John Bishop: in Conversation With (2016) - full transcript

John Bishop swaps the mic for the interview chair in this UKTV original series on W. John Bishop In Conversation With - showcases John's unique approach to interviewing and casts the comedian in a whole new light.


Ladies and gentlemen

please welcome to the stage

Mr John Bishop!

- Hello!

Thank you!

Good evening.

Got a little bit carried away
with the smoke there, haven't we?

Good evening everyone,
how are you?

- Good, good.

Thank you for coming here,
to the Palladium.

This is... this...

I mean, this is beautiful right?
I was here last night

this is only the second time I've ever done
a one man show here.

I have been at the Palladium before.

Once before I hosted

the Royal Variety Show here.


To the royal box up there which was
and odd thing to do

- Yeah.

Put your own jokes in, if you want, yeah?

It was an odd thing to do
because, right, I...

It was funny when I got asked to do it
because I'm, like...

from a tradition.
My dad's a big trade union man.

We're from the part of the world where
we're not really monarchists.

We're part of the world where it's a bit odd

to go and do something
like the Royal Variety Show

because, I'll be honest with you

I think a monarchy is a ridiculous thing.

I think it's daft

but it's but it's a little bit
like having heated seats in your car.


Before you've had it, it seems stupid

but once you've got them, you think

I couldn't really be without them
now, to be honest.


And I'll be honest.
When I did it, the one that I did...

Uh... it was Prince Charles and Camilla

and I was the host

and since then, I've met all of them,
and I like them.

Particularly the young royals, I like them,
I've met...

I've met Prince Harry.

Uh, and I like him.

He's dead down-to-earth,
he's exactly what you see.

He's dead down-to-earth.
I think the stuff he does

with the lnvictus Games is brilliant.

So, so... yeah.



I really like him. I've met William.

His brother, the future King.

Yeah, and I think what he does
with... with...

I met him through some charity stuff
with mental health

and I think that what he does
with mental health is brilliant.

So, again, not something he has to do
so I really like him.

I think he's good, yeah.


And I've met his wife, Kate.


I like her...

Yeah, I really like her...

But it's just, it's not an odd "like",
it's a real like.

It's a genuine like, it's uh...

It's a two-way "like", it's a mutual "like".

It's that kind of "like" you sometimes have
in your life when you walk into a room

and you look in someone's eyes

and they look back in your eyes

and you know

in another life it could have been different.

I know it, she knows it.

He probably knows it, to be fair.

And I'm not complaining about
the choices I've made

she's just gotta get on with it.
It's just the way it is, but...

but I do, I like her.

And I've also... I've met the nan

which is bonkers.

Like, I've met their nana

and that's an odd thing to do
when their nana is like, the Queen.

And that was...

ridiculous. I met the Queen.

Never ever intended to meet the Queen
in my life.

As I said, from a big trade union...
sort of family

and my dad always said
"Oh, the monarchy they're...

they're just taking from us" and all that,
and then all of a sudden I got invited

to this reception at Buckingham Palace.

So, I never had an aspiration
ever to go there

got invited to this reception

and 25 of us got pulled out

and got told we were gonna meet the Queen.

Now, first of all, I know on one level
that kills the story

cos when I said I'd met the Queen

if you're in someone's house

there's a chance you're gonna meet them.

You know I said I was in Buckingham Pal...

If I'd have said, "I met the Queen,
I was in Asda"


"Frozen food section, there she was."

Much better story, but that's not the way
it happened. I was at this...

at this reception and uh...

they pulled 25 of us aside and said

"Listen, you've been selected
to meet Her Majesty."

And she's probably one of the few people
in the world.. In fact the whole royal family

are the few people in the world
that you get told what to do

before you meet them.

So, they pulled us aside
and they got the 25 of us in a corridor

like that, in a big long line, right.

She's not at the end, cos that would be odd.

You just go up at her then some...

What they did, they had us in a big long line
and put her behind a door.

So... not like...

"Hey it's me, the Queen."
It's not like that.

She's right in a doorway,
so you're just all lined up

and it was literally,
it was like a parachute jump.

You know, where people take a step?

Get to the door, gone.
Never saw them again.

So you're all waiting for your go

and as we're waiting for our go,
we're all lining up like that

taking a step forward

that's when they come along
and tell you the rules.

This fella comes along and goes, uh

"Uh, right, Mr Bishop,
you're gonna meet Her Majesty."

"You do not proffer your hand to her Majesty.

You take one step forward, you pause

Her Majesty will proffer her hand to you.

Then you take her hand,
you're supposed to bow.

You call her "Ma'am"...

8.3 '
In "ham"


I said, "Oh, like spam."

He said, "What's that?", I said

"Never came down here,
you don't need to know."

So, I'm just waiting, like that

and as I'm in the corridor, I thought,
I've got to phone my dad.

I phoned my dad and said,
"Dad, Dad...

you're not gonna believe this

I'm in Buckingham Palace
and I've been told I'm gonna meet the Queen."

He said, "You what?"

I said, "I'm in Buckingham Palace,
I'm gonna meet the Queen.

He said, "Are you there now?"

I said, "Yeah."

He said, "Nick something."


I said, "What do you mean?".
He said, "You're not really nicking it

we paid for it, you're just taking it back."


He said, "And remember..."
and I love my dad for this line...

He said, "And remember, the Queen
has been a good servant

for this country, you look her in the eyes,
you show her due respect.

But my son doesn't have to bow, to anyone."


I'd hope my dad's been watching
Game of Thrones again, I love it!


So, I'm there and I've go that in my head

and as we're going along the line, like that

and then I get to my bit
and the fella goes before me

and then I get to the doorway

and I look, oh!

Anyone in here

who's ever met the Queen,
and let's be honest, we are at the Palladium

you've probably all met her.

No anyone...

It's the same, I'm sure everyone
has the same thing. I stopped, looked...

It's like meeting Yoda.


Cos she looks at me, she's got these eyes,
cos she's met everybody.

So, she's got this power

when she looks at you,
she gets the cut of your jib straight away.

She's looking at me, I can see her going

"You're from a council estate, aren't you?"


"Bet you've just phoned
your dad up, haven't you? Eh?"

"Bet he said, 'Don't bow' hasn't he? OK."

"That a teaspoon I can see
in your pocket? Alright."

"Let's see what you've got, big dog."
So you've gotta stand there like that

and there's a fella called an equerry

who stands behind her
with a clipboard and tells...

tells her who everyone is, cos obviously
she's not gonna know, so he's like that.

