Published in Issue 140 of ScotsGay Magazine
Tell us about being the 37th Beatle.
The show’s about how the Beatles’ influence is inescapable, in all creative fields (for good or ill) and also explores my own (varyingly tentative) connections to the Beatles. Everyone from Liverpool’s got SOME sort of Beatles anecdote to tell, but mine are pretty good. One involves a snake…
How long have you been part of Radio 4’s Now Show team? It seems like, along with The News Quiz, it’s a real satirical institution.
I had to think about it and turns out it’s FOURTEEN YEARS. God I feel old. I’m glad you think it’s an institution now ‘cos in a weird way we still feel like the new guys.
You recently wrote a song about gay marriage. How do you feel about the current debate about equal marriage in Scotland and England?
I haven’t really been paying attention to how the debate’s been going up here but in England the anti camp has pretty much boiled down to the bigoted, the bewildered and the just plain batshit. It’s by no means a done deal but the momentum’s unstoppable now I think.
This year you undertook a Comic Relief 24 Hour Album Challenge.
It was as much an exercise in seeing if I could do it as a charitable thing… I’m glad we raised as much as we did and I’m actually pretty pleased with the album although I don’t seem to have many memories of the 24 hour session itself…
What do you want to see in Doctor Who’s 50th anniversary special, and who should the next Doctor be?
Wouldn’t want to second guess the casting process as frankly I’d never heard of Matt Smith five years ago. I’m sure whoever they pick will be amazing. I’m looking forward to the 50th Anniversary special although bizarrely I won’t see it go out live as I’ll be touring with The Hitch Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy live show – I’m taking over as Zaphod.
There’s’ talk of launching a UK version of ‘The Daily Show with John Stewart’. Fancy the John Stewart role?
I wouldn’t attempt to copy The Daily Show; that exact format wouldn’t work on British TV for a number of reasons but also I’d never try to do what Jon Stewart does because he’s a once-in-a-generation genius. John Oliver’s doing a good job standing in for him but he’s been learning at the feet of the master.
Edinburgh was your home for four years. Do you miss it?
It’s not really a case of “miss”, as weirdly whenever I come back it’s like I’ve never left. I don’t miss Edinburgh because I know it’s still there when I want it.
|Genres||music, solo show|
|Venue||The Stand Comedy Club III & IV|
Ringo was nearly my dad … or, or Pete Best found my snake. Over the years, many people have claimed the title the fifth Beatle. They can’t all be right, but some of them have been a lot righter than others… Mitch Benn was born in Liverpool in January 1970. Three months later the Beatles broke up. Coincidence? Yes.
|Group||Voodoo Rooms / Blond Ambition|
|Venue||The Voodoo Rooms|
|Duration||1 hour 30 minutes|
London’s top musical comedy night arrives in Edinburgh! The Distraction Club promises you an amazing variety night featuring the best musical comedians and the funniest musicians to be found at the Edinburgh Fringe. Witness exciting one-off collaborations and join the electric atmosphere of guaranteed fun and laughs. With hosts including Mitch Benn, Rich Hall, Phill Jupitus, Loretta Maine, Phil Nichol, Abandoman, Shlomo and many more alongside the cream of up-and-coming talent.