Hello all – don’t forget to check out my review of The Professionals Mk II posted earlier this week! Now, we kick off this week’s blog with a Q & A with Jules Oliver. Saw Jules live at the BBC New Comedy Award a couple of weeks ago – you can here Jules’s performance on October 12th, 10:30pm on BBC Radio 4 Extra.
Chris – So, you’ve been doing stand-up for almost three years, what was that first gig like stepping on stage and hearing those first laughs?
Jules – It was pretty nerve-wracking, but it was a tiny, friendly pub in Brighton’s North Laine, so not exactly The Comedy Store. Half the people were my friends, which in some ways was harder, if it had been strangers maybe I could have just run away afterwards, if it hadn’t gone well. However, after I got my first laughs, I knew it wasn’t going to be complete silence, which is pretty much the best you can hope for. I was buzzing afterwards and had a large glass of wine to calm down.
Chris – I saw you last week in the BBC New Comedy Award heat in Manchester, and during your performance, the ‘f’ word appears – what is so bad about falconry?!
Jules – Thanks for giving me the chance to explain! Don’t get me wrong, I love the bird, and I suspect if I actually did Falconry myself I would find it exciting. However, I spent a wet afternoon once at Carlisle Castle watching a display. I think it was one of the most boring things I have ever seen. I mean even I know that if you get a predatory bird and attach a chunk of meat to your arm, it’s going to come back. Maybe if the bird had gone off piste and kept us on our toes I would have enjoyed it more.
Chris – Which comedians (old and new) make you laugh and have you had the chance to meet any of your idols?
Jules – There are so many that I like, Simon Evans, Romesh Ranganathan, Seann Walsh, Anna Morris, Rachel Parris, Angela Barnes. More established ones, Paul Foot, Micky Flanagan, Peter Kay. I totally love Steve Coogan and anything Partridge related. However, my all time favourite stand up is Harry Hill, I’ve seen him so many times. I’ve liked him since his Channel 4 shows in the 90’s. I met him at a book signing (not very glam), and I told him I was about to do my first stand up and gig and asked him for any advice. He said ‘if it’s going badly, get off stage as quick as possible, if it’s going well get off stage as quick as possible, and relax’.
Chris – Onto sport – do you watch any sport on TV, if so which events do you try and catch?
Jules – I’m sorry, but I am not really into sport at all. Essentially, I was a sport orphan. My parents are obsessed with Football, Golf, Formula 1, Cricket, Horse racing, pretty much anything really. My dad is a Spurs season ticket holder, and my mum Leyton Orient. As a teenager with one TV in the house, I think I begrudged the amount of time that sport was on the TV. So I’m sorry about that, I did get some tickets for the Paralympics though and I enjoyed that, does that count?
Chris – Is there a sporting event you’ve not been to that you would love to go to one day?
Jules – Maybe Wimbledon, although that would be more for the event. Maybe I could have Cliff Richard’s seat? He might not need it anymore. I always remember my friend telling me she liked cricket, as she’s been to watch it in Australia and had nice food and champagne whilst she watched it. I pointed out that maybe it wasn’t the cricket she liked, but picnics? A sunny day in Sydney is quite different to a wet one in Britain watching Kent V Sussex.
Chris – Your website is http://www.julieoliver.co.uk – with all sorts all there, including a clip from a show, gallery and forthcoming gigs – readers can also find you on Twitter – what’s your address?
Jules – @julesolivercom
Chris – What made you venture into stand-up comedy, how did it come about?
Jules – When I moved to Brighton from London, I had more time on my hands and felt like testing myself a bit. I’ve always loved stand-up comedy and had never done anything that outgoing before. I fancied testing out my creative side. I saw an advert for Jill Edwards comedy course. Seann Walsh and Jimmy Carr are ex-pupils of her so she has great credentials. Anyway, I gave it a go and loved it, and one thing led to another and I did my first gig. I just take one step at a time, but I am really enjoying it at the moment.
Freeview listings to follow tomorrow!