Comedian Ed Gamble on his Yorkshire tour dates and being a judge on Great British Menu

“I initially sat down and thought hey maybe this is my year to write an important political piece,” says Ed Gamble, his voice deadpan, “but it just ended up being mostly about buffet breakfasts.”

The comedian is currently on his sixth national tour Electric, which includes dates in Yorkshire from today.

“It’s very silly a ridiculous show and also the story of what I’ve been up to in the last couple of years, lots of observations and rude jokes,” he says. “Nothing serious, nothing important. It’s not going to change your life but I think it’s a really good night out.”

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Gamble, co-host of the food podcast Off Menu, in which he and fellow comedian James Acaster invite special guests into their magical restaurant to each choose their favourite starter, main course, side dish, dessert and drink, had plenty to keep him busy during the height of the pandemic including podcasting and video gigs. But being back on the road doing stand-up is what he enjoys most.

Comedian Ed Gamble is in Yorkshire with his tour Electric. Photo: Matt Crockett.

“However much I tried to convince myself I was enjoying doing comedy on Zoom, as soon as I got back to an actual live audience I realised what I’d been missing. [Zoom] takes some getting used to. There’s a lot of time you’re trying to get the rhythm and there’s a delay and you do a joke and you’re waiting for the laugh.

“Though sometimes the laugh never comes and it’s nothing to do with the delay, it was just a bad joke,” he continues. It was a nice stop gap, it was nice to be doing something but we all knew we wanted to get back to live performances.

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“It’s lovely to see people around the country and have live audiences again, actually being in the room with people and being able to see the whites of people’s eyes. The audiences have been great, I don’t think the novelty has worn off yet that people are out and doing something. The energy is great with them, my energy is high and we feed off each other.”

Gamble will take to the stage at Hull City Hall today, with gigs planned in Bradford, Sheffield and Leeds next month. “Yorkshire audiences are very comedy savvy and very warm,” he says. “They come to have a good time and I’m looking forward to all of them.”

Gamble, a regular on comedy panel show Mock the Week, is a new judge on the latest series of Great British Menu, working alongside fellow judges Tom Kerridge and Nisha Katona and host Andi Oliver.

“It’s brilliant. I can’t complain. I get to show up on a Friday when we’re filming it and eat loads of amazing food,” he says. “I love working with Tom and Nisha and Andi and the rest of the team.

“It’s sort of a dream job really. I’ve always watched the show and thought how lucky the judges are to sit there in the judging chamber and eat whatever is brought to them and give their opinions and now I get to do that, which is amazing.”

Electric follows Gamble’s extended sold-out UK tour of his previous stand-up show Blizzard and his comedy special Blood Sugar being available worldwide on Amazon Prime. “What I’ve always tried to do throughout my career is keep it varied,” he says,

“You don’t want to start taking things for granted or start resenting any one thing. I love being on the road still, stand up is my main thing that I enjoy and everything else feeds into that but it’s nice to know when you’ve been on the road for a few weeks that when you stop doing that there’s something else to do to scratch another itch.

“I love it. People seem to let comedians do whatever. They think if you can do stand up, you can probably have a crack at presenting, at judging a food show. I’m very lucky that I get to do a range of stuff.”

Electric is at Bradford St George’s Hall on April 7, Sheffield City Hall on April 19 and Leeds City Varieties on April 22.

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