An Interview with Comedian, Phil Ellis

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Comedian Phil Ellis continues to entertain with his unique brand of observational comedy. His show at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival last year was ranked as one of the best of the season.

Having co-starred and co-written the BBC Radio 4 programme ‘Phil Ellis Is Trying’, he is now going out on tour with ‘Phil Ellis’s Excellent Comedy Show’.

He talks to Graham Clark about what audiences can expect…

Did you always want to be a comedian?
Not really, I kind of drifted into it. I left university with a level three in media and production. I also had a job at a factory in Congleton in Cheshire. I got fed up of getting up at 5am in the morning to go to work, which made me realise that there had to be a lot more in the world, which led me to doing comedy. Though I think comedy is not something that everyone can do – you have got to have it in you.

Who are your favourite comedians?
The ones who seem so natural doing comedy, like Lee Mack, Bob Mortimer, Sean Lock and Rick Mayall. One of my favourite TV programmes was The Royle Family which I thought was brilliant.

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“I once got heckled by an iPad”

Do you get many hecklers in the audience when you go out on tour?
There are always a few people who come to my gigs who like to heckle me, though I am fine with that – I like to talk back to them. I would say because of the advent of TikTok heckling is getting worse because people like to record things and it ends up getting circulated on social media. I had a good heckler the other week and I ended up trying to guess their age which developed into a game of Higher and Lower. I once got heckled, would you believe, by an iPad. A member of the audience who was sat on the front row, apparently they had speech problems, they typed out a message to me on the iPad and held it up in front of me!

Do you have any favourite venues to perform in?
A lot of my favourite venues are in Yorkshire. The Hull Truck Theatre is always a good one as is the York Theatre. Over the Pennines I always get a good vibe at the Frog and Bucket in Manchester.

What advice would you give to anyone undecided about coming to see your show?
If you don’t come and see me then I will come and find you! Seriously though, you will see an hour of an high energy, funny stand up show that is very fast paced and I can honestly say that you will not be bored. No two gigs of mine are the same, I always put in a few extra bits here and there, I do get fans who go to quite a few of my shows on the tour. I tend to feed off the audience, if they are having fun with my jokes then it is always fun. If you need a good laugh, then I would urge you to come along.

Phil Ellis’s Excellent Comedy Show visits:
Leeds Hyde Park Book Club, 4th March
York Theatre @41, 5th March
Sheffield Lescar, 7th March
Hull Truck, 11th April
Northallerton Forum, 20th April
Ticket info here

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