Russell Howard: Right Here Right Now

Preview of the comedian's upcoming tour

‘I started doing stand-up when I was 18 and the very idea that by the time I was 22 I’d be making money out of it is kind of mind-blowing, so everything else beyond that is ridiculous.’ Russell Howard isn’t ready to count his comedy chickens just yet, this despite being an increasingly recognisable figure on the box for his regular appearances on Mock the Week as well as hosting his own show, Russell Howard’s Good News on BBC Three. Add that to the healthy sales that have accompanied his live DVDs and the tour he is on now, which has included sell-out gigs at vast arenas such as London’s O2, and you could be forgiven for thinking that the Howard comedy stock couldn’t really get much higher.

But while this is a comic who clearly believes in hard graft in order to perfect his writing and performing skills, he’s not above making himself look a bit stupid. Last year he ran the London Marathon in aid of the National Society for Epilepsy (his brother Dan has the disorder) and while he came in at a respectable four and a quarter hours, he clearly wasn’t fully prepared for the post-race media chat. ‘I made a prat out of myself because I was interviewed by Sue Barker and rather than graciously saying, “It’s been lovely to do this for charity and we raised £15,000”, I’m on telly going, “I beat my bruvva!” I just came across as an odious twerp. But I took the piss out of myself on telly the following week, so I felt as though I’d rectified that situation.’

For his current Right Here Right Now tour, Howard may be filling ridiculously large halls, but he limbered up in less vast spaces. ‘I spent all summer doing small gigs, working the stuff up, and in January I did 20 gigs at 200-seater arts centres. But even the big arena shows feel exactly the same: it’s still me in a dressing room writing up what I’m going to do later. It’s equally as dull as it’s always been.’

SECC, Glasgow, Saturday 5 & Sunday 6 March.

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