He just sees me and goes

"Ah, a-vwa-va...

a va-va-v a-vaaa.

A-ha-ha a-va-va."


Cos that's what they're like, you know,
when they're so posh

they don't need vowels anymore.

So, that's my cue to go so I turn

- I turn...

and I face her, and she's all like,
there and I'm... It was like a gun fight.

So, I'm looking at her and I went "OK".

So, I took my step like that

and she just carried on looking at me.

She didn't move a muscle.

So, I'm looking at her,
she's looking at me, and I went...

So, I took another step.

And she just carried on looking at me,
she didn't flinch, I thought, "Fuckin' hell."

I thought, "What am I going to do?"

If I take another step
I'm gonna knock the Queen over.


She's literally looking at my eyes, like,
and with a little smile on her face

she just went like that with her hand

and put her hand there like that,
so I had no choice.

I had to reach, and then once
you've gone...

you've gone then, haven't you?



So... so to come and do this gig here

as I say, I've only ever associated it
with doing that

and it's a beautiful, beautiful theatre,
but thanks for coming cos this

this whole...

little run of dates wasn't meant to happen.
My tour was meant to finish at Christmas

and we've added these on cos I was enjoying
it, but also because

it's three years since I last toured

and when you have that break

everyone thinks, as a comedian,
you spend all your time walking around

looking for funny stuff to happen

and have a pad in your pocket
going "Hey, hey!"

"I'll have that, that's in."

"Oh, good, good, go on, I'll have that."
That doesn't happen.

I don't write any of this down and um...

Cos I can't... just...



That's a bit harsh isn't it?

No, I can. I can.

Oh, in fact, I'll clarify: I can!

I did an interview.
I don't know whether this might be...

that might have been part of the reaction.
I did an interview about eight years ago

in one of the Sunday magazines
where they got various people

and said, "Tell us about your school days."

And I said, "Well, my school days
were a little bit hard, to be honest

cos I was dyslexic at school."

Not just at school,
I was dyslexic at home as well!

I didn't just go to school

and go "I can't be arsed, I'll be dyslexic."

And I mentioned it during the interview

and it wasn't severe dyslexia,
it was just a mild thing

but they made a big deal of it
in the interview

and said I really struggled through school.

And it wasn't like that, it was just the time
that I went to school.

Cos I went to school
in the 70s and 80s, like.

If you're dyslexic now

they phone home and say
"Listen, we think your John's dyslexic

but don't worry about it.

We've got a special teacher to work
with the dyslexic children.

It doesn't mean he lacks intelligence.

In fact, it probably illustrates that
he's highly intelligent.

All we need to do is make sure that this
doesn't affect his self-esteem.

We want him to achieve his full potential

so we've got someone to work with him
in that special group

to make sure that he can achieve everything
that he needs to achieve academically

in order to fulfil what he's got
as and individual as a person

and a full member of society."


That's what would happen now.

I went to school in the 70s and 80s
when they phoned home and said, "Listen."

"We think your John's dyslexic

so can you do us a favour?
Can you make sure he can carry heavy stuff?"


And that's when my dad
wouldn't settle for that.

He had higher aspirations.
My dad took me in the car.

It was great living where we lived,
we were only an hour from Wales.

He took me in the car,
we drove to Wales.

He got out at the Welsh border

pointed at the first road sign and said

"There you go son, you're not the only one."



So, I genuinely, I got written to.

When they put it in this article
it got built up into this...

There are some people who think I struggle
with reading and writing, in fact.

I got contacted to be a spokesperson
for dyslexic people.

I was contacted by the WRTF

which is the British Dyslexic Society

and uh... eh?

Hey, it's a gag!

It's an old gag. You can have that.
That's funny to everyone who's not dyslexic.

So, anyway...

- What happens, is I don't write it down.

I just end up doing loads and loads
of warm-up gigs, like loads.

Like a hundred odd and it all starts
in little pubs and it builds up

and it's a little bit like therapy

because I start trying to piece together
all the things

that come to mind when I'm on stage

and it's like finding out
what's happened to me...

since I last toured.

That's what happens, it reveals the biggest
things that have happened to me.

And since I last toured

two big things have happened to me.

Two massive things

The first one, is I got old.


Like, officially old.

I turned 50.


And that's what happens, you start...
I'm at that age where you get patronised.


Cos it is. That's what happens, it is.

You know what it's like?
It's like being four.

Cos everything's good for your age.

You know like, if you see
a four-year-old reading a book

people go, "lsn't that good for his age?
He's only four."

Yeah, well you see a 50-year-old
carrying a bag upstairs

people go, "Look at him, he's 50!"


"Carrying a bag, 50!"

"Up stairs!"

Cos it's just...
It is the official "old age", in fact.

Give me a cheer in here if you're 5O or over.

- OK.

Give me... Give me a cheer if you're not.


There you go.

There was just more hope, joy and enthusiasm
in that second group wasn't there?

Like, this isn't their only night out
this weekend.


That first group was already wondering
when the interval is so they can have a wee.


Because all of a sudden...

every other age you've had,
that's supposed to be a big age

like 18, 21, 30, 40. All of those ages

it doesn't matter what the number is

it's all about how you feel.

Fifty is it.

You're old!

And I'll tell you why. Because I'm touring
round a lot, I have to go to hotels and...

go into the hotel gym

and I'm now, when you have to fill a form in
to go to the new gym

I'm the last box on the form.

When it says,
"How old are you? 15 to 20?

20 to 25, 25 to 30

30 to 35, 35 to 40

40 to 45, 45 to 50

5O to dead.


And also...

there's that thing, as well,
when you're over 50.

If you've ever had to put
your date of birth in

on your phone

and you've got to put your year in.

How disappointing is that when you go...


Fucking hell!

It's heart-breaking. There's also...
There's adverts on the television

you've never seen until you're 50.

Cos they're not for you.

If you're 49 today

you won't even know these are on the tele,
cos they're not speaking to you.

And they're always the same type of advert.
They've always got like...

a nice friendly, older-looking lady

wearing a cardie

carrying a tray with a teapot on

and some muffins she's just baked

walking into a conservatory like that

just as her husband's walking out
in his golfing jumper shouting

"I'll see you, Morag."

She goes...

"Hey, what's he like, him eh?"

"Love's his golf, that one."


Are you 50 or over?


And have you thought about how your children
are gonna pay for your funeral expenses?


