Comic is happy while he works

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Justin Moorhouse brings his debut national UK tour – Can I stay at your house? – to the Pavilion Arts Centre tonight (Thursday). Here’s what he had to say ahead of his appearance in Buxton:

Q: You’ve had an eclectic career – stand-up, acting, writing, presenting, even a stint on Corrie – what are you most passionate about?

A: I’m a stand-up comedian that gets the chances to do other things. If everything else stopped tomorrow and ‘they’ - whoever ‘they’ are – told me I had to do stand-up only in the future I wouldn’t mind. Stand-up comedy for me is where I feel the most alive.

Q: If you weren’t a stand-up/writer/actor/presenter what would you be?

A: Really unhappy. I’ve hated every job I ever had, to be fair. I wasn’t very good at them and the fear I was going to get sacked every day compounded my misery. Being a comedian gives me job satisfaction for the first time in my life. In 11 years or so of being a full-time comedian I haven’t had a day when I didn’t want to ‘go to work’.

Q: You have a hectic work schedule – how do you unwind?

A: I walk my dog, spend time with the kids, I do a bit of baking as well! Honest. Sunday mornings - banana bread, flapjacks. I do brilliant chocolate muffins.

Q: Clearly you’ve covered a lot of ground in your career so far, is there anything you’re still longing to do?

A: I’m desperate to be the kind of comedian that tours for a large part of the year in theatres. Having an audience that’s keen to come and see me year after year is what I want.

Q: You’ve worked closely with Peter Kay – what is it, do you think, that makes the North so funny?

A: I’m not sure. The North is any funnier than anywhere else. I think the North West has a certain attitude in comedy that is up-front. People where I grew up were very quick to make a joke out of any scenario. Quick to take the rise out of mates in a very cruel (on the surface) way. That’s the way it was growing up for me. You had to develop funny bones to survive.

Q: You’re a family man – do your kids find you funny?

A: I think so, but also very embarrassing in certain scenarios. I think they are quite impressed with what I do. More impressed by more famous friends!

Q: What are you most proud of, so far?

A: Stand up wise - the last Edinburgh show I did, and the new material I have for this show. I’m really enjoying writing stuff about things I haven’t talked about before. I’m also proud of the Radio 4 series I have written.

Q: Do you have any hidden talents you have not yet showcased?

A: I have no talents you could quantify - I just hold a microphone and try and make people laugh. I can’t sing or dance or play any musical instrument.

Q: What/who has been your biggest influence?

A: I admire comics that are gifted but know that they have to work hard to make it as well. People like Daniel Kitson, Jimmy Carr, Ross Noble, Billy Connolly, John Bishop, among many. They are all different, but brilliant and importantly have continued to always be better than they were last time.

Justin Moorhouse is at the Pavilion Arts Centre in Buxton tonight (Thursday). Tickets, priced £13 and £15, are available on 0845 127 2190 or by visiting www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk