Andy Hamilton: ‘I’m not qualified to give people advice’

Andy Hamilton. Picture by Steve Ullathorne
Andy Hamilton. Picture by Steve Ullathorne
Victor Ariat

Smooth sailing for Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra at Portsmouth Guildhall

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He may consider himself first and foremost a writer, but Andy Hamilton is hardly shy of stepping out in front of the cameras or on stage.

The award winning co-creator / writer of Outnumbered (BBC1), What We Did On Our Holiday (BBC Films), Ballot Monkeys (Channel 4) and Drop The Dead Donkey (Channel 4), star of Old Harry’s Game (Radio 4) and regular guest on The News Quiz, I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, Have I Got News For You and Q.I. looks back on his 60 years on this planet when he brings his new show, Change Management to Portsmouth.

It’s me looking back at my life and charting social change, the ways we may have changed, behaviours have changed, and the way some things haven’t changed – we may think they have but when you look at them a bit more closely they haven’t

Andy Hamilton

Andy told The Guide what to expect from the show: ‘It’s an evening of laughter – that’s the first thing to say – my job is to give people a good time.

‘It’s me looking back at my life and charting social change, the ways we may have changed, behaviours have changed, and the way some things haven’t changed – we may think they have but when you look at them a bit more closely they haven’t.

‘It’s looking at a whole broad range of topics, during the time of my life on the planet and how we cope with change.

‘Change management is usually a euphemism for people losing their jobs, but it’s not in this case.

‘And hopefully it will be the kind of show where they laugh a lot and it might cause a few arguments in the car on the way home.’

This all sounds perilously close to something like life coaching – will you be giving advice?

‘I wouldn’t presume to give people advice, I don’t think I’d be qualified, but there’s some perspectives in there.’

Is it a personal show?

‘It’s not hugely personal, but I do draw on some of my experiences. There’s a section where I look back at my childhood, but I don’t bare my soul or anything.

‘There will be windows into weird stuff that may have happened in my life.’

Andy’s last foray into the world of stand-up was with a show called Hat of Doom.

‘I toured with that off and on for about four or five years, and I last did that about three years ago. That was a very freeform show where the audience got to choose topics out of a hat.

‘I let them leave written questions on the stage. That was the last time I got up and mucked about on stage.

‘I do enjoy performing, it’s nice to meet the audience – the people who watch the sitcoms or listen to the shows on the radio – and engage with them.‘I love writing, it’s a brilliant career to have, it’s a great job, but sometimes you want to get up and lark around a bit.’

Beyond the show Andy is as busy as ever. He’s working on more screenplays with his regular writing partner Guy Jenkin, and fans of the chaotic Brockmans will be pleased to hear there are plans in the pipeline to catch up with the Outnumbered family.

‘We’re planning to get it out every couple of years for a special, so the audience gets to see where those kids have got to and the different sort of dilemmas the parents find themselves in. The dilemmas don’t stop once they grow up. We’re planning to do one in the summer.’

Change Management is at The New Theatre Royal on Thursday, show 8pm. Tickets £20. Go to newtheatreroyal.com or call (023) 9264 9000.