Interview: Lucy Porter
Matt HumphreysCute, clever and very, very funny, Lucy Porter might just be the ideal woman. Unfortunately she's also just got married. MATT HUMPHREYS still pops the big questions ahead of her latest gold-themed show in Norwich.Matt Humphreys
Cute, clever and very, very funny, Lucy Porter might just be the ideal woman. Unfortunately she's also just got married. MATT HUMPHREYS still pops the big questions ahead of her latest gold-themed show in Norwich.
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Since bursting onto the comedy circuit in 2001, Lucy Porter has travelled the world with her self-depreciating observational humour, becoming a regular face on TV panel shows such as Mock The Week.
Now the 37-year-old comedian is back on the road and will be back in Norwich - a place she enjoys visiting as it's a chance to catch up with friends, when she brings Fool's Gold, her latest solo show, to the Playhouse as part of a 43-date UK tour.
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t Fool's Gold - where did the precious metal theme come from?
It's loosely themed, let's be honest. Last year when I was coming up with ideas there were all those 'selling cash for gold adverts' on TV. Who has got gold lying around that they're not using and why send it in an envelope to someone you've never met? People get obsessed with it in the recession. My previous shows have been about much more highfalutin philosophical subjects like love and death. They've been much more nebulous but this is more tangible.
t Are you the kind of comic who gets hit by inspiration from everyday things when you're walking down the street?
Yes, I used to use dictaphones and notebooks to get my ideas down but now I just stick it on my iPhone and whittle comedy gold out of it. Its ridiculous how ridiculous how reliant I've become on my iPhone.
t You got a record score on Celebrity Mastermind with your chosen subject being Steve Martin - is he a bit of an influence, then?
Ha ha! I'm so modest, I don't really like to talk about it. He's not so much an influence but he's a massive hero. I wish I was a physical comedian. There's this thing where some people are just naturally brilliant. If I could be any comedy person it would be him in his hey-day when he was selling out Hollywood Bowl.
t You're dangerously close to becoming a household name - does it feel like you've gone up in the world in the last few years?
It's a little bit more glamorous than my early days playing the working men's clubs and places like that, but you still have to get changed in the toilets. If my mates come on tour with me they expect glamorous parties backstage with cocaine and dwarves. It's not rock'n'roll. When I started I could only spend between �10 and �20 on a room a night and you can't get much for that. I'd get in from the show and I'd have to lock myself in the room away from the tramps and winos. It made me the woman I am today.
t Have I Got News For You, Mock The Week, Never Mind The Buzzcocks - which is best to appear on?
Mmmm, no-one's ever asked me that. They're all sort of different. Mock The Week is kind of like being knocked over by a lawnmower. It's much more rough and tumble. It's more exhilarating. Then you've got some of the stuff I do on Radio 4 which is like having a drip of cocoa fed into your veins and it's lovely and relaxing. I like having the variety. One minute you're playing the Hammersmith Apollo to 3,000 people and the next it's a room above a pub in Camden.
t You've dabbled with several serious acting roles before, do you have any ambitions to develop that side of things in the future?
I'm never very good with the word 'ambition'. I never really know what I want to do. I really love the acting I've done but I'm really bad at auditions. I feel like such a dick. I find them so embarrassing and difficult because I'm not trained. I just do bits and bobs and try not to take work away from the real actors.
t You recently got married - doesn't this kind of ruin the 'useless in love' stage act?
I know, I haven't bothered to rewrite the press release! There was a big bit in my last Edinburgh show where I was saying how I'd never get married. You have a comic persona but now I've got to hope my marriage is a total disaster. We've been together for years but didn't really think about marriage. Then we decided to follow the herd and do it. It's been lovely.
t Any plans for children?
I also did a show where I said I'd never have children. I should plan not to talk about my personal life. You don't have to give everything away about your life. People get queasy going into gynaecological detail. If you're basically a normal human being you have the same experiences as everyone else. I meet hundreds of people every week and fortunately or unfortunately most people are the same. No matter what gender or religion or race you are the more you meet people there's much similarities between us all than we realise.
t Lucy Porter: Fool's Gold is at Norwich Playhouse on March 26, �14 (�12 cons), 01603 598598, www.norwichplayhouse.org.uk