Interview: Jasper Carott talks about comedy, touring and Goldenballs ahead of Corby date

Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan

Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan

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Two pillars of British comedy will share the stage at The Core at Corby Cube for two nights.

Jasper Carrott and Alistair McGowan will appear at the venue on Saturday and Sunday, October 15 and 16.

Birmingham-born Jasper said: “I had known Alistair McGowan and our agent put us together for an event at Henley where we shared the bill. I had known him a little bit to shake hands but not much beyond that.

“And we did this gig and it went really well and we thought it could work.

“It made me fall in love with doing comedy all over again. It’s been a long time since I did a long live tour, it was probably about 1998 and I did 150 concerts.

“But it works that we do half an hour each and then a break followed by half an hour each again and Alistair and I get on like a house in the fire and it is a pleasure to go into work.”

He also praised the skill of his comrade.

Jasper said: “He is so skilled at what he does.

“I’m not quite sure how it works but it does. He can get a laugh because he is good at what he does and captures them perfectly.

“Of course they are rolling around on the floor with laughter and there are times when an audience laughs too much. I’m sitting there in the wings waiting to go on stage and hoping the audience don’t get too tired from laughing too much, which has happened at one of the shows.”

“There are times he has nearly had a coconut on his head,” Jasper jokes before adding, “But actually, I feed off the energy that the audience give him and vice versa.”

It is a return to the world of touring stand up. He was a regular name at some of the biggest arenas throughout the 90s.

Jasper said: “I had decided to stop doing the live shows around 2001. It was all going really well but I wasn’t getting the enjoyment that I once had out of it.

“It was all very successful but it was when I came back from South Africa I decided to have a break for around 12/18 months. I didn’t quite expect it to last 13 years.

“I started to do some smaller shows and was getting some laughs for the new material as well as the old material revamped and it was that that bought me back into the world of doing stand up. It was a great feeling getting a laugh for the new material.”

He was a regular visitor to Corby throughout his touring comedy career and is looking forward to returning to the area.

Jasper said: “I’ve been performing in Corby regularly since 1978 and have done the folk clubs there.

“I’m looking forward to going back there. It’s a big Scottish community and it’s a welcoming crowd although you always get the one heckler even though you can’t understand what they are saying. I tell them if you are going to heckle, at least do it in English.

“I was last in that area when there was the Scottish referendum and I was doing a gig in Peterborough and asked the audience, do they think Corby will vote to leave the UK. They were all amazed.

“I’ve made some good friends and looking forward to seeing them all again.”

As well as his stand up, he has appeared in the sitcom The Detectives and was host of the quiz show Goldenballs.

He said: “The Detectives was such a long time ago but it was created and written by Steve Knight who has written Peaky Blinders and also Who Wants to be a Millionnaire. It was a show that lived with me for a long time and working with Robert Powell was great. We had talked about doing something together for a little while and then this came along.”

And he took a complete change of career by hosting Goldenballs, a show which he admitted was hard work.

Jasper added: “I only originally asked if I could do the pilot for Goldenballs because I wanted the experience of hosting a game show. They then said they didn’t see the host in the way that I did it, but I got offered the chance to do the series and there I was, 300 episodes later.

“It was very hard work because the game was so complicated, you could only record eight shows in a week whereas something like Pointless, they can record the same amount in a day.

“I had someone in my ear piece constantly reminding me where people had gone, what was going on. We started about 10am and would finish at 10pm at night on a recording day.”

Tickets for the Corby show can be booked by calling the ticket office on 01536 470470 or visiting www.thecorecorby.com.