’s currently on tour with Dave Gorman’s Powerpoint Presentation and will play London’s Southbank centre on June 16.