Mark Steel talks about stand-up comedy and radio while his on new tour

The English socialist columnist, author and comedian Mark Steel starts his stand-up tour with some unique materials and not-so-shy jokes. On Labor Day he will work a stand-up show at Lincoln Drill Hall. The comedian is known for his Radio 4 comedy show, “Mark Steel’s in Town” and most of all BBC comedy features. Mark Steel talks about what stand-up comedy means for him, how he manages to be such a great one and what are his routines before performing or radio hosting

In an interview, Mark says: “For the radio show, where the whole show is about that town, I will go and spend a day there and get books to research as well. When I'm in a town or city, quite often someone from a museum or something like that will show me around. I am looking for something different, a story. Then I get a load of books and spend about three weeks researching.

I can't do that for every live show. I usually spend a day in a city and that makes a difference for an audience – like making reference to a record store everyone will know about. So they know it's not just been a case of looking up stuff beforehand.

I do think I am mad sometimes doing this. Other comedians, when they have a show, go to the theatre, have a cup of tea, go on and then go home.

But what I do is really good fun and I love the idea that everywhere I go is genuinely distinct. With so many comedians also wanting to test out new material before starting a major tour, it's a brave man that goes out every night with pretty much a new show. Is the thrill of this part of the fun?

I have got used to the fact it's always going to be slightly unpredictable," says Mark who, as well as Mark Steel's In Town, has presented the BAFTA nominated Mark Steel Lectures for BBC2 and is a regular on “Have I Got News For You” and Radio 4's Newsquiz.

"In an ideal world I do about half an hour on the town and there's no real point writing an actual script," he says. "But if you can create the right atmosphere someone will call something out and you get chatting about a place and someone might even stand up and tell a story. I don't want people to think if they call out I'm going to humiliate them because that's not going to happen.

It is a real buzz. I must have done about 120 of these shows. I think it would get very tiresome for a comic to get bored of doing the same things."

Tickets for his first two tour stops on 26th April and 4th May are sold out but you still have a chance to see him on 14th June and 6th July.

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