Well, who talks like that?

You think, "You miserable bitch."

"He's not playing golf,
he's shagging your mate!"


Cos it is. Cos all of a sudden

you get old,
and everyone's telling you you're old

and everything about...
So every time your knee goes

you're "Oh my knees, that's it,
my knee's gone, my knee's gone"

and your body starts breaking down
on paper... Here's a thing!

That I think only happens to men,
and you can try this tonight

if you're over 50.

Weigh yourself
before you get in bed

and then weigh yourself after.

I get fat when I'm in bed.


I wake up weighing more
than when I went to sleep.

I've counted the pillows,
I'm not eating anything!

It's impossible, but that's what happens,
your body starts breaking down, I mean.

At least now, when I do wake up

my whole body wakes up at the same time.

That didn't use to happen,
there used to be parts of my body

ready and awake

just in case he was required,
like down in the morning.

I'm here, I'm here if you want me, I'm here.

That doesn't happen now,
he's just shrivelled up

like that, going...

What are you flicking me for, dickhead?


And also, as well, you end up
doing that nightly walk of sadness.

That nightly walk for a wee

which is awful.

Cos it starts off, you think it's just
an infrequent thing

and then you know
it's become a frequent thing

when before you go to bed

your wife does talk to you
like a four-year-old, when she goes

"Do you think you should have a wee?"

"Save you getting up in the night.

Do you think you should have a wee
before you go to bed?"

And it doesn't matter if you do,
cos there's still that thing, that moment

it's like God's way of telling you
that you're old.

You walking to the dresser

walking to the bathroom, like that sad walk.

That long walk
to the bathroom, like that.

At three o'clock in the morning,
the same time that you used to come in.


In a tee-shirt you wore on holiday
two years ago, going...

I'm only doing this cos I'm old.

I only need a wee cos I'm old.

And the secret isn't that we have to wee

the secret is that fact
that when we get there we go

"Well, no one knows I'm here so I may as well
treat myself, make it a little sit-down one."


And that's us!

That's us, by the way, Jesus!

What goes on with you girls is unbelievable!

Unbelievable, I swear!

Sisters, I'm with you.

What goes on is incredible
and we know nothing about it.

Honest to God, the young fellas in here.

The young lads in their 20s and 30s
who have come in here tonight

with a female partner,
you have no idea what's ahead of you.

If you've walked in with a male partner,
not an issue.

Your biggest problem is
who's gonna get to the bog first

at three o'clock in the morning

because the young fellas

who've got the female partners,
I'm telling you, you don't know.

And if you stay with them long enough
what's gonna happen

you're gonna find out because
you're gonna be lying in bed one night

and you're gonna wake up
and you're gonna think the house is on fire.

- And you're suddenly gonna go "pffff"

and turn, and she's gonna be lying there
like that

glowing like she's in the Heady Brek advert.


With this heat, emanating from her body

like you've never seen.

It's like being in bed with an AGA.

There's no control, it's just immense
this heat coming...

I swear to God.

You've never seen anything like it,
the young lads in here

who've walked in tonight

with their young girlfriends
in the short skirts and the big boots

who think you've come in here
with a woman who's got a "hot body".

You have no fucking idea what a hot body is.

And it's amazing that you can take it.

Cos I'm telling you now, sisters,
there's no shadow of a doubt

if men got the menopause
we'd have a cure.


Cos we're not strong enough.

We couldn't take this thing
that comes at any point in the day

There's no predicting it,
it can come whenever it wants

as many times as it wants in a day.

We could not take that,
cos we're not strong enough, but also

society would not tolerate
fat, bald, middle-aged men

three times a day taking all
their clothes off going

"I'm too fucking hot, I'm too hot."

Cos it's immense, and it's not just that.

It's just, it's...

It's everything else, as well.

It's everything else
and we don't get taught about it.

We don't get educated about it.

It's like a hidden secret
and it needs to be part of the dialogue.

We need to know what we're signing up to.

It needs to be part of
the marriage ceremony, you know, like...

"Do you take this woman

to be your lawful wedded wife?

For better, for worse.

For richer, for poorer

in sickness and in health

and for that period in their late 40s
when they might go a bit fucking bonkers."


Cos that happens, as well.

There's some days I walk in
and Melanie just looks at me and goes "No".

I go "No" what? "No, no, the answers no.
Before you ask

the answer is no."

"No, I don't know where your keys are

because today I don't even know
where the fucking front door is.

Cos my head's not working today."

Cos that genuinely happens
and this is a very intelligent woman

that some days just looks at me and goes,
"Don't ask me anything".

"Don't ask me anything."
And I'll give you an example.

I'll give you an example, we were...

This happened just before I, uh...

I went on tour.
We were in the kitchen, right?

And Melanie's making an omelette

and we've got one of those kitchens where

the bin is in a draw.

Cos you know...

I've clone alright, you know what I mean?

You know, I mean...

I don't want to show off, but you know...

I never thought that one day
the bin would be in a draw, but...

It fucking is, and that's what dreams
are made of, anyway so...

So the bin's in a draw.
She pulls the bin out, right?

This genuinely happened while she was
talking to me

she pulls the bin out,
she's making this omelette.

She cracked the egg.

She poured the egg into the bin

and then put the shell in the pan.


And then just stood there like that
for five minutes

looking like someone else had
clone it, going...


And she just looked at me and I went



Cos I know that that's the answer.

I know, when you don't know
what else to say, you say "Sorry".

That's the best thing to do.

That is the best thing to do.

Because sometimes when you've been married
or you're in a relationship

sometimes when you're in a relationship
and you're living with someone

you end up in arguments via osmosis.

Cos you just happen to be there.

And you know.

There's times I've walked in
and gone "Right."

"I clearly have no idea
what this argument's about

but it's obvious you want and argument
so I'll just chip in."


"I'll do my best."

"I'll ad lib and then in five minutes
I'll say sorry for whatever it was

and we can get on with the day."

We've just, literally,
just as I've come on stage there

I was just talking to my stage manager
and he was saying "How is your day going?"

I said, "lt's alright but I think
Melanie's annoyed with me."

He said, "How can you? Have you had
and argument? Have you spoke to her?"

I said, "No, it's just a text".

Have you done that?
Where you've got a text and gone

"You're pissed off" cos you feel
the pressure and you...

But the last time, the last time I ignored
my own advice

and didn't say sorry.

I was in lnverness

doing these warm-up gigs
and I had the clay off

and Melanie came to see me
on the day off.

