I'd just interviewed The Beatles on TV but still needed proof; COMEDIAN JOHN BISHOP TALKS TO MARION MCMULLEN ABOUT SELFIES, TOURING, AND WINGING IT.
| Why have you called the tour Winging It? It's from my life. It reflects my life and I thought that's not a bad title really. If people came when I first started doing stand-up I was very much winging it. I wasn't sure what I was doing. (Laughs) It hasn't changed very much. There are lots of times now when I think I'm just winging this. I've just been filming with Helen McCrory and Michael Gambon in ITV's new drama Fearless and I think 'How has this happened?' | Do you ever get starstruck? I met (two of) The Beatles recently. I had 10 minutes to interview them for The One Show and the next day I was on stage with them for the film The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years. For some reason Paul kept calling me Frank the first day and the next day he and Ringo were joking about it. They were about to walk off at the end and in my head I suddenly thought we're mates, but I realised they weren't going to call and say 'What are you doing for Sunday dinner?', so I thought 'I've got to have a selfie with Paul and Ringo.' (Laughs) It's pathetic. I'd just done an interview that had been seen by everyone and I still had to prove to myself that I had just spoken to them. There is a level of celebrity and then their fame is something else. Paul and Ringo I had admired all my life and I couldn't believe I was having a conversation with them. That was brilliant.
| Did you give yourself a time limit when you gave up your job as a pharmaceutical rep to make it in comedy? When I first started I had no aspirations to make it. I just fell into it and loved it and wanted to keep doing it. I sat down with Melanie, my wife, and said I was going to give comedy a go full time. All I had to do was pay the bills. As long as I was covering the bills, that was really it.
In my head I had two years to do that. The first year I didn't and the second year I broke even and by the third year things were moving on.
I think when you enter showbusiness you've got to be prepared for the fact that you are not going to have the security of working for a company.
| Was there a turning point? I did my first television in 2010 and did shows like Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and the Jonathan Ross Show. I was touring when I did the Jonathan Ross Show and thought I was doing really well. I was selling 800 to 900 tickets a night. The week after Jonathan Ross I sold 22,000 tickets. The whole tour sold out. It was a significant moment.
| You interviewed people such as James Corden and Steve Coogan for John Bishop: In Conversation With... on the W Channel. How was that? I've been so lucky. I wanted it be a real eclectic mix of people. I wanted the show to be interesting and I had no questions written down. My second question was based on the answer to my first question. My guests were always going to be someone with a story to tell.
| Is there anyone you would like to interview? I'd be interested in speaking with politicians, but not necessarily about grilling them or statistics. The motivations of an actor or a comedian are about the joy of doing it, but in politics, most of the time, it is people telling you you're getting it wrong. I'm sure many politicians work 90-hour weeks and could make more money doing something else. I don't think every politician is doing it for selfish reasons so I'd be interested in interviewing a few of them to find out what motivates them.
| Would you ever consider going into politics yourself? (Laughs) I think I'll leave that to other people. I have opinions and sometimes people think you shouldn't have an opinion, but it's not the job for me.
Can you imagine Prime Minister's Question Time with a comedian? If I dealt with them the same way I deal with hecklers then the whole thing would degenerate very quickly.
| Catch John Bishop at the ECHO arena, Liverpool, October 20-22, 2017. Tickets 0844 8000 400.
John Bishop is looking to the future, 2017 to be exact