Andy Parsons is coming to Leeds City Varieties on Wednesday 21st March 2018 – is the date in your diary?
If you love the comedian, make sure you head on down to CVMH to watch the show, Peak Bulls**t. The show’s called Peak Bulls**t, by the way, I’m not just being mean.
I was lucky enough to gain access to this syndicated interview with Veronica Lee…
“2016 will be remembered for the EU referendum and Donald Trump and Boris Johnson and Michael Gove,” Andy says. “So if I have to summarise the show, it’s asking has the world gone mad, what it means to be British in 2017/18, what it means to be a patriot – and is it true that we only like immigrants if they can win us gold medals at the Olympics? We’re not keen for people to sneak into a Britain on a dinghy – unless they can paddle it very quickly.”
He’ll also be musing about the role of satirists in the world, when most political comics were in favour of Remain in the EU referendum and supported Hillary Clinton in the US presidential election. I say it must be a good time to be a satirist, but he demurs. “You could argue it’s the worst time to be a satirist because events of 2016 have proved that what satirists say has no effect whatsoever on the general public. Satirists should be arguing for World War 3 and an increase in bankers’ bonuses on the grounds that, then, they are much less likely to happen. I think people really are hungry for political debate because, while we are being bombarded with information, you could argue that we know much less about the world we live in – what with the growth of fake news on the internet and if people really don’t trust experts any more. There is so much bulls**t out there that people don’t know where to go for their news and information. Apparently a lot of people are getting their information from comedy shows which given that they are comedy shows is very worrying. You ask any comedian “Why the chicken crossed the road?” and they will all give you a different answer”.
In person, Andy is more quietly spoken and laid-back than the “Mr Angry” persona fans know and love from BBC’s Mock the Week, which he appeared on for ten years until 2015. Andy, who was born in Dorset, now lives in south-western London with his medical statistician wife and their young son. He admits that there is a metropolitan London bubble – but touring the country is the antidote to that. “It doesn’t matter where you live or what your politics are, the same things – health, education, jobs, pay, crime – affect us all. There are many things we can all agree on. For instance, Philip Green should not have been allowed to sell BHS to a former bankrupt with no history of retail experience for a quid. I would have made a better owner of BHS. I’ve got no retail experience, I’m not a former bankrupt and I’ve got a quid”.
Does he welcome fans who don’t share his world view? “Of course – let’s face it, I’m often not even sure of my own world view half the time. And regardless of political persuasion, everybody can agree that all politicians are no longer the same given that Donald Trump has no political experience and that Jeremy Corbyn wears vests, has an allotment and enjoys photographing manhole covers.”
The unpredictability of the news agenda means that he will be writing new material as the tour progresses – and if this year is as eventful as the last, he’ll be a very busy man indeed.