Which she's never done before
on any tour ever

but she can now because the other thing--
I'll tell you about, about the kids later.

So, we're in lnverness.
I don't know if you've been, it's lovely.

There's a river.

Got this mountain water coming down
off the Scottish mountains

that feeds Loch Ness.

A fast flowing river, freezing cold.

And we were walking along,
and admittedly

I was slightly distracted because there
was fellas in the rivers doing that.

Wearing waders, doing that, fishing.

And I'd read in one of the papers
that the top ten things that married men do

to get out of the house, apparently,
number one, they said was fishing.

Which I just couldn't believe

cos I'm walking along and I'm looking
at these fellas and I'm thinking

"Christ that looks boring."

So if you're married to somebody

who'd rather put a pair of wellies on

and stand in freezing cold water
for hours on end

instead of sitting on a couch
watching a box set with you.

Take a look at yourself cos something's
wrong at home, I tell you.

That can't be right.

Who would rather do that?

And just as I'm thinking this

Melanie was four steps ahead of me
and I thought, "Oh, she's..."

"Melanie looks like
she's having an argument."


I thought, "I don't know who
she's having and argument with

cos I'm the only one here

and I haven't done anything wrong,
I know I haven't done anything wrong

but I don't want to ask her what's upset her

cos it'll show that I've not been listening.


At which point she read my mind,
she just turned round and went

"You're not listening to me are you?"

I went, "Well, I've been...
I've heard some of it... b-bits...

Seen them fellas fishing?
Doesn't that look..." She said, "No."

"You're not listening to me,
I've come all the way to lnverness

to see you on your day off
and you're not even listening to me!"

"I might as well go home, mightn't I?"


To some people in the room that sounded like
it was a question didn't it?

And because she stopped speaking
you might think it's your turn to speak.

It's not your turn to speak.

Unless you say sorry,
you're better off saying nothing.

Particularly, not saying what I said

cos I was so convinced that I'd done
nothing wrong

I just went,
"Oh, please your bleedin' self then!"

Cos you know what I thought?

I thought I was doing that thing that you do
with the kids

when they have a little tantrum.

You go, "Right, I'm gonna do
the five steps and walk away

and then look back and you'll come to me."

So I did the five steps

and then I looked back

and she didn't come.

And then that's a long way back innit?

She just looked more angry
and I thought, "For fuck's sake".

So I thought,
"I'll gamble, I'll do another five."

So I took another five.

I looked back, at which point

she turned around and was storming off
in the other direction.

And I thought "Jesus."

"There's a chance
I've done something wrong here."

And if you know lnverness

you'll know what it is.
The river's got these little islands on

and I looked and there was a little bridge
over to one of the islands

and on the island there was
a kiosk selling ice-cream.

And I had what I thought was a brilliant
brainwave. I thought, "I know."

"She likes ice-cream,
and I like ice-cream."

"I know what to do."
So I went and bought an ice-cream

and I took a photograph of my hand
holding the ice-cream.

Cos I thought,
"That says it all, doesn't it?"

You know, she'll see that photograph.

We've been together long enough to know
that picture says it all, that picture says

"Come on babe.

Let's not argue.

Let's have an ice-cream."


It's obvious innit? So I thought,
"I don't need to send any text."

I'll just send the picture.

And I sent that picture,
and when that picture left my phone

it definitely said

"Come on babe.

Let's not argue, let's have an ice-cream"

And then it went up and it hit a satellite
and it bounced off and somehow

on the way down to earth
that picture got turned into

"Well, you can fuck off,
I'm having an ice-cream."


There's nowhere to go after that.

She's going...

And you know the problem with that is?

That's because I assume
I know what she thinks

and that's the problem when you've been
with someone for so long

and that's what I would say to everybody

who's coming up to 50.

Have a look at the people around you,
particularly your mates

and have a clear out.


I tell you the problem that I've got.

I'm still hanging around with the same lads

I've been hanging around with
for over 30 odd years.

My mates don't get
how things have changed.

Like, I've known them for a lot longer
than I've done this.

I've done this professionally
for about ten years.

I've known them for over 30.

So they don't get this. I mean, I'll go out
with my mates and they go, "What?"

"You're not even the funniest
sat around this table."


So anyway, I've never...

This life... I've never been able
to impress my mates with it.

And then I had an opportunity about 18 months
ago to try and impress them

because I was at this, um...

I was at this charity auction.

Which was good.
I was asked to do something

to like, do five minutes at the beginning

which can sometimes be brilliant.

Sometimes it's a disaster

cos people at charity auctions
aren't always ready

for a giggle. I was uh...

I did one down here in London

to a room of bankers. There was 8O of them.

It was a lunch time thing
and my mate said

"Would you come and just
introduce this charity?"

It's his charity. He's got a charity
to try and stop child trafficking.

So I said, "Yeah, of course."

He said, "Just do five minutes,
then we show a video."

"Just to break the ice." I said, "OK."
So I walked in. This room of bankers

who look like what you think
a room of bankers look like.

There's about 80, 85 of them all men,
all sat there like that...

You know when they're too rich
to be happy, ever again?

Too rich to have a dream anymore.
They're just sat there.

I'm looking at them and I walked in
and I just went

"Gentlemen, look I've been asked
to introduce the charity for today.

I know you do this on a regular basis.

And it's really great that you do,
because there's a lot of

personal wealth in here

and a lot of corporate wealth.
For a small portion of that

could make a huge difference

to this charity, and this is a charity
to try and stop child trafficking.

And it's important and I know from
personal experience

cos I've been stuck in traffic with children
and uh..."


"I can't tell you, it's a nightmare."

"Well, they start moaning.
You can't hit them cos they're behind

Yeah, if only there'd been a charity
I could've phoned."

Not a titter!


Literally, not a titter.
Eighty bankers going


But this other one was fine,
this one was up in Liverpool, and the...

the big prize

that you could bid for was a VIP package

to go and watch Liverpool play.


you could swap it for a VIP package

to go and watch the Boston Red Socks
play baseball.

Because you may not know this,
if you're not interested in football

but the people who own
Liverpool football club

also own Boston Red Socks baseball team.

You don't have to know a lot about football
to know that

you just have to watch the way we defend

cos I think we're swapping players at times.

Yeah, ridiculous!


We're there. I bid for it and I got it

and I said to my mates,
"Look lads, look we...

We don't have to go and watch Liverpool play
we can do that any time.

