James Alderson: ‘My cat makes me cry with laughter’

James Alderson is compering the Spinnaker Comedy Club. Picture by Alan Kemp
James Alderson is compering the Spinnaker Comedy Club. Picture by Alan Kemp

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James Alderson started doing stand up comedy four years ago and now somehow does it for a living, travelling around the UK and abroad too. With a stage age of 23 (real age 40), the Denmead-based comic won this year’s Guide Award for comedy and can be seen next week compering at the Spinnaker Tower Comedy Club.

When did you first realise you were funny?

At school, I was always getting into scrapes from an early age. I gave my maths teacher, whose nickname was Spud, a wrapped-up potato for Christmas. I left it on his desk in the morning before school started. By the time of our maths lesson at 2pm the eyes had sprouted through the wrapping paper. Perfect!

What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?

A salesman, constantly joking with customers who mostly didn’t understand. I used to sell design and print for a living. Mostly I just had a laugh with customers until from time-to-time they needed some leaflets designing and printing.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

Supporting Jo Brand was pretty incredible. I’ve been in a prank TV show on Channel 4 which was a great experience too. I reckon the luckiest perk though is travelling to all the hot countries for half-hour comedy shows whilst spending three days on the beach.

Tell us about three things that make you laugh.

Laurel & Hardy (that counts as one!)

My boys (also one)

Cats doing stupid things. My cat is the size of a medium- sized dog. It makes me cry with laughter. Especially when I make it wear clothes. He loves it really.

Who’s your biggest hero?

My mum. Always. She brought me up on her own whilst holding down a hectic full-time job. I have trouble keeping on top of my family and I’m home most of the daytime! Any single parent that brings up a child or children whilst still working and does such a brilliant job as my mum is an absolute hero. (Because I turned out okay didn’t I? Hello? Didn’t I?).

What have you got in the pipeline?

I’m performing at an intimate show for Mothers’ Day for Girls Aloud and Adele and their respective children and partners this weekend in London which is scary, plus my first solo show is touring to Leicester, Essex, Brighton, Guildford, Bath, and Edinburgh this year.

James will be introducing Bryan Lacey , Luke Honnoraty and headliner Ed Gamble at the Spinnaker Tower Comedy Club in Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth, on Friday, March 20. Bar opens at 7pm, comedy from 8.15pm. Tickets cost £12.50 per person. Go to spinnakertower.co.uk/