Raw talent doesn’t come much fresher than Jimmy Bird. He’s been awarded Best New Act of The Year this year by both Latitude and Laughing Boy and he’s coming to entertain the people of Portsmouth with a stand-up set in Southsea tonight.
We caught up with the comic to find out more.
When did you first realise you were funny?
I used to attempt to write funny short stories as a kid, which my mum has kindly kept and shows to friends and potential girlfriends when she wants to humiliate me.
I remember one was about a singing cowpat. So, even as a youngster I was creating weird ideas all the time.
The first time I thought maybe I could try my hand as a comedian was when I won the Funniest Kid In The Year award at my sixth form. Suddenly I realised that, if I had the courage to get up on stage, I’d be quite good at making people laugh.
What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?
Well, if Simon Cowell heard me sing, he would shoot me. And I’m no John Travolta on the dancefloor, so I don’t think I’d still be on stage. I actually have a masters degree in radio production and spent some time at Magic FM for my sins, so maybe I would have ended-up a producer or cleaner at a radio station.
Which three things make you laugh?
The guy that works in Office World opposite my house. He’s so keen, he’s memorised all the different types of pens and pencils they stock, what a mental.
Grumpy old men always crack me up too. Political correctness clearly isn’t a concept they’re familiar with and they are happy to voice they’re opinions any time, any place, no matter who might get offended.
Finally, Jeremy Kyle. I can’t bear to watch it and it makes me cringe, to the point where I’m rolling round in agony wishing they would just stop talking and sort their terrible hair cuts out. There’s so many tattoos, scars, dodgy facial hair, and that’s just the women. But it is funny.
What’s your favourite one-liner?
This guy’s driving down the motorway and his wife rings him up. She says: ‘Simon, I’m just watching the news. Be careful, there’s some nutter driving down the M25 the wrong way.’ He says: ‘One, there’s bloody hundreds of them.’
Who’s your hero? I suppose it has got to be Lee Evans because I’ve grown up watching him and he’s still just as funny now as he was back then.
I’d say he’s pretty much the perfect comedian. As a fellow comic, I’m just in awe when I watch him perform. His act has great energy and clever material to back it up. You would dread being the guy on after him.
See Jimmy Bird at the Wedge Comedy Club in the Wedgewood Rooms, Albert Road, Southsea, tonight with regular compere Dinga. Doors open at 7.30pm, food is served until 8.45pm and there is a disco until 2.30am. Tickets cost £8 on the door or from (023) 9286 3911 or wedgewood-rooms.co.uk.