Andy Hamilton

Writer, comedian and TV panellist Andy Hamilton comes to York in May, playing at the Methodist Church on the 16th. In anticipation of his visit, we sat down for a Q and A to find out what to expect from his show, Viking heritage, and what he makes of Donald Trump.

By Jane Howkins

You’re heading out on a new UK tour called Change Management in May. That’s quite an interesting title. Where did it come from?
Without change we wouldn’t be here. We’d still be single-celled organisms at the bottom of the ocean, which would be quite boring. I’ve gotten to an age where doctors use the term ‘at your age’, and I feel I have a lot of experience looking at society, so that’s what I want to talk about. Also, I chart what’s changed in society, if there indeed have been any changes, and how we cope with everything going on in the world.

What can you tell us about the show, and are you excited for the tour?
There will be laughter mainly, but also an intention to think about what’s been discussed in the show, and hopefully cause stimulating arguments. And a story about me getting a dart in my head.

We’ve noticed that it’s a relatively short tour compared to those that most comedians do, is there any reason for that? Are you planning on expanding the tour in the future?
It’s a relatively short tour because I’ve fitted it into my busy work schedule. That’s what I tell everyone and they usually buy it.

You’re playing a gig at the Central Methodist Church in York on 16 May. Is this an area you enjoy playing in, and have you played there before? If you do like the area, what is it that appeals to you about it?
I have often visited York and always enjoyed it very much. Perhaps I have some Viking ancestry and a racial memory of doing some pillaging.

As well as stand-up, you’re also rather famous for having appeared on several panel shows such as QI and Have I Got News For You, among others. You’ve also written several TV shows, with some of the more well-known ones including Outnumbered, and Ballot Monkeys. How different is writing your own show to being on a panel show, and which do you prefer?
Writing is loads more work. It’s hard. I love doing it, but it’s a nice break sometimes to just go and loon around on stage or in front of some cameras.

Where do you get your ideas from when writing a show? How different is the process of writing a stand-up show to that involved in writing a television program?
Ideas sort of descend on me when I’m not looking, so they could lead me anywhere. I enjoy storytelling, and that’s it really. People always enjoy telling stories. I used to bore my family senseless when I was younger with endless anecdotes. In fact, I still do.

Are you currently planning or writing anything else for television, or are you waiting until after you have finished with the stand-up show?
As usual, I’ve got a lot of scripts out there looking for some money to make them. But I have made a podcast. It’s an in-depth documentary presented by Michael Buerck called Inside Donald Trump. You’ll find it on Unbound.com.

Speaking of Trump, what are your thoughts on politics at the moment, in terms of both the local and the global? That’s something that seems to be comedy gold at the moment!
Is it comedy gold? Or is it comedy fool’s gold? I think I’d prefer it if the world was less funny but a little bit safer.

You released a book last year, titled Star Witness. What can you tell us about that, and do you have any more plans to release any further books in the near future?
It’s a novel that’s both funny and serious about a soap star who finds himself in the dock of public opinion, and it’s about to come out in paperback. It’s on Unbound.com and in bookshops.

Any last words for the fans?
Yes, please come along to the show. I like company.

Andy Hamilton performs at York Methodist Church on Tuesday 16 May 2017.