New comedy is elementary for Mr Watson
AQUICK glance at comic Mark Watson’s Twitter profile before we meet reveals he has announced our forthcoming chat to the world – and also requested his fans send in three bizarre words he can slip into the conversation.
As he has found it impossible to resist the temptation to get his fans involved with our chat, I am listening extra carefully to see whether the comedian utters ‘discombobulate’, ‘blancmange’ or ‘obfuscate’.
It is unsurprising that Watson loves to tweet on Twitter – the social networking communication tool running rampant among the techno-loving masses.
The 29-year-old comedian has always had a bright, inquisitive mind and a penchant for quirky behaviour.
After attending Cambridge University, where he studied English and graduated with a first class degree, he soon established himself on the comedy circuit and in 2004, at the end of a 24-hour gig, surprised the tired audience and his girlfriend, Emily, by going down on one knee and asking her to marry him.
Despite his academic and career success – including becoming a regular on BBC2 show Mock The Week and presenting programmes on Radio 4 – the 29-year-old is remarkably humble.
Not in the least bit boastful about his career, he also appears less than bothered about his Twitter challenge.
In fact, he is far more interested in talking about the promotion chances this year of his favourite football team, Bristol City.
However, after encouraging him to talk about his latest project, the second series of BBC4 programme We Need Answers, he says: “Most people missed the first series to be honest. It was only three shows, so if people haven’t seen it before there is not much to catch up on!
“Essentially, it is a celebrity quiz ex-rugby player Martin Offiah go head to head in the first episode.
But what would be Watson’s ideal line-up? “My dream would be snooker player Steve Davis against one of the Cheeky Girls. It is always a bloke against a girl. So an 80s sports star against a weird modern offbeat pop singer would be ideal.”
WHILE those two may not have signed up for the second series, a host of other celebrities have. Among others, dancer Camilla Dallerup, gay rights campaigner Peter Tatchell, TV presenters Terry Christian and Vanessa Feltz and actress Sue Perkins are lined up for the 13 episodes.
Filming for the series took place in October, but the recording schedule meant Watson had to put his touring on hold – something he will also have to get used to in 2010. His wife is due to give birth to a son in February.
“For the first few months I will be at home but then I will probably have to go back to touring. I will try to organise it so I am at home more often. The travelling life is fun but you do miss being at home. Having a family will concentrate my mind on being at home more,” he says.
Watson is more than happy with his lot and is not taking any of his success for granted.
“One of the really exciting things about the job is I never know what will happen in the future. I never thought I would be hosting a quiz show, in fact a lot of the stuff I never expected I would get to do. I got to host TV’s Never Mind The Buzzcocks recently and I didn’t think I would ever get to do that.”
Swapping West Country life for London has proved to be a successful career move, but he admits: “I need to live in London for what I do. I would rather live in Bristol.”
As the interview comes to an end, the comedian has proved himself every bit as interesting as his CV suggests.
But he has failed in one part: despite his pledge on his Twitter account, he did not utter the words discombobulate, blancmange or obfuscate.