Mak­ing a stand

Stand Up For The Week is on Chan­nel 4, at 11pm, on Fri­days

The Peterborough Evening Telegraph - - Television -

Co­me­dian Pa­trick Kielty is no stranger to con­tro­versy. Ra­zor sharp and quick­wit­ted, he’s been hailed as a ge­nius but his risqué rib­bing hasn’t been with­out reper­cus­sions.

He’s re­ceived death threats and in 2007 was forced to is­sue a pub­lic apol­ogy for re­marks he made about the dis­ap­pear­ance of Madeleine McCann. But the 39 yearold says he doesn’t court con­tro­versy.

“One of the things which ap­pears to be in vogue right now is to quote co­me­dian’s lines, which are said in con­text with a cer­tain amount of de­liv­ery and irony in a live room, and just dic­tate it onto the page and write that up as con­tro­ver­sial or shock­ing,” says Pa­trick.

“I think the eas­i­est thing, or may be even the lazi­est thing in the world is to get a con­tro­ver­sial head­line just by purely quot­ing what peo­ple on stage say rather than how they say it or what wry look there may nave been when they were say­ing it.”

This month Pa­trick is host­ing a new show called Stand Up For The Week, which he de­scribes as “a top­i­cal, satire stand-up show.” Each week he will be joined by a reg­u­lar team of stand-up co­me­di­ans in­clud­ing Rich Hall, Jack White­hall, Andi Osho and Scot Kevin Bridges, “who’s go­ing to be look­ing at Eng­land’s world cup cam­paign”, says Pa­trick.

“It’s quite a sim­ple idea but what’s in­ter­est­ing about it is that’s it’s not re­ally been done be­fore,” he says.

“Most stand-up shows you see on tele­vi­sion are recorded a few months in ad­vance, which means the ma­te­rial’s pretty much re­hearsed within an inch of its life and by the time it goes out it can’t re­ally re­act to very re­cent events. Then there’s the comedic panel show where a bunch of co­me­di­ans come on and they dis­cuss the news and it’s more a case of who’s quick enough to get their line in first.”

Go­ing out at 11pm on a Fri­day night, it’s the per­fect post-pub fare and the co­me­di­ans can af­ford to be on the edgy side. One of Pa­trick’s favourite seg­ments will see a celebrity guest in­vited to en­dure ‘The Chair’.

“We’ve got to the stage now where you can’t get any­one to ap­pear on a show un­less you plug what they’re do­ing, so we’ve de­cided to do that in re­verse,” says Pa­trick.

“We say, if you want to ac­tu­ally come on and plug what you’re do­ing, then you have to en­dure a lit­tle trib­ute or ‘roast’. If the per­son can sit in the chair and keep their mouth shut while I say hope­fully what most peo­ple think about them, then at the end they get ‘the right to re­ply’.”

Brought up in County Down, Pa­trick and his two broth­ers en­joyed a tran­quil up-bring­ing, un­til tragedy struck in 1988.

When Pa­trick was 16, his fa­ther Jack, the boss of a suc­cess­ful build­ing firm and the chair­man of the Gaelic Ath­letic As­so­ci­a­tion was shot six times by the Ul­ster Free­dom Fight­ers. Some have sug­gested this ex­pe­ri­ence laid the foun­da­tions for his fu­ture ca­reer, as Pa­trick’s of­ten used The Trou­bles in his stand-up shows but Pa­trick dis­agrees.

“A lot of ar­ti­cles go for the easy thing [that] be­cause my dad was mur­dered when I was 16, the po­lit­i­cal thing came in af­ter that,” he once said. “It was al­most as if I’d de­cided to turn my­self into some sort of com­edy Bat­man be­cause some­thing ter­ri­ble had hap­pened in my past, I had to put on the po­lit­i­cal com­edy cape and take on these is­sues.”

What Pa­trick doesn’t en­joy is the prepa­ra­tion for a show. “You talk to most co­me­di­ans, [and you’ll dis­cover] they are prob­a­bly the most pro­fes­sional of pro­cras­ti­na­tors you’re ever go­ing to find. We’ll do any­thing apart from write. I’ll or­gan­ise my knicker draw, I’ll ar­range my socks in colour or­der.”

It’s why he ap­pre­ci­ates hav­ing a weekly dead­line for Stand Up For The Week. “You know you’re out there ev­ery Fri­day night and you know it’s a top­i­cal show, so you’re just con­stantly trawl­ing the pa­pers and watch­ing the news keep­ing an eye out for stuff.”

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