Star of Mock the Week, Andy Parsons, discusses touring and politics ahead of King’s Lynn Corn Exchange gig

Andy Parsons

Andy Parsons - Credit: Archant

Over the last decade, comedian Andy Parsons has built up a huge following as one of the regulars on BBC2’s award-winning Mock the Week. This month he’ll bring his new stand-up tour, ‘Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious’, to the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange.

“I love the buzz of live comedy,” enthuses the comic, who will be recording a new DVD during this tour for release later this year. “You don’t have a TV producer or editor. Any given night will never be repeated. The audience will get something unrepeatable. What happens in that theatre stays in that theatre; like a couple of years ago when a bloke wanted to propose to his girlfriend on stage. Now that moment is an extra on one of my DVDs.

“That’s an extreme example, but there are always times like that when ceilings collapse or the technology fails or there’s a fire alarm in the middle of the show. People like the sense that on that night they are seeing something which will never happen again.”

He adds that “physically getting to places on the tour can be difficult. You can have enough of scotch eggs and buffet bars and motorway service stations.

But when you finally get there, it’s great. It’s fantastic that people have come out specifically to see you. You feed off their energy, and they feed off yours. There’s a symbiosis there. When you leave the stage after two hours, it’s great to have that real crowd feeling, as opposed to the disparate groups that you had at the start of the evening.”

Andy proceeds to reveal what subjects he will be covering in ‘Live and Unleashed – But Naturally Cautious’. “The show starts off with me deconstructing myself. Over the course of the first half, I look at all the things I could possibly be good at and systematically rule them all out. The second half is about trying to build myself back up through communal spirit, so that we end on a high.”

He’ll also be addressing the current political situation in his new show. “I’ll be asking if there is any point in voting. Why should young people bother to vote? The answer is that OAPs only get free prescriptions, bus passes and pensions because they bother to vote. Imagine what the young could get if they bothered to vote – perhaps free XBOX’s and loom bands!”

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Going on to reflect on the fact that at least one comedian is standing for Parliament in the general election in May, Andy laughs. “How low an ebb have politicians now reached that comedians are deciding they need to get involved in politics.

“If you want to change anything, you have to campaign”, he continues. “It’s not fashionable, but badgering an MP can have an effect. A public backlash got rid of a number of proposed taxes. Woe betide any politician who tries to stop people enjoying Ginsters pasties on ropey family holidays with elderly relatives.”

Andy closes by considering the immense popularity of Mock the Week. “It’s popular because it has the advantage of being topical – there is always another week to be mocked. The best panel shows are sitcoms. People get to know the characters and are as interested in you mocking each other as the news.”

Andy Parsons will perform at the King’s Lynn Corn Exchange on Friday October 30. Doors 8.00pm. Tickets, which cost £16, are available by calling the box office on 01553 764864.