Q&A: Potty-mouthed comedian Stephen Bailey talks ‘celebrity’, touring with Katherine Ryan and Jenny Éclair, and his new tour ‘Can’t Think Straight’ ahead of Cambridge Junction and Peterborough Key Theatre shows

Meet potty-mouthed comedian Stephen Bailey, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny clair on their re

Meet potty-mouthed comedian Stephen Bailey, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny clair on their recent sell-out UK tours. He is coming to the Cambridge Junction on January 27. - Credit: Archant

Meet potty-mouthed comedian Stephen Bailey, who supported Katherine Ryan and Jenny Éclair on their recent sell-out UK tours. He is coming to the Cambridge Junction on January 27.

He is a regular on ITV’s Weekend with Aled Jones and Channel 5’s Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Side and has appeared on ITV2’s Safeword and CelebAbility, ITVBe’s Kate’s Wardrobe Secrets, W’s Celebrity Advice Bureau & Channel 5’s It’s Not Me, It’s You.

He also guest-hosted Sunday Takeover on Virgin Radio, featured on The Art’s Show with Jonathan Ross on BBC Radio 2 and was named one of Attitude Magazine’s Top 100 Bachelors of the Year.

As well as being a working-class, ginger, gay, northern comic, he is also a black belt in Tae Kwon-Do, has a degree in Languages AND loves a conspiracy theory (preferably involving a celebrity and a cucumber)...

Where are you and what are you doing at the moment?

I am sat on the train to Manchester, answering these questions, in between reading Fearne Cotton’s book and watching a couple snog a lot opposite me. It’s 10am and it looks like “Gorillas In The Mist”... I’m only bitter.

How did you get into comedy?

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I decided that I wanted to be very famous as I wanted to have a house with a pool one day. Our family is used to living above a Londis. I thought I’m not a sexy Rick Edwards type so I was never going to get a presenter job - so I was like I know who are super successful and don’t look like Cheryl Tweedy - comedians. Then a Z-lister was born.

Who are your heroes?

Jean off checkout 21 at Sainsbury’s Denton. People who are unapologetically themselves and can’t keep a secret are my people. Oh - and Jesus. (People who win Oscars always say Jesus - and I want an Oscar)

Why should people come and see your stand-up show?

I think people should come and see my show because the world seems to be in such a miserable place at the moment. Even Ann Widdecombe on Celeb Big Brother is saying it’s not cheery and she thrives on having a sour face. So I like to think that for 90 minutes we are all going to just get together and we are going to simply laugh! Really laugh. Be very inappropriate and not take ourselves too seriously.

What have been your career highlights so far?

I mean I wish I was a Loose Woman but apparently I can’t be. Supporting Katherine Ryan on tour has been brilliant. I don’t think we have many legit stand up stars in Britain. We don’t have a Schumer or a Chris Rock - where you are just in awe and they take your breathe away but Katherine is that to me. So I feel like I’ve got to learn from the best.

What can people expect from the tour?

Honesty. I think we are all scared at the moment as we are in such a sensitive place in the world. I mean, it does constantly feel like it’s going to end - but for me I just want to laugh. I am going to be aiming for belly laughs. If you like the rude stuff, we will go ruder, if you don’t like rude stuff...then grow up, this is comedy not church.

Have you been to Cambridgeshire before? If so, what did you think of it?

I have never been. Funnily enough Cambridge Uni never accepted me. Apparently three D’s at AS level is not acceptable. In my head, I’ll find a lovely tea shop where I’ll meet my prince who will be wearing tweed... am I right?

What was it like going on tours with Katherine Ryan, and Jenny Éclair?

I love me some ladies. Working with these two was a dream. You get to see masters at work and then you’re like ‘I totes understand why you are selling out rooms’. I say learn from the best and I’ve been lucky enough to be able to do just that

Five pet hates?

The train manager on the tannoy on the train - I don’t need a five min set at each station


Children with scooters

My parents offering me about 40 cups of tea in an hour everytime I visit


What do you think of celebrity culture at the moment?

Here’s the thing - I am a fan of celebrity. The TV shows I have done have helped me meet some of the best Z-listers out there and they are always very nice. And I love a reality show - it was my dream to be Lauren Conrad from The Hills... and I think that is my point, we are teaching people to just grow up and want to be famous, don’t worry about talent.

I grew up with nothing (I mean like council estate nothing - I had water and fish fingers) so I’ve always had a great work ethic. But now everyone just seems to do an Insta story and get abs and become famous and that’s not cool... even though that seems to be how it happens, I think personally people should want to have more about them than a lovely tan.

Stephen Bailey performs ‘Can’t Think Straight’ at The Junction, Cambridge, on Saturday January 27 and The Key Theatre, Peterborough on Saturday March 10. For tickets see www.stephenbailey.co.uk