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OIs stand-up your first love? I’ve done lots of dif­fer­ent things and en­joyed them but stand-up, when it goes well – it of­ten doesn’t – is def­i­nitely a love. There’s some­thing deeply sat­is­fy­ing about a good gig. I’m not of­ten happy with my­self as an ac­tor. I get up­set when I see my­self act­ing on screen, mostly be­cause of the way I look. But as a stand-up it’s al­ways a bonus if you look heavy or awk­ward or dam­aged… in my case it helps in fact.

So you feel very much at home in the stand-up arena?

When I was work­ing on Moon­fleet last sum­mer Ray Win­stone told me, ‘I don’t feel I come alive on set un­til I’ve done a fight scene and thrown my first right hook’. Sim­i­larly, I don’t re­ally feel I’ve come to life un­less I’ve trig­gered laugh­ter from a crowd. It’s prob­a­bly an ill­ness… a co­me­dian’s ill­ness. But I don’t panic like I used to. If a joke misses or back­fires I know there’s a hun­dred more on their way. But it’s strange, I’m get­ting more se­ri­ous off stage and savour even more the times when I’m on it. There’s al­ways some­thing in my mind telling me ‘en­joy it while you can, this isn’t go­ing to last much longer.’ Do you feel fired up on stage? Not re­ally fired up, but some­times I am gen­uinely up­set when a show is over. I would love to go on all night… in a way I


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