Two comedians who couldn't be more different represent the diverse range of comedy coming to Yorkshire in the next few months. Mark Steel is one of Radio 4's favoured comedians, while Milton Jones is a regular on television panel shows such as Mock the Week. Jones specialises in brain-twistingly brilliant, honed, nuanced one-liners that have been squeezed into shape, while Steel is a comedian who has delivered lectures that wallow in his verbosity and loquaciousness.
Both are extremely funny men although paradoxically, off stage Steel is the lighter, more silly of the two, while Jones is more studiously serious – the diametric opposite of their stage personas. For his new show, Mark Steel's In Town, he takes on perhaps the most taxing challenge of any comedian on the road this season.
"Each show I do is tailored – or at least some of it is – to the specific town I'm in," says Steel. "It has been a lot of research looking into each town, but what it really does is allow me to bring the audience in and to get to the gig early to have a look around the town and see what might pop up. It keeps it interesting – which is pretty important when you've got a tour this long."
Jones has a show that is watertight. There is little room for improvisation – when you specialise in one-liners like: "I'd just like to say to the old man who was wearing camouflage gear and using crutches, who stole my wallet earlier: 'You can hide, but you can't run'."
"It's hard work – I sometimes work all day on ten seconds of material, but it is a fantastic feeling when you get the line just right, just perfect," says Jones.
Tour dates on www.marksteelinfo.com and www.miltonjones.com