Spotlight: Liam Pickford

Comedian and ‘provincial gorgepot’ Liam Pickford identifies losing out to an Irish dancer at a talent show as the catalyst for his career

Feature by John Stansfield | 29 Oct 2013
  • Liam Pickford

Liam Pickford is a 24-year-old stand-up from Ashton-under-Lyne who for two years has been confusing and amusing crowds on the Northwest circuit. Winning the Manchester heat of BBC Radio’s New Comedy Award in 2012 and in the same year making the semi-finals of industry springboard the Chortle Student Comedy Awards, Pickford has continued to impress in the early stages of his career. Here he gives us the sum of his experiences so far. And his opinion on dogs.

Influences:

"The soft, forlorn rumblings of the relentlessly stamping jackboot of time. Russian books. Wacky, weird, legendary, mad, sick, lush stuff what people who are poor say on the bus."

First gig:

"I did a talent competition when I attended university and they only put me through to the final because one of the jugglers did a racist ball routine. I lost to a girl who did Irish dancing in the final. I wish her all the very best. I went my own way on to the School of Facetious Answers. I think she's either on heroin or a witness protection programme. I can't say too much about it. The book will be out soon, though."

Best gig:

"The Comedy Store in Manchester the other month was alright. Jack Whitehall was there and let me have the last beer in the fridge, which is the least he could've done really. All the women came up to me after and said 'Hey, Liam, you provincial gorgepot, can I touch one of your right broad and gorgeous shoulders?' and I said 'Look, if you wanna see the ass, I gotta see the cash.' Then one of them swooned at my face as I leapt onto the saddle of my supercool, flash burgundy mobility scooter and careered into the canal like Thelma AND Louise. Both of them. At once."

Worst gig:

"Definitely Epsom Racecourse last Christmas. It was akin to standing bereft at the precipice of a cold, lifeless chasm of colourless fire. The audience just weren't ready for the soft power of my happy-go-lucky, cheeky, cuddly, cheeky, cuddly, Northern funster everyman persona. They just wanted dead baby jokes and more pâté. 'More pâté!' they cackled, as they mercilessly flung barbed insults like 'fat bugger!', 'dweeb!' and 'dumbo!' at my shot and shattered soul."

Circuit favourites in the Northwest:

"I like Jayne Edwards, Jack Evans, David Stanier, Rachel Fairburn, Danny Sutcliffe and Fern Brady. They're dead good."

Favourite venue:

"The Brudenell Social Club in Leeds, which hosts the excellent Pigeon Hole comedy night, is lovely. It's like a nan's living room that's been spaffed on by a cock of pure future."

Best heckle:

"There's this bloke on the circuit who wears a papier-mâché dolphin mask and does fish puns. Someone shouted 'They're mammals!' at him. It's funny, informative and scientifically accurate. I don't really remember any putdowns as I'm too busy being a cuddly northern funster. I once ran at a heckler with a bin in Liverpool. That did the trick and gave people a thing to put rubbish in, which was nice for them."

Aspirations:

"I just want to be every household's favourite cuddly northern funster, and host Saturday night gameshows like Who's Hiding In Barry? and Punch the Pauper!"

Cats or dogs:

"Both move about which is awful, but it'd have to be cats. Dogs are terrifying. They might look cute but if you look at them for long enough, you get the feeling that they're thinking about woofing at your gran. Woofing the shit out of your gran."

Catch Liam at Sham Bodie, The Castle Hotel, Manchester, 7 Nov, 7.30pm, £10

@ImLiamPickford