In the middle of my interview with Alan Carr, a very loud police siren starts wailing in the background. Quick as a flash, the comedian jokes that, “I’m so in demand, even the police want me,” before adding with a laugh: “Or maybe they’ve seen my act and want to arrest me.”
This is typical of the quick-witted humour of one of the finest comics in the country and he is currently on his first major stand-up tour for three years, stopping off at Leeds Grand later this month.
The comic, who boasts a huge nationwide following after hosting 13 series of his C4 chat show, Alan Carr Chatty Man, smiles, “I adore touring – it keeps me out of mischief! This is the biggest tour I’ve ever done.”
Alan, previously responsible for such successful live shows as “Tooth Fairy” and “Spexy Beast,” is pleased to be undertaking a tour once again. “I love live comedy,” he beams. “Sometimes the politics of doing the chat show and booking guests can be frustrating. And occasionally you’ll have a dud guest with nothing to say. But when it’s just you on stage with a mic in front of lots of people who have come specifically to see you, it’s fantastic. You’re the boss. I get such a buzz on stage. It’s a complete adrenalin rush. When you dream up new material and think, ‘Great, I can add that to the set,’ it’s a wonderful feeling. If it works, a new joke always brings a smile to my face. It’s such a thrill.”
So what subjects will Alan be discussing in Yap, Yap, Yap!? “This show is very personal. It’s a gamble including so much personal stuff, but it pays dividends. The more personal stuff you put in, the more people go ‘Aaah!’ Also, the audience can smell if you start lying in your act. There is an honesty in this show that people will appreciate.”He carries on that, “It’s about co-habiting and how it affects you. I talk about my partner. The show is about my life, so he has to be in it. I didn’t want to start lying and saying I still live on my own in Stretford. My partner doesn’t necessarily like being part of the show, but I said to him, ‘Look, it’s paying the bills. See those shoes you’re wearing? Comedy bought them, so stop moaning.
Alan proceeds to explain the title of the show. “I called it, ‘Yap, Yap, Yap!’ because there’s a lot of waffle out there. With blogs and Twitter, everyone has an opinion nowadays. I can’t believe I’ll be waffling on stage for two hours – I’m adding to it. It’s my own fault!”
The comic has already been warming up the show, and he says that, “It’s had great feedback. I’ve been doing it on and off for the last six months and I think, ‘This is actually quite good’. Now I can’t wait to get out on the road for the real deal.”
The good news is, even if you can’t make it along to a live show, you’ll still be able to enjoy Yap, Yap, Yap! Alan will be recording a brand new live DVD of the show at the Hammersmith Apollo in September and will be released in the autumn.
I have known Alan for many years, and the lovely thing about him is that despite his very high profile, he remains the same really grounded and lovely person that he has always been. “Fame is very nice – I’d never take it for granted. And I also get marvellous presents. So if the fans who are coming to the show could bring me some awful wine to put in my globe on the chat show, that would be very much appreciated!”
• Leeds Grand Theatre, June 28. 08448482700, www.leedsgrandtheatre.com