john bishop

I must admit, I’d kind of forgotten about John Bishop. As a panel show regular he seemed fairly ubiquitous; turn on your telly and there he was being the funny bloke alongside a James Corden type or just being one of the few watchable faces on something like Comic Relief. Turns out he hadn’t disappeared though, but had been busy in a tonne of roles as wide and varied as his own chat show, Doctor Who and also starring in panto with Sir Ian Mckellen. And now, here he is again on tour doing stand up.

Tonight’s gig on the ‘Back At It’ tour starts with a video message reminding us to stay off phones (Don’t be a TWAT’) and a trigger warning about the performance – ‘If you’re triggered by comedy, F**k off!’ So before he even gets to the stage the whole place is laughing. Always a good sign.

Moments later, John ambles out and is handed, as he’ll tell us later, a gift from the comedy gods, as a load of people turn up late. Straight away he’s into them, asking names, why they’re late and how far they’ve had to come with hilarious results. Next up he spots a young couple in the front row who it turns out are on a date and have only been together for about a month. A heartwarming story, you think until John helpfully let’s the girl know that given when the tickets went on sale, she’s probably sat in a seat that was intended for someone else!

Tonight’s gig is in two parts. First up, there’s some stuff that’s right up my middle aged street. John’s manopause, which I thought was going to take a turn towards the offensive, but was actually very funny, and then his wife’s menopause, married life and some stuff about his now grown up kids. So, about an hour on family life. It’s clear Bishop hasn’t lost his touch and for the whole of the first half the theatre echoes to the sounds of the kind of laughter you’re very much grateful for at the end of a tough week at work.

The second half ties the tale of a childhood friend in with John’s attempts to trace his family history and again it’s uproariously funny. And there are some tender, reflective moments too as he tells us about losing his mum. But he even manages to find the humour in that. The point of it all, says Bishop, is that he’s realising that he needs to start doing the kinds of things he imagined doing with his life when he was seven. So, a bucket list of sorts. No bungee jumping or climbing Everest though, just taking a trip on a moped through the Pyrenees and trying to be a mascot at a Liverpool match while he was in his 40s!

By the end of the night, I’ve well and truly remembered just who John Bishop is. He never went away, didn’t change at all and is still a very, very likeable and funny man. He’s planning bigger gigs next year he says, so if you get the chance to get tickets, snap them up!

WORDS BY GRAHAM CROSBY

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john bishop

The post JOHN BISHOP LIVE IN HALIFAX – WHAT HAPPENED? first appeared on RGM : REYT GOOD MAGAZINE.

By mykct