Gareth Richards is at Highlight on New Year's Eve
Gareth Richards is at Highlight on New Year's Eve

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Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award Best Newcomer nominee 2010 Gareth Richards is probably best known for his two years of co-hosting the Sony Gold Award-winning Frank Skinner’s Absolute Radio Show.

He comes to Portsmouth on New Year’s Eve to perform his stand-up jokes and comic songs at Highlight in Gunwharf Quays.

We caught up with him ahead of the show, to find out more.

When did you first realise you were funny?

I’ve always tried to deal with social situations with humour. It often did not work – I can remember a lot of stony silences. The first person I remember making laugh as a child was a friend of mine called Mark who was in a wheelchair. I used to make him laugh by throwing myself off a wall. It felt brilliant to make someone laugh uncontrollably. As my act has developed, I’ve phased out the slapstick element.

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

If I wasn’t a comedian I would probably be a preacher as I come from a family of church ministers. My dad was a preacher and used to get into trouble for having too many jokes in his sermons. I often get into trouble for having too many bible verses in my act (this is not true).

Name three things that make you laugh.

1. My son, Ethan, who is two and learning to talk. The other day he saw an old man in the street and said: ‘Who’s that oldie junk?’

2. I find it very funny when people get things wrong. We have a very small driveway and my mate took about half an hour trying to turn his motorbike around. He did a 23-point turn. I laughed and laughed.

3. The Simpsons. There is always at least one incredibly funny line in The Simpsons.

What’s your favourite one-liner?

First the doctor told me the good news – I was going to have a disease named after me. (Steve Martin)

Who’s your biggest hero?

My biggest hero is Bob Dylan, because he’s always done what he thinks he should do, rather than what everybody else thinks he should do.

See Gareth Richards alongside Kevin McCarthy, Cole Parker and Rayguns Look Real Enough at Highlight in Gunwharf Quays on New Year’s Eve. Doors open at 6.30pm. Acts perform from 8.30pm until 10.30pm and there’s a disco until 2am. Tickets cost £20 from 0844 844 0044.