Rarely Asked Questions – Charlie Baker

Charlie Baker is something of a lovely hybrid, an old school song and dance man plus a classic modern comedian. He is sharp and funny and loves jazz and you may have seen him recently as Harry Hill’s hunchback kitchen assistant in Sky 1’s Tea Time – he also played a wonderfully funny hunchback in Hill's West End X Factor Musical I Can't Sing. But let's not typecast him as fictional figures with bad posture, he also played Tim Reynolds in EastEnders. The tour mixes music and mirth, with Baker cracking gags and singing terrible pop songs accompanied by Sean Hargreaves on the Hammond organ - guilty pleasure favourites such as Cotton Eyed Joe, Return of the Mack and Ignition (remix). A word of warning -  The Frog Chorus will be reimagined and performed like never before. 

Charlie Baker's The Hit Polisher tour starts on March 9 at Komedia in Brighton and currently ends on April 24 at Harrogate Sitting Room. He is also doing a special gig in London on Feb 14. All of his other live dates and tour dates are here.

Picture by Andy Hollingworth.

 

1. What is the last thing you do before you go onstage (apart from check your flies and/or check your knickers aren't sticking out of your skirt and check for spinach between your teeth )?

 

I'm always checking my flies as I have one pair of jeans that the zip just won't stay up so paranoia has set in with ALL jeans. 

But apart from that I take my hint from En Vogue's 1992 hit 'Free your mind' 

"Free your mind and the rest will follow" 

Other hits from 1992 that offer good advice are Right said Fred's 'Don't talk just kiss' That's not much of an act though and Take That's  'A million love songs' but that's obviously too many for a 20 minute set.

And who likes musical comedy any way. 

It's so easy. 

So I go with En Vogue. 

 

2. What irritates you?

 

People who pick their dog poo up but then hang it on a tree 

There is a gap between my beard and my hair 

My own voice when I hear it having the same self doubt conversation that I've had twice a week with my wife for the last 10 years 

Tapas. I like my own dinner. 

 

3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?

Fallen asleep at the wheel driving back from an all day jazz gig in Pakenham. I awoke after hitting a cone that I thought was a person as it had a hi viz vest on it. This was 10 years ago. I've nearly calmed down. 

 

4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?

 

Once as an A level student I was cooking Pizza on a grill and then started singing along in a mirror to the whole of the Public Enemy album 'It takes a nation of millions to hold us back'. The smoke alarm went off to remind me of the pizza. I opened the grill and flames came out. I checked again, still flames. I filled a bowl of water, opened the grill and threw the water on the grease fire in the electric oven. The resulting flames burned the kitchen down. Yeeeeeeah Boyeeeeeee 

 

5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?

Nothing surprises me in show business. 

A lot disappoints me but I try to understand that all bets are off, there are no rules. If you are playing the game you have to accept it isn't always a fair one. 

It can't be a series of good news/ bad news days. It has to be an ongoing conversation.

Oh no.... I was surprised when I Can't Sing, the X factor-based musical I was in, at The London Palladium, closed after 6 weeks,  because it was brilliant. 

 

Interview continues here.

 

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