With more than three million hits on YouTube and a Royal Variety Performance under his belt, ventriloquist Paul Zerdin is on the road again this autumn with Puppet Master.
It follows his critically-acclaimed Edinburgh Festival hit show, Sponge Fest.
With his contemporary twist on the traditional art of ventriloquism, Paul will have with him his usual cast of characters – the cheeky pre-pubescent Sam, senior citizen Albert, and the demanding and precocious Baby. Plus he’s introducing a new character, out of work TV presenter Alasdair Rimmer, who will be taking charge of MC duties on the tour.
Finally, adding a whole new dimension to the phrase ‘audience participation’, it won’t be long before his unsuspecting audiences notice that it’s not just the puppets he’s controlling!
We caught up with him ahead of his show at Fareham’s Ferneham Hall.
When did you first realise you were funny?
When I was a kid, I used to dress up in my mum’s clothes and pretend to be Margaret Thatcher. Everyone laughed, but it may have been pity!
What would you be if you weren’t a comedian?
Maybe a radio presenter. I dabbled with it for a couple of years when I left school.
I had the radio voice but nothing interesting to say, so i used to just do silly voices and pretend I had a studio posse.
I think I wanted to be Steve Wright for a while.
Name three things that make you laugh.
I dont laugh as often as I should do but I have always suffered from an attack of the giggles at the most inapropriate of moments like funerals and getting into a packed lift with one of my best friends. It’s very immature, but I just can’t help laughing at serious moments.
Tell us a joke.
What’s got six legs, six holes, is covered in green baize and wears a chequered scarf?
Rupert the snooker table.
Who’s your biggest hero?
Jim Henson was a big influence on me with his Muppet characters.
Comic magician ventriloquist Wayne Dobson was one of my heroes too.
He would do the voices of people from the audience commenting on his magic tricks. I had never seen anything like that before.
And Bob Monkhouse for his slickness.
Paul Zerdin – Puppet Master comes to Ferneham Hall tonight from 7.30pm. Tickets cost £15 from 01329 231942 or fernehamhall.co.uk