Let's have a lads weekend

go to Boston and watch the baseball.

none of us are interested in baseball -

it's just rounders
that's got carried away with itself.


But you know, it might surprise
a lot of ladies in here.

Men do travel for reasons
that aren't obvious, I mean...

not many men that I know, like canals

but we still go to Amsterdam.


So we're there and we decide to go to Boston
for a lads weekend

and what happens with baseball

they'll often play the same team
over three clays.

So we picked the weekend
they were playing the New York Yankees

Friday, Saturday, Sunday.

Flew out on the Friday.

Land early afternoon, early evening Friday.

Go for a few drinks,
went and watched the rounders

which was fine, it was what it was.

Decided to have the Saturday off

and then go back on the Sunday.

So we were looking for something
to do on a Saturday.

So, we're having a pub lunch
and we're all sat there reading papers

trying to google stuff,
looking for something to do.

And that's what's different, as well.

Like, I used to go out
for a pub lunch with my mates

and if one of the lads
got a plate of chips

we've all got chips.

Chips are a communal thing.

Oh, got a chip? Give us a chip.

Chips was something that everyone shared.

It's not chips anymore,
it's glasses.


If one of the lads has got a pair of glasses

we've all got a pair...

I can't read fuck all, give me them.

Like, you wouldn't do that
with any other affliction would you?

You wouldn't say,
"Oh, lend us your teeth.

I can't chew on this, I'm struggling."

So we're there, we're all looking for things
then one of my mates sees this story

in one of the Boston papers,
and said, "Look at that."

There's a story about the band U2

saying that U2 were playing that night

in Boston, doing a gig

that had gone on sale a year before
and had sold out in 45 seconds.

And my mate says, "That's what we'll do!"


I said, "What do you mean?", he said

"Well, that's what we'll do,
we'll go watch U2."

I said, "D'you not read the rest of it,
'sold out in 45 seconds a year ago"'

and he went, "Yeah".

"But you can get us in."


I said, "How can I get us in?" and they said,
"Cos you're in show business."

I mean, shit, sorry lads I forgot,
hang on.

Let me just phone up the hotline,
the show business hotline.

- Hello?

Yeah, it's Johnny "showbiz" Bishop.

Yeah, I'm just phoning to see if you've
kept back those five tickets

that you keep for me
for every gig in the world

just in case I'm passing
with my four dickhead mates.


And when I said it

I saw genuine disappointment
in their eyes. I thought...

"Oh, my God, you actually think
I can do this."

I thought, "This is my opportunity
to impress them, so I'm gonna try."

So I started making phone calls,
trying to make connections.

Unbelievably, I found there was a lad
called Alex

who'd been on tour with me the year before
for four months doing my lights.

He does the lights for U2.

Right, give me a cheer
if you've ever seen U2.

- Oh, brilliant, loved them.

If you haven't seen 'em.
If you get a chance, go and see them.

Best band in the world. I've seen them more
than I've seen any other band.

I've seen them in four different countries.

I'm a proper fan,
but their lights are amazing.

They have like, 70 trucks on the road.
Every song, the light are doing all this.

He does them lights!

He spent four months
on the road with me.

He must have been bored off his tits.


For four months all he did was go...

"He's on."


"He's off." That's all he did.

I got hold of him, I said,
"Alex look, I know it's long shot

but there's me and four of my mates...

There's five of us, is there any chance
we can swindle some tickets?

He said, "Give me and hour."

Phoned me back an hour later.

He said,
"I've managed to get you five

VIP friends and family passes."

I said, "Hang on. Lads!"

"Johnny Showbiz...


...has got five
VIP friends and family passes."

And for the first time in the 10 years

I've been doing this job,
my mates all looked at me and went...


"That's good, that is, that's good that."

We turn up at this gig, oh!

Unbelievable! We didn't even go through
the main entrance.

We went through the special VIP entrance

ended up back stage in a bar
where Alex comes up to us

with lanyards, puts them round our necks.

Says, "Lads come with me."

"You can come and stand on the stage
before we open the auditorium."

On U2's stage! I mean if you're a fan
that's amazing.

I was gone, I was stroking the drum.

I'm licking the guitar, I'm loving it.

When all of a sudden my mates just stopped

and turned to me and went,
"God, look at this Bish."

They said, "Do you know what?"

"There's no way we would be in Boston
tonight if it wasn't for you, Bish.

There's no way we'd get tickets
for a sold-out gig

if it wasn't for you. And there's no way

that we would be stood on U2's stage

if it wasn't for you and what you do.

And you've kept the lads with you
all the way on the journey."

I said, "Boys, don't mention it."

I said, "Cos I wouldn't want
to be here with anyone else."

I said, "We've been on a journey
that none of us could have imagined.

We've spent over three decades
building a bond

and that bond isn't something you can sell,
trade or give away to anyone else

because it's built on memories.

It's built on experience.
It's built on love.

It's built on passion. It's built on things

we didn't know was gonna happen
when we were teenage boys

but we've been with each other
all the way through it

and I would not want to be stood

on this stage with anyone else

because you are my brothers
from another mother."


We walked into the bar to wipe away
a tear and have a beer.

Where a girl, called Jennifer who works
for U2 comes up to me and goes

"John, can I have a word?".
I said, "Yeah."

She said,
"The lads would like to say hello."

I said, "What lads?"


She said, "The band, the band, U2,
the band would like to say hello"

she said, "But look it's really awkward.

I can't bring a crowd in.

It would just be you and not your mates."

I went, "What mates, fuck them!"


If I'm gonna hang out with U2
I've moved on from these losers!

Eh? Kick 'em out.

I went over, told my mates.

My mates went,
"Oh go in, you've gotta go in."

Cos I was the big fan, two of my mates
had never even seen U2 live before.

They said, "You've gotta go in."
I walked into this room.

And like I was saying before,
I mean, I've met the Queen.

I've met various people.

I've never been as nervous in my life.

I'm stood in this room.
There are five people in the room

who I later found out
was: the promoter, his son

a fella from the record label,
the mayor of Boston

the assistant mayor of Boston and me.

And I'm just stood in this room going...

- "Just don't be a dickhead."

When they come in,
just don't be a dickhead.

Don't... just don't act like a big fan.

Just be dead cool.

They're not really gonna know
who you are.

They're not gonna know
anything about you. So just go "Hiya."

"I'm John, the comedian.
Alex, who did your lights

yeah, did my lights,
must have been bored off his tits."

