Brighton Magazine

The Brighton Magazine

Selected Brighton Magazine Article

Wednesday 21 May 2014

Interview: Frank Skinner Prior To His Return To Stand-Up At The Brighton Centre

Frank Skinner is back on the road after a seven year break, and after filling those years as a successful broadcaster, he's returned to doing what he enjoys the most - stand-up. 



The live arena gives full rein to Frank's spontaneous wit. It allows him two hours to demonstrate how he cannot help but be funny. He is one of nature"s most effortlessly hilarious people.

The great thing is, Frank is equally funny in person. An hour-long interview with him is like being treated to a command performance – to an audience of one. 

Frank, who has over the years won numerous awards for his stand-up, including the prestigious Perrier Award in 1991, begins by underlining how much he is looking forward to returning to the stage. 

"It's so different from other stuff. I like the sense that it"s not being recorded. 

"Even when you come to record your DVD, no matter how much you fight it, you feel that you"re wearing a slightly smaller suit. It feels a lot more restrained.

"So much stuff is recorded these days. Small stand-up clubs will often have a camera at the back of the room, and you never know where the footage will end up. 


"In the end, memories will be completely closed down. YouTube has already totally killed the anecdote. It provides anecdotes for the illiterate: "Here's a funny thing – look at this!""

The other aspect about live comedy that Frank revels in is the terrific rapport that he enjoys with his audiences:. 

"I love interacting with the audience," affirms the comedian, the proud father of a one-year-old son called Buzz. 

"When it goes well, suddenly I feel like I'm part of the audience as well. That's very exhilarating. 

Last week a woman in the front row had an American accent, and I asked if she was from the US. 

She replied, "No, I"m from Iraq". I"d made the wrong-est guess anyone"s ever made and my life flashed in front my eyes – but the audience laughed about it for at least a minute.

"Those moments are very precious because they're not repeatable. They happen so quickly that you"re not even aware of the process. 

"During my last tour, a guy came up to me and told me he had been doing comedy for eight months. 

"He said, "You know when you come back to the audience really quickly – how do you do that?" I replied, "I don't know". 

"Come on, it would really help me. What difference would it make to you?" "I"m honestly not keeping anything from you. It just happens". I don't know how you could rehearse those exchanges – unless you practiced with your partner.


"But she doesn't always appreciate my comebacks! Anyway, those moments on stage are very pleasurable indeed."

Just how much of Frank's material in his new show, Man in a Suit, is lifted directly from his own life? 

"You'd be amazed! I embroider very little. I never completely invent anything. I think it would lack conviction if I did. It feels more real when it is true."

One thing that has changed about Frank's act over the years is that it now features far less blue material than it did in the past. 

The comedian, who also penned Frank Skinner on the Road, which chronicled his 2007 sell-out return to stand-up, explains that Man in a Suit is merely an account of who he now is. 

"There's a bit of filth, but not much. When I do Room 101 or my radio show, I'm very me. I don't feel phoney. 

"David Baddiel said to me recently: 'When I think of 'your funny' off stage, I don't think of you doing knob jokes. I think of you talking about John Updike." That"s more who I am off stage these days.

"I've done a lot of knob jokes in my time, but maybe I've emptied my supply of them now. 

Your comedy should be a reflection of what's in your head, and I just don't think of sex as much as I used to. 

When you get into a long relationship, sex is no longer the dominant thing."

Frank closes by returning to the subject of how much is looking forward to performing live once more with Man in a Suit. 

"I've always had the showing off gene. I see it now in my son. The other day he did an impression of me doing the impression of Louis Armstrong, and I don't think I've ever been prouder! 

"So on stage I want to show off. If the audience are laughing, I want to make them laugh even more. Above all, I really care about the audience having a very good time indeed."

Frank Skinner at the Brighton Centre, on Sunday, 1st June. See brightoncentre.co.uk for more info 



by: Mike Cobley


Share    


Annabella Lwin, at the tender age of fourteen, was one of the most photographed, talked about and popular vocalists in the early 80's with her band, Bow Wow Wow, who enjoyed success with hits such as 'I Want Candy', 'Go Wild in the Country', 'C30, C60, C90, Go!'. 

Artists are turning to bees and bananas for inspiration as Brighton's ONCA Gallery hosts Experiencing Change | Changing Experience, which sees several artists, from a group known as the e:collective, look at our relationship with change on a social, economic, environmental and personal level. 

The final countdown has begun. With a few weeks to go until Together The People returns to Preston Park, let's take a look at the wide range of entertainment the festival has to offer.

Youth has been there, seen it and done it. He can go from the giddy heights of producing albums by the biggest superstars on the planet –from Paul McCartney and Pink Floyd ,with records he's worked on having sold 20 million worldwide – to the deepest and weirdest underground dance scenes in dark basements and far flung corners of the planet. 
Steven Adams & Myles Locke as Algernon & John

Brighton Little Theatre's 'Earnest' moved to the Brighton Open Air Theatre for a short run, taking full advantage of the British Summer evenings. 

The team from Gay Star News will be attending Brighton Pride to hand out 2,500 of their free Pride Bags to attendees. 


Six years used to be a lifetime in rock 'n' roll. Kids driven by the urgency of youth form bonds, plug in, play gigs, find a label. acclaim, exhaustion, over and out. 

Fresh from a headline set on Glastonbury's Acoustic Stage, UK country duo The Shires will be playing tracks from their new album alongside fan favourites from their gold selling debut,Brave, when they visit Brighton later this year.

Who knew a trip to Pizza Express could inform a young teenager's life so greatly? 

Billy Connolly continues to defy his recent double-diagnosis of Parkinson's disease and prostate cancer by announcing an autumn arena tour, which brings him to Brighton in November.

Alzheimer's Society is urging families to spend time together tackling the biggest health issue of our time, by joining the Brighton Memory Walk to raise money for a world without dementia.

Green councillors have spoken of their fears for the future of HIV prevention services in Brighton & Hove, after the city's Health & Wellbeing board approved a 20% cut in prevention and support services.

Chisenhale Dance Space and The Marlborough Theatre are small organisations: small staff, small budgets, but with big communities, and big opportunities. 

Archive search

Search our archives for what's on and gone for the best of this city's theatre music comedy news and much more...







Organising a conference or event in Brighton?
See our Brighton Conference section.
Brighton web design by ...ntd