Interview: Rarely Asked Questions – Mark Watson

Mark Watson

Mark Watson is best known for his marathon comedy shows. His last one, for Comic Relief this year, lasted 27 hours and featured a fake goat, a man making models of Morph non-stop, another man writing ‘I am an idiot’ over and over again and much, much more. But Watson also does proper solo shows and very funny they are too. He is filming his latest show, Flaws, at the Bloomsbury Theatre on June 10 for DVD release. But in typical Watson fashion things cannot possibly be that simple. He is also performing his 2012 show, The Information, on the same night and filming that for DVD too. Buy tickets here, but please also read this very interesting interview with Watson. Rest assured it will not take you 27 hours. 



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


I normally take a slug of red wine and mutter some sort of light-hearted remark to my right-hand man, Giles. Also, I've recently got into the habit of using my iPhone to record onstage introductions, in gigs where there's a compere or MC. I'm building up a montage of people saying '...Mark Watson!!' which will one day make a fun opening to a show. Hopefully.


2. What irritates you?


A great many things irritate me. They range from the trivial - people saying 'the problem being, is' - to the more debilitating, such as humans' seeming inability to empathise with one another. In the middle there are things like misogyny in rap, the conservatism of TV commissioners, the fact I'm often mistaken for David Baddiel, the way cheese is routinely added to pasta dishes in restaurants even though I don't like it, and any audible ringtones. 


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


I went hang-gliding over Rio for a TV show last year. Technically it wasn't dangerous at all - the odds against a disaster were extremely long, in fact the bloke who jumped with me held the world record for the most completed hang-gliding 'missions'. Even so, the experience of jumping off a mountain and succumbing to gravity, with just a fairly rudimentary-looking tarpaulin between you and the nothingness, is enough to get the heart beating fairly fast. It's still a tame form of danger though, I accept. I've never rescued a cat from a burning building. To be fair, I've never SEEN a cat in a burning building and you can only work with what you've got.


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


Drinking too much, 2005- present day. 


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


I suppose the public's continued appetite for it, in hard financial times. Stand-up has become more popular by a factor of at least ten in the time I've been doing it (not because of me, I should add). I'm constantly surprised and grateful that someone like me can make a living out of it.   


6. What do your parents/children (delete as applicable) think of your job?


My parents were initially quizzical but supportive; now they're mostly very happy that I'm doing something I enjoy and which offers occasional dinner-party bragging opportunities. My five-year-old is aware that I'm occasionally on TV, but he's never sure what I'm doing there - in that respect we agree. The one-year-old has yet to show her hand on the subject. 

Read more of Mark's answers here.


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