An interview with Chris Ramsey, British comedy’s rising star

Nick Dashfield grabs five minutes with Geordie comedian Chris Ramsay during his breakthrough year

Comedy Interview

Chris Ramsey is one of the UK’s fastest rising comedians. Originating from South Shields, at only 25, he has burst on to the British comedy scene, appearing on Russell Howard’s Good News;

…and he was nominated for the Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award for his stellar performances at the Edinburgh Festival in 2011.

He will be appearing at the Durham Gala Theatre on the April 26th and the May 24th; tickets at £10.

So tell us Chris, have you ever sampled the delights of Durham?

I actually did my third ever gig in Durham, at Castle Bar. I was a student at Sunderland University and someone who had seen my first two gigs asked me to come over and perform. He paid for my train and free drinks all night, I thought this has to be the best job in the world! I also did a small gig at the Gala. People kicked off on Twitter about it and so I’m coming back to do another- I’ve been upgraded to the main theatre this time though.

Any thoughts on Durham students?

Durham’s just like Edinburgh; basically half of Kent has been airlifted into the North.

Top 5 things about the north?

Cheap drink, cheap food, cheap houses, people are friendlier/mental. The locals also teach you that jackets are pointless.

If you had to shag any celeb, who would it be?

Dead or alive? If dead will you provide the shovel? I’m not that good on celebs really but I reckon I would have to say Cheryl Cole, just to be patriotic.

Who would win in a fight, you or Russell Howard?

I used to box a bit so me but I would probably drive him to the hospital afterwards. Neither of us are fighters so we’d probably talk it out before it came to blows!

How often do you get heckled?

I get heckled on a daily basis on the street mate! It’s usually good fun getting heckled and it’s all part of the show really, although, if people are chatting on their phone and being dickheads I do get riled up. Actually two guys were chatting on their phones in my last night at the Edinburgh Fringe so I kicked them out in the middle of my set. They looked pretty upset but it was a big night for me and I wasn’t going to let them be disrespectful. As long as it’s good natured I see it as part of my act, and if it’s not I reckon I can put people in their place.

Who’s the funniest comedian you know?

Definitely Jason Cook, he’s a good mate of mine and I’ve just been working with him on his new show ‘Hebburn’ (a six-part sitcom due to be aired on the BBC this autumn). He’s hilarious and the new series will be great, I really recommend it. It’s basically just about Geordies being Geordies.

Where would you like to be in 5 years time?

Doing exactly what I’m doing but at bigger venues. I really want to do the Hammersmith Apollo and the Theatre Royal in Newcastle.

What’s the Best gig you’ve done?

Supporting Al Murray at Newcastle City Hall. He’s not like the pub landlord at all, which always really surprises people. He’s very articulate, very well spoken and just pretty posh in general. That just makes his pub landlord act even more amazing to be honest.

And the worst…

I once did a pun called ‘The Wasps Nest’ in the middle of nowhere when I was first starting out. It had no mike, no sound system and no stage. It was like walking into the middle of Wetherspoon’s on a Saturday night, clearing a space on the dance floor and trying to do a gig.

Finally, why should people pay to watch your show?

Its two hours of award-nominated comedy for a tenner and if anyone doesn’t want to come that’s fine because it will be fully booked out anyway!