Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Nick Revell

Nick Revell is  a comic legend. He began selling jokes to radio and TV in the late 1970s and did his first stand-up gigs at the Comedy Store in 1980. Since then he has written and performed for stage, radio and TV. He’s written material for many other comedians, including Roy Hudd, Jasper Carrot, Dave Allen, Paul Merton and Miles Jupp and recently had a new series of his own for Radio 4, BrokenDreamCatcher. Catch him live here.

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 always have a raging desire for Indian food after I’ve gigged. So last thing I do before I go on, is pop something in the portable tandoori oven I carry with me, to warm it through. It’s set up as close to the stage as possible, so that I can be scoffing immediately I come off. The actual dish will of course depend on the length of the set. Twenty minuters - a few pakoras and bhajis. For solo shows, I prefer a biryani. I find I can now time my sets to the second from the rising intensity of the food’s aroma. It’s a very heavy, ungainly object, and makes doubling and tripling* more onerous, especially when you’re using public transport. But well worth the effort, I feel. 
2. What irritates you?
Other performers and stage-crew complaining about my tandoori oven being in the way backstage. Apart from that, I’m pretty laid back…Serene people who are peace with themselves and the world are pretty annoying. You feel they just can’t be paying proper attention. That’s it really….oh; and people who think neo-liberal economics make any sense at all. And cyclists who think they transcend any moral responsibility the moment they have a bike saddle up their crack. Public schools. No-platforming. West Ham’s conduct in transfer windows. Rail-replacement buses. Passwords. Customer survey emails. Everything to do with the Virgin Empire. Especially the emails; the tone is so unduly familiar, I feel like I’m being groomed. Under-roasted espresso beans. I’ve really got to rein this answer in now, Bruce, or it could get out of hand.  
3. What is the most dangerous thing you have ever done?
Probably saving someone from drowning off a beach in India when he got knocked around by breakers. We got washed out to sea by a riptide and both nearly went. He was a fucking idiot, which is why he was in trouble in the first place. What did I do? Look at the odds of survival and leave him to sort out his own mess? No. I automatically jump in to help him, because he was a fellow human being in trouble. Which sounds heroic but is actually incredibly stupid. The only positive was, that when I realised it was highly possible I was going to die, I felt quite calm. Anyway, in the end, he was OK, I was OK. 
Or - heroin. 
4. What is the most stupid thing you have ever done?
So hard to find one thing. Everything in answer 3…Giving up stand-up for ten years… starting stand-up in the first place…
5. What has surprised you the most during your career in comedy?
Acquiring such a thorough knowledge of the motorway services of the United Kingdom.
*Doing more than one gig in a night
Interview continues here.


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