Just say that.
That'll be all you've got to say.

The door opens, Larry Mullen comes in,
the drummer.

Not drumming, by the way.

He doesn't practise.
He's very, very good, he doesn't need to.

But, because not everybody knows
the members of the band

and I've said this story,
I've got into that habit of saying

"Larry Mullen, the drummer."

And I almost kind of do it now

and I've tried to put my hands in my pockets
to stop doing it.

Doesn't help, doesn't really.

So, I just give up, I just do it now.

So, Larry Mullen, the drummer comes in

speaks to the promoter and son,
speaks to the fella from the record label

talks to the mayor of Boston
and I'm stood here going

"Hiya Larry, I'm John, the comedian"

And he turns to me and goes,

"I heard you might come in,
lovely to see you."

I went...


I've just been stroking your drum.


But he was lovely.

We just got talking,
we were chatting for ages, he was lovely.

Dead friendly. He walks out the door...

Adam Clayton comes in,
the bass player.

Speaks to the promoter and the son

speaks with the fella from the record label

steps past the mayor of Boston
to come up to me and goes

"John, lovely to see you,
I'm glad you've made the gig."

"Uh, hiya!"

"There's a bit of spit on your guitar,
I couldn't help it."

He walks out, I'm like literally
that would have done me.

I'm stood there quivering thinking,
"I have just met

fifty percent of U2!"

When the door opened

and The Edge stepped in

like that.

With his little woollen hat on.

His little goatee beard.

The only rock star in the world
who looks like he drove a van to the gig

and did some plastering on the way.


He just looked around the room like that
in everyone's eyes.

And then he went,
"Uh, shu..." and walked out.

And even the mayor of Boston went,
"Fucking hell, that was cool wasn't it?"


And then it happened.

The door opened

and the little fella came in.

Bono came in with his big glasses,
his little leather jacket on

speaks to the promoter and his son

spoke to the fella from the record label

then he was stood there!

There with his back to me

speaking to the mayor of Boston
and I'm going, "Oh, my God!"

"Oh, my God, that's Bono!

That's definitely Bono, you are definitely,
definitely stood next to Bono.

So just don't be a dickhead,
that's Bono.

Don't touch him, don't touch him.

Just be cool, cos it's Bono.

I mean, Bono's mates with everybody.

He's probably just had a cup
of coffee with Barack Obama.

He's probably just been texting
the Dalai Lama.

It's Bono!

Bono knows everybody,
so just don't be a dickhead

when he turns around
just go 'hiya, Alex, lights'

Just do that cos he's not gonna know
cos he's Bono.

Just be calm, just don't be a..."

As I'm there, it's obvious that I'm nervous

so Jennifer comes up to me and goes,

have you ever met Bono before?"
and I went...

"No, no, I haven't no."

She said, "Well, look

he's gotta be on stage in ten minutes
so I'll make sure he says hello."

She physically interrupted him
while he was speaking to the mayor of Boston

and went, "Excuse me Bono."

"I'm sorry to interrupt

but can I just introduce you to..."
and as she turns him round he went

"You don't have to introduce me
to this fella. I love this fella!"

And I went "I love you!"


But that wasn't the worst bit.
The worst bit was I went to pick him up!


I've never done that in my life!

Like, "Oh there's a little Bono",
I don't know what I was doing.

I sort of like to a step forward
to him like that

and as I took a step he obviously
took a step back like that

and he put his arm up over his elbow.

And if you're a fan,
you'll know what happened

I was... I said, "Bono, Bono" I said,
"I'm sorry

I just got carried away."

"I wasn't gonna touch your arm, Bono.

I wasn't gonna touch your arm
cos I know, Bono, I know what happened.

I know what happened, you fell off
your bicycle in New York

Bono, you shattered your elbow
and some bones in your face.

You had some surgery, Bono

and the surgery hasn't completely worked
so you've had some corrective surgery

and I know all about it, Bono.

Because I know the hospital you were in
and I know the doctor that you saw.

But it's not that I'm a stalker!

I'm just a fan.

But I took a particular interest, Bono,
I took this particular interest

because I read about your crash
when I was getting on a plane

flying to Africa.

And I read that you'd crashed your bike
and you were lying in hospital in New York

and I read about it and the whole world knew
that you were in New York

and then I spent two weeks
in Africa, Bono

while you were in hospital in New York
and I've gotta tell you, mate.

Not one single African asked about you."

I said, "All the work you do for them, mate
is one way with that lot."

And he laughed!

I made Bono laugh

and when he walks out I'm like that.

I walked back to my mates.
My mates were going "What happened?"

I said, "Lads, you won't believe it,
I've just made Bono laugh."

And my mates all went...

This'll be a good day.

We go into the gig. We're there.

Two of my mates couldn't understand
why I was more in awe of Bono

than anyone else in the band.

I said, "You'll never know,
you'll never understand the aura of Bono

until you've seen U2 live."

And, honestly I urge anyone to see him
cos there's a point in the gig

where it transcends any other band.

Cos there's a point where the band
carry on playing

and Bono stops singing,
starts talking to you.

It stops being a gig
and becomes a self-improvement class.

Cos you stand there and you go,
"You're absolutely right, Bono.

I do think there's too much poverty
in the world

and we need to sort it.
Thank you Bono.

Yeah, and there's a lot of nuclear weapons.

I think we need to get rid of them, as well.
You're right on that, Bono.

Yeah, and I'm gonna take up yoga tomorrow.

Thank you Bono."
Then he carries on singing.

Honest to God, it stops being a gig
and becomes mass.

It's unbelievable, so...

So I'm there, and that happened

and I said to my mates,
"Watch and that will happen.

That will happen in the gig,
then you will understand it."

About an hour and forty minutes into it

the band carry on playing,
Bono stops singing.

He turns to the crowd, he goes


"U2 loves Boston.

Boston loves U2.

Cos we're family.

We've been coming here for years
and we are family"

and the crowds going, "Yeah!"

He said, "this is a city
built with the blood of the Irish

and tonight

everyone in here has got an Irish heart

beating in their chest.

And the crowd went, "Yeah!"

Even the Mexicans were going,
"Si, si, si."


"Grazie Bono, si, si, arriba, arriba."

I actually don't know if that's racist,
that might have to come out.




And he said, "And we love you."

"And before I came on stage tonight

I met some people

I met the mayor of Boston

and he told me we got community leaders
in here tonight.

We got the people that make Boston
what it is.

We got community leaders, there's leaders.

