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Russell Howard…

Making a name for himself on the other side of the Atlantic hasn’t changed quirky Bristolian stand-up Russell Howard. Not one jot. A seventh series of his hit comedy show Russell Howard’s ‘Good News’ will air later this month, and the ever-mocking 32 year old has no plans to ease off just yet…

Russell Howard’s droll, laissez-faire attitude has cultivated a triumphant stand-up act and, ultimately, the root of his success. Makes sense then that the 32 year old funnyman would rather perform a highland fling on a carpet of dirty hypodermic needles than modify his act for the slightly more offendable folks across the Atlantic. Howard went down a storm in the States with his first appearance on the Conan O’Brien show last year and reveals he’s currently working on a few projects that could bring a more permanent US move. “Working over in the States,” he says,

“I felt like an 18 year old rookie again, which is nice. It feels like a clean slate where anything can happen. I’d love to do more in the States. It’s fresh territory and I’m talking to a few people now,
so we’ll see what comes of these conversations”.

“The appearance on Conan’s show wasn’t so much nerve-wracking, more unsettling to see how I would be received out there. I wondered whether they would get my humour, but it seemed to go alright.”

“American’s are so PC though, you could really find yourself walking on eggshells. But to ‘make it’ as they say, out there, no, I wouldn’t do that at all. There’s no way I’m modifying what I say to adhere to a norm. It’s not even a sticking-by-my-principles attitude. I just couldn’t be bothered.”

“I’m doing alright in the UK, and if they have a problem with what I say in the States, then, whatever. They can write a letter of complaint.” Howard, who will soon return with a new series of his hit show Russell Howard’s Good News, did have a rather memorable encounter with Croatian tennis ace Novak Djokovic, another guest of O’Brien’s on the night. Djokovic, it seems, took harmless small talk to another level. “It wasn’t long after he had won Wimbledon and, I have to say, Djokovic is a bit of an odd character, kind of reminiscent of Sacha Baron Cohen,” says Howard. “He congratulated me on my show, saying in this big, animated voice, ‘Well done, you are really funny’. I come back with, ‘Thank you, congratulations on winning Wimbledon.’ You know, just a few pleasantries and I thought it would end at that.”

“But then he asks me, ‘Were you there?’, and I reply, ‘Eh no, but I watched it on the TV’. He says, ‘it would have been awesome if you were there. I really wish you had been.” “So, as it turns out, the sheen from
his Wimbledon win was wiped clean simply because I didn’t make an appearance at the Wimbledon men’s final in 2011. Otherwise I’m sure he would have carried me on to Centre Court on that big plate trophy thing they win. Which, to be fair, sounds like a fun way to spend an afternoon.” Taking a swipe at the funniest and, frankly, most bizarre current stories, Russell Howard’s ‘Good News’ has been a ratings winner for the BBC.
And at seven seasons and counting, no one is more surprised than the man himself at the longevity and success of the show.

“It’s ridiculously difficult to believe a show with my name on it has gotten to seven series. It’s rather absurd really if you think about it. I mean, who am I? Just some random punter blathering on about whatever comes to mind. I often think, ‘Who wants to hear what I have to say?’, though I try to not entertain those thoughts – they’d definitely keep me awake at night.”

So does the comedian who can boast of being the youngest ever stand-up to sell out London’s O2 Arena have any changes for the upcoming series?

“It’ll stay exactly the same format, obviously with different jokes to keep it fresh and topical. But that’s true of any series – just go with what’s current and happening now. If it ain’t
broke and all that.”

Please click here to read the full interview…

 

Interview by Interview Hub