Olver the top comic

Mark Olver
Mark Olver
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SHORT STORY FOR THE WEEKEND: Let’s Do It by David Dunford

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Bristol-based comedian Mark Olver is back on the circuit and he’s coming to Southsea after the first leg of a national tour supporting Russell Howard.

He runs his own gigs in Bristol, including the legendary Olver’s Student Comedy Night and is a regular TV warm-up for Deal or No Deal and 8 Out Of 10 Cats.

We found out more.

n When did you first realise you were funny?

I can’t remember when I knew I was funny, but I knew from a very young age that I was a bit different.

I was always a show off, dancing stupidly at family parties, but then would also spend a lot of time on my own reading books and making up stories, which is pretty much exactly what I do now as a stand-up comic.

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

I was a careers adviser before I became a stand-up comic (oh the glamour) and I do miss it a bit sometimes.

I worked in prisons and young offenders institutes.

Comedy audiences can be challenging but they are easy next to prisoners and little thugs.

n Which three things make you laugh?

People falling over, people walking into glass doors, and kids who get a massive ice cream bought for them which they then drop, or even better, the ice cream bit just drops off the cone.

Why? There is nothing funnier in the world than that momentary bit of pain and discomfort when you know that actually it’ll be okay really.

n What’s your favourite one-liner?

Like most comedians in the world, I am rubbish at actual jokes.

I think I have written three actual jokey jokes in my career and none of them are suitable for publication – mainly because if people read them it gives me one less joke to do on stage.

n Who’s your hero?

Nurses and teachers. People who do amazing jobs looking after people but don’t get the recognition and money that other jobs get.

I’m glad I get paid for talking rubbish because it is pretty much my only skill.

My heroes are those people with real skills in helping people, who do it for love not money.

n See Mark on stage tonight at the Wedge Comedy Club alongside Steve Hall, Abandoman and compére Dinga. Doors: 7.30pm. Food: until 8.45pm. Disco until 2.30am. Tickets: £8 on the door, (023) 9286 3911 or wedgewood-rooms.co.uk.