Get to Know Alan Carr, Chatty Man
Comedian and talk show host Alan Carr talks to Jessica Beresford about travel, style and ... dogs
Over the phone from London, Chatty Man host Alan Carr is indeed proving himself to be not only the chattiest of them all, but possibly the funniest, too.
He’s talking about his world tour Yap Yap Yap, although he’s a little distracted — his two Irish setters, Bev and Joyce, are eager to go for a walk in Hyde Park, which is next to where he lives in Bayswater. His neighbour’s dog, Molly, has let herself in to join the party, but is apparently less patient than the others.
“Oh,” he shrieks, “the dog’s just eaten the bloody cushion! Don’t eat that! The dog wants a bloody walk so she’s eating my furnishings. Oh, she’s upset now. I thought she was licking her paws. Bloody dog. Oh, sorry about that.”
Back on topic, Alan says unlike a lot of other stand-up, his shows aren’t politically-inclined, rather just anecdotal.
“I’m not going to bring down any governments with my material ... there’s no satire or stuff about Iraq or Syria.
“How I work is I have a little notebook that I fill up with stuff, if something tickles me or an anecdote happens or a situation.
"When that book is full, I go on tour, and I mould it into a show. It’s very conversational, and it’s just about my life, really.”
Before he heads to New Zealand for the first time for three shows in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Alan shares with Viva a little more about his life.
Favourite comedian: I love Peter Kay, Kevin Bridges, John Bishop, people like that. I’m the biggest Victoria Wood fan, and the biggest Prince fan. She died and then Prince died the next day, and when they both died a day apart, I was just in bits, I couldn’t believe it. This year has just been shit. People ask how it feels to be 40 and I’m just glad to have made it.
Musician: People who I meet on my television show, you sort of just like more. Like Rihanna is always a laugh, and I love her music, and she takes chances.
Film: I loved the Wolf of Wall St, that is such a good film.
TV show: I love Netflix, and I love true crime, so I was big into Making a Murderer, and have you seen The Jinx? I loved The Jinx. This is really bad, but you sort of want another murder to happen, which is really wrong to say.
Play: I saw Lee Evans and Nathan Lane do The Producers, the Mel Brooks one, that was brilliant. I don’t know if you have this show, but do you have Punchdrunk, immersive theatre? They take over buildings, and you all wear a mask and you go in on four different floors and watch a big play happen. The music is great, there’s cabaret in there, and it’s the most surreal, magical thing.
Designer: With designer clothes, for my body shape — I’m classic pear — nothing ever suits me. I just go with something like Diesel, there’s no use me spending money on Givenchy because my body rejects it. Anything High St really.
Shoes: Oh, I do like those Alexander McQueen boots. I will spend on designer shoes, because you know, shoes are shoes.
Eyewear: That’s my thing, I love glasses. I will spend a bit of money on glasses. I have some Tom Ford ones, they look great.
Drink: Well it’s not as easy as it seems, you see, because it depends on the weather. Sunny day, it’s a glass of rose. If it’s cold outside and the fire’s on, I’ll have a glass of Malbec or however you say it. I drink compared to the weather.
Best thing: When you go away and do things overseas, you realise how amazing London is. There’s so much to do. You go on TripAdvisor for some of these European cities, and the third option is, “Have an icecream in the square”, and it’s like, “well, I can have an icecream at home to be honest”.
Worst: The traffic is just rubbish. You see these tourists with no helmet on, cycling, giggling away, selfie stick in one hand, going down these really dangerous dual carriageways, and I just want to take a picture and say, “are you crazy?”.
Must-visit: I would just say go down to the South Bank, there’s all these lovely pop-up restaurants there and the best views, and you can walk all the way down to the Tower of London, and then Borough Market, which is a fantastic old market, and it’s lovely to go at Christmas time, really lovely.
Favourite city: I do like Rome, gorgeous food, gorgeous people, gorgeous clothes, I mean everyone is beautiful, even the tramps. Here’s me talking about the British drivers in London, but in Rome! One time I was overtaken by a woman on a GoPed carrying a gateau. They are insane, no helmets on, just driving along. But I love the energy.
Favourite hotel: There’s one in Nottingham called Langar Hall, it has the best food ever, it’s like a really old manor house, the food’s great, it’s a real eccentric hotel. It’s absolutely amazing.
Ski or beach holiday: Oh, I went skiing, and I’ve never been so terrified. I just don’t get it, why skiing? No way. I came down this slope, I was crying, absolutely crying, and this woman had to give me sugar water because I was sobbing — you know those deep sobs where you can’t catch your breath. I just don’t get it. I like the apres ski, I like the idea of skiing from pub to pub. The English, we’re not used to skiing. You’re being overtaken by 5- and 6-year-olds, and it just pisses you off. You’re face down in the snow and you’ve just got some smug 6-year-old in an amazing ski outfit just weaving past you, and you’re just like, “God I feel old and crap”.
Miss most: My dogs. I’ve been known half way through a holiday to have a few gins and just start crying about them. And then you try and Skype dogs, and they can’t really get their heads around it, can they?
• Alan Carr — Yap Yap Yap, August 13, 15, 18. For tickets visit Ticketmaster.co.nz
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