We've got the chief of police,
we've got the head of the fire service."

"Yeah. So please put your hands together
for those people that make Boston great."

"Because also

I met someone else tonight

from another city

built on the blood of the Irish

a sister city to Boston.

I met someone from Liverpool."

And all of my mates went...


And I went...


And he said, "I love this guy, so please

please put your hands together for
the people that make Boston what it is

the mayor of Boston, the community leaders,
the chief of police

the head of the fire service -

put your hands together for them

but also for Stevie Bishop.


Oh, piss off Bono!
My mates were on the floor.

Never heard anything funnier in their lives.

They all got up and started singing,
"There's only one Stevie Bishop."

"One Stevie Bishop."

But when they were singing it,
they were hitting me on the head like that

which made all the Americans around us
think that that was an English thing

so they joined in.
I was fucking hit by everybody.

My one chance of greatness was gone
cos it carried on all night.

It's like,
"Alright, Stevie, shall we get a taxi?"

"Alright, Stevie, do you want a pint?"

We end up, we're in the hotel,
it's one o'clock in the morning

they're still doing it,
"There's only one Stevie Bishop..."

Oh, for fuck's sake.

Then I remembered Jennifer
had given me her number

so I picked up my phone and sent her a text

I said, "Dear Jennifer."

"Thank you for tonight.

It's a night none of us will ever forget.

Stevie was overwhelmed by his mention.

Please thank Bono and the lads,
lots of love, John.


Sent the text off.

Then it happened, ten minutes later.

The thing that impressed my mates.

My phone bleeped.

I picked it up, it was Jennifer's number.

It just said, "Dear Stevie".


"Thank you for coming to the gig tonight

we could feel your passion
carrying us through.

So glad you were there
and not that dickhead, John"


"Lots of love" and it just had
a capital "B" with a kiss.

And I went, "a 'B' with a kiss?"

"No it can't be, surely."

And straight away my phone bleeped again.

It was Jennifer's number again.

It just said, "John, this is Jennifer."

"Bono just used my phone."

"'B' with a kiss equals Bono."

I went, "Lads".

Passed it round. They shared the glasses
so they could all read it.



Now, I'll be honest,
I thought that was it.

I thought my U2 journey was there

and then what happened when we started
the tour. We were in Ireland...

- And then... yep and, uh...

Nice to see you but I'm still not
paying maintenance.

- Uh...

I actually don't know if that came
from a woman or a man

which makes it...

Which makes the put down
even less fucking rational.

No, so we were in Ireland

and we started in Belfast,
then we went to Dublin

and when I got to the...

to the arena in Dublin,
walked into the dressing room

this parcel was waiting for me.

And I opened it, this box,
and inside was this.

Bottle of champagne, six bottles of Guinness

with a card

saying that it had come from U2,
to welcome me to their city.

How classy is that?

And telling me how to make a "black velvet"
and I thought that was class.

But that wasn't what I sent a picture of
to my mates

I sent them a picture of this other card.


Now, I was saying before that there was
two big things that had happened to me

since I last toured.
The first one was getting old

but the other one...

The other one, I didn't realise how big
it was gonna be.

The other one is that my kids left home.


Yeah, I know, I know, but...
but it just...

It just surprised me
cos they're only six or seven.

- Uh...

Uh, no...

No, like... like I've got three lads, right?

All born close together cos I'm a good shot

and so...

So they're 23...

Twenty-one, nearly 22, 19 nearly 20.

And... and I...

When they left it really upset me in a way
that I wasn't expecting.

Because they're boys, I've been waiting
for them to go ever since they arrived.


That's what happens when you have boys.

It's different like if I had a daughter.

If I had a girl, she wouldn't have left home.

She'd still be at home now

and she'd be at home
until she was at least 40.

And she'd be a lesbian
and that's just the way it is.


I'd make that decision the first time
a boy knocked at the door

I'd go, "No, piss off. She's a lesbian."

"You're a lesbian.
You live with your mum and dad."

- Because...

Because there's a thing
that's different with daughters.

Cos you smother daughters,
you love daughters.

It's not that you don't love boys

but it's a different way
of expressing it, in fact.

You can always tell

when you're on holiday

if there is a father with a boy there
or a father with a girl there

because if there is a father with a daughter
he's always looking to see she's OK

and he's ready for a towel
if she comes out the pool.

But boys are different

because as a father of boys,
what you want to do.

You don't want to smother them
but you still want to impress them.

You still want your boys to think
that you're good

so you'll always know
if there's a father of boys

cos he'll be a fat bloke

stood at the top of a diving board

shitting himself

while the boys are saying

"Go on, Dad, do a somersault
like the German boy's dad."

I did it on holiday myself this year.

Dived off something, near killed
myself to impress the boys.

Cos it's what you do but it's just...

I don't know it's just different.

You just don't love them
in the same way, in fact.

In fact one of the saddest...
You don't!

Because of the way
we were sort of programmed

you do push them away.

You go, "Go on, off you go,
go on, off you go", and uh...

In fact, one of the saddest days
being a father of boys

is a day you don't even notice.

And it's the last day
your son holds your hand.

It doesn't happen with girls,
but with boys there's a day where...

they stop holding your hand
and he'll never hold your hand ever again.

And it's heart-breaking
when you think about it.

I mean, it's gotta happen
otherwise it would be odd.


You know, he'd be walking along,
looking at you going...

"Dad, I'm doing A-levels, it looks like
you're grooming me, can we stop?"


But when they left,
I went into this odd depression.

Cos I thought, "That's it now, that's me."

"I'm never ever gonna be a dad again,
I had one go at it and that's it."

I'm not a dad any more,
I'm just a bloke they know now.

Cos I can't do dad stuff anymore

like all those days
I could have took them to the park

and I didn't take them to the park
cos I was working

or I was doing something more important.

Something that I can't even remember now.

They're the days I want back
and I can't have them back.

I can't take them to the park anymore.

But, not now anyway.

Cos we'd just be four blokes in the park.


We'd end up on some register.

And I can't be in a park

pushing a fella with a beard on a swing
going "Tell me if it's too high."

So when they left, it's just odd.

I went into this depression
cos also what happens, as well

you end up with this empty nest syndrome.

In fact, that first night
your kids leave home, Jesus, that's odd.

You just sit there not knowing
what to say to each other.

You're just looking going...



Well look, shall we just call it quits

cos let's be honest, what we had in common
has just walked out carrying a bag.


