PQ: ""I have stotty cakes FedExed to me around the world, to keep my mouth in a Newcastle shape""
World-class Geordie rambler Ross Noble is currently on tour around the UK with Nobleism, his storming new show. On 21 October, he will be broadcasting his live show from the Liverpool Empire Theatre throughout Vue cinemas, including those in Edinburgh and Hamilton. The Skinny caught up with him to find out what it's all about.
"Nobleism is a brand spanking new set. But it's a constantly rolling thing; I always view the show as a work in progress. I don't write a show, and think that it's finished. I tour over the year, take a couple of months off, tour Australia, take a couple of months off. In the meantime I wait for ideas to bubble up.
"For the Vue broadcasts I'll be doing a live gig in Liverpool, with a load of cameras. Then it'll be beamed up to the satellites so people can watch in forty cinemas: they'll still be in an audience. We've been looking into interactive elements, but it turns out to get a two way link into forty cinemas costs about forty million pounds, so we'll probably just have a phone number so people can just call up!"
Your comedy is famously whimsical. Is that a question of taste, or simply what you're best at?
"At first I thought 'shall I be like this?' as a comedian. I'd see Jack Dee and think 'he's the grumpy one', Lee Evans and 'he's the manic one'. But I gave up trying to be a certain way, and decided to be a comic without a distinct style. Then when people started impersonating me, when mates did parodies of me, and people recommended new acts who have been strongly 'influenced by you', you realise that being yourself is a style. I thought I was a regular observational comic.
"I also like social commentary and political stuff, and people like Jerry Sadowitz who are full on and aggressive, which is the complete flipside of me."
Do you still live in Newcastle? Have you ever felt your accent drifting?
"I don't live there anymore. I have felt my accent drifting occasionally, but compared to some it's positively clean English. I've been spending so much time in Australia I've started saying 'no worries' and 'g'day', which in my accent just sounds weird. To keep it in shape I have stotty cakes FedExed to me around the world, to keep my mouth in a Newcastle shape."
What's exciting you at the moment?
"I got some pet cows – they're my main area of enthusiasm at the moment. They're called Jarvis, Jasper, Jack and Meg, and they're Highland cows but they're in Australia. It's great feeding them. They're really small; people think Highland cows are giant but they're about half the size of normal cows. You put hay out and it's like a miniature stampede."
And what's not so hot?
"When you've been in Australia for a few months, you come back and you don't know any of the celebrities – you just see them all over the tabloids. I don't find them bugging – everyone's got to earn a pound note – but there is just a deluge of stuff. And the shows on TVÃ‚Â… I don't mind if there are characters, and I suppose if you want to go on TV and make a twat of yourself then I'm fine with that. But if one of these people had a lung torn out by an angry panther, I'd want to read about that. If someone has a giant tumour on their face, feature them. We should celebrate worthy achievement, y'know?"
Nobleism, Vue Cinemas, 21 Oct, 20:00
Omni Centre, Edinburgh, Ocean Terminal, Edinburgh, Palace Towers, Hamilton. Tickets available on 08712 240 240