A Wee Blether With Chris Forbes
The award-winning comic is branching out with a new show at the Fringe
A Wee Blether With…
Is it true that you discovered your love for comedy via basketball?
Yeah, it was a slightly unusual route. I was a mad keen basketball player. I played for Scotland at under-16 level and spent my last year of high school in Washington State where I had aspirations of going on to play in the NBA. At the end of term they had a school talent contest. I went along in my kilt and a “See You Jimmy” hat and told funny stories about the differences between America and Scotland. I realised that I liked the buzz of being on stage even more than I liked basketball. I was hooked.
You’re known as Funtime Forbsey – are you a bit of a party animal?
It’s a nickname that’s come back to haunt me a few times! My family did have a lot of parties. In every friendship group there’s someone with binfuls of empties after the weekend – and that was me! The Frank Skinner TV Show was on around this time and he was known as Funtime Frankie. A couple of my mates just adapted it for me and it stuck.
Has the nickname ever proved troublesome?
When I got an interview for drama college, the very first thing the director of the course said was, “So, Funtime Forbsey is your email address?” If I’d have known I was going to come under so much scrutiny I’d have gone with Dependable Forbsey or Hard-working Forbsey!
Your stand-up shows are usually based on real life. What’s this year’s Fringe show about?
It’s called Prophesy and it’s all about my extraordinary encounter with a man who claims to be the son of God. I want to stress that it’s definitely not a religious show. It’s based around my recorded interviews with this guy. His answers cause me to question all sorts of things in my life and look at things from a different perspective. It’s existential comedy – perfect for the Fringe!
Charlie Mcintosh, the character you play in Scot Squad is a bit of a country bumpkin. Who did you base him on?
He’s actually not unlike my younger self. My own background is as rural as it gets. My mum’s family are from Poolewe – my gran still lives there. Dad was from Gairloch. He had a campsite there and it was a brilliant place to run wild when we were growing up. We’d get all the summer holiday jobs like keeping the site tidy and painting the stones round all the pitches.
Any famous guests at the site?
I was at an audition a while back and was thrilled to meet Rory Mccann. He plays Sandor “The Hound” Clegane in Game of Thrones and is a bit of a hero of mine. He heard me mention Gairloch and told me he’d stayed in a brilliant campsite up there quite a few times. It was ours! I was so chuffed.
Is it true you write love songs for your fiancée, Eleanor?
It is true – she doesn’t always like them, though! I’ve written silly wee songs on all sorts of subjects and used them in musical interludes in my shows. They’ve achieved cult-like status! There’s none this year. She’s mightily relieved! Chris Forbes: Prophecy; The Gilded Balloon, 19.45. Aug 1-12, 14-27.
Above left: As Charlie in Scot Squad Above: Rory Mccann as The Hound in Game of Thrones Left: Chris was raised in Gairloch