Comedian Miles Jupp describes his new show, Songs of Freedom, as “a rant at modern life and multiple irritations – politely, of course, without a hint of unpleasantness.”
His “rant”, which comes to Buxton on October 28, will take on “domestic imprisonment, fatherhood, having to have opinions, hot drinks, the government, bad balance, housing, ill health, the ageing process, navigation and other people’s pants.”
But his fans shouldn’t despair, nor indeed fret; in conversation Miles is warm and witty, and in no way negative about his situation in life. It’s just that the modern world can – in his words – “discombobulate” him.
Take a recent incident at the house he shares with his wife, Rachel, and their five children in the Welsh borders. “We bought a smart TV and, after not having had a television for eight years, it’s all slightly baffling.” said Miles.
“It’s the equivalent of going on a yoga retreat and in the intervening time the industrial revolution has happened. ‘What’s going on? I don’t know how to use a loom...’
“Of course our seven-year-old understands how the TV works perfectly, but I can’t very well go and wake him up at midnight and say, ‘We want to watch Peaky Blinders, come and find it for us.’”
Many of Miles’ fans will be keen listeners to Radio 4’s topical comedy show ‘The News Quiz’, which he took over as host of last year, and which he is enjoying enormously. “I love working as part of a team, and I hope people listening get some sense of me as a person, rather than just some bloke capable of reading stuff out loud.”
For those of a certain age, he will forever be Archie the Inventor in CBeebies’ Balamory. “I often get people coming up to me and start talking about it,” he says. “For me it was a long time ago, but for them it’s a defining part of their childhood.”
Apart from ‘The News Quiz’, people know Miles from television as fusspot Nigel in the ecclesiastical comedy ‘Rev’, as Captain Fanshaw in soldiering comedy ‘Gary Tank Commander’. They also remember him as John Duggan in ‘The Thick of It’ and from his self-penned ‘In and Out of the Kitchen’, in which he played minor celebrity chef Damian Trench.
He usually gets to play posh and/or clever chappie roles, but he said e would really love to be cast as a baddie. I suggest that’s because, as an unfailingly polite man, he would love to play against type, and he agrees. “You would get to cut loose and say bad things,” said Miles.
l Miles Jupp: Songs of Freedom is at Buxton Opera House on Friday, October 28, at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £19 and discounts are available. To buy tickets, contact 01298 72190 or buy online at www.buxtonoperahouse.org.uk