Because you've got...
Nothing feels the same.

The walls of the house don't sound the same

and it is a genuine thing
this empty nest syndrome.

Your nest is empty,
you don't know what to do, so my wife

decided to fill our nest with animals.

Yeah, but not good ones.

Shite ones no one else wants.

All reject animals.

Like, we've got four horses

from the World Horse Welfare.

Which sounds impressive

when you say, "We've got four horses"

until you find out that all four horses
added together

cost a hundred quid.


When your trainers cost more
than your horse, your horse is shit.

We can't ride them.

One of them doesn't even know
it's got knees.

It kind of runs like this.

And then cos she's... um...

Cos she's a soft touch, the RSPCA
have got Melanie on speed dial

so they just phone her up with anything.

They phoned her up and said,
"We've found a Shetland pony

in a car park in Oldham."

I mean, how does that even happen?

So they phoned up and said,
"Do you want this Shetland pony?"

So she says "Yeah."

This Shetland pony arrives
at the house in a van.

Um... in the back of the van.

If it had been driving
I'd have been made up but...


It comes in this van.

And I'll tell you what.

I don't know if you've ever met
a Shetland pony.

What a frigging narky animal!

It's like meeting an angry little man
who's got Beyoncé's arse.

It just comes walking out the back of the van
like that, looking at us going

"Who are you looking at, dickhead?"

So we're like... we never thought
in our lives we'd have a Shetland pony

so we were both stood there looking at it.

And Melanie's going,
"Well, what do you think we should do?"

I'm like, "What do you mean?"

I said, "lt's a horse, innit?"

"We'll just put it in there.
They're horses and that's a horse."

So we started walking over
to the other horses.

Have you seen horses when they get curious?

Like our horses just eat grass,
they don't do anything else.

They just like that
and then all of a sudden they just go...


And their ears were going and their eyes...

It is the only animal impression
that I can do.


And I like that.

And they're curious.
And as we're walking I think

"Oh, they're gonna know
what's happening

they're gonna settle down"
but they didn't.

They started with one, then two,
then three then four.

Even the cloppety one got over.
They're all like that.

And they just kept on staring
as we're getting closer

they just stared more.

As we're getting there
we could see they were going...

"How far away do you think that horse is?"


Cos even as we were getting close

they kept staring into the distance

until the Shetland pony touched
him on the nose

then he went, "Jesus Christ,
what are you doing here?"

So we've got that.
We've got two now.

We've got two Shetland ponies.

They found another one, phoned us up
and said, "Do you want that?"

This other one is so hard-faced

it walks into the kitchen
and drinks out the dog's bowl.

And the dogs won't say anything,
you just see them looking going

"Just leave it, just say nothing."

Cos the dogs are rescued, as well.
We've got two English bull terriers.

You know the ones with the nose?

Well, they've all got noses, but the...

You know the ones with the snout.
They're lovely and they're rescue

and we've only ever had rescue dogs.

Like if anyone wants a dog

go and rescue one...

There's loads of them.

But I have to be honest, the first one
that we got was a German Shepherd

and people go, "Oh, I don't know
if you can rescue a dog.

How do you know the breed's
gonna be good?" You just know.

Like our first one.

We got her even before we had babies

and then when the babies arrived
they just used to climb all over her

in the box and roll around.
She was brilliant.

She was a German Shepherd.

So that was the first time
we went to a dog's home

and that is hard.

Cos when you go to dog's home
you have to walk past all the dogs.

And they're all applying for the job.


So as you walk past
they're all yapping going "Hiya!"

"Hiya, I could live in your house.

I could, I'd be great in your house,
I'd love to live in your house.

I'd love the kids, I'd be dead good,
I wouldn't make a mess.

I'd love to live in your house, I'd be g--

Ah, piss off then!

Hiya, I could live in your house.

I'd be great in your house."
Honest to God...

They all want to be picked,
the only way I can describe it...

It's like going to Amsterdam on a stag do.


And the same thing crosses you minds.

Where you go, "Oh, I dunno, that one
looks good but I think it might bite."

So you carry on.

And we got to the end

to where she was, our dog,
the one that she picked

Sheba the German Shepherd

and she was the only dog that didn't bark.

She just lay there
and just looked at us and went...

"You don't want me."


"I'm an old dog."

"No one wants an old dog."

"I know, I've been here for months,
I don't even get off the concrete now."

"I know no one wants me."


"Get a puppy, go on."


"Go and get yourself a puppy,
all the puppies are that way."

"Go and get a PUPPY"

I thought, "Fuck me, a talking dog!"



Aye! You don't get many of them do ya?

I know, but we got her and she was great.
So we've always had...

rescue dogs, but honestly

it's gone bonkers now,
we've just got everything.

Like we've got... we've got chickens

turkeys, uh... geese

sheep, um... guinea fowl


Have you seen alpacas?

Alpacas are what God made
with the bits he had left in the box.


He's finished the world, looked out and gone
"Oh, Jesus Christ."

Well, he wouldn't have said that
but he's uh...



He's finished the world,
looked down and gone

"What have I got here? I've got goats feet

sheep bodies

giraffe's neck and Leo Sayer's head.

- What am I gonna do with that?

So we've got them, we've got uh...

We've got these other things called rheas.

Which I'd never even heard of.
These things, they're like...

They're like ostriches,
I'd never even heard of them.

And we started off with six.

Melanie got them as eggs
and hatched them out.

We started with six, we've now got about 23.

We only live in a flat.

- They're massive.

And when we started with them, right.

They're brilliant, honestly,
they're the most feminist animal ever.

Because when we started with them

there was four who used to hang around
together like that

and we found out that they're the females.

You can't tell when they're young
who's male or female.

We found out that they're the females, right.

So they just hang around
with their mates going

"Anyway I said to him",
"You never!", "I did".

"And then what happened?", "Well he told me",
"He never!", "He did!".

So the female walks around
wherever she wants

and lays her egg wherever she wants.

So she'll just go, "Oh, hang on Janet."


"Oh, God, I'm glad that's out."

Massive! They're like a rugby ball.

"Oh, you haven't half lost weight",
"You think so?"

Right, the male rhea...

You can always spot a male rhea

because they just spend their time
doing that.


Where's the kids?

What have you done with the kids?

They just spend all their time
looking for the eggs, right?

Cos she doesn't lay it near the nest.

He has to find the egg.

Right, he then has to roll it to the nest.

He's got no hands.

Jesus, that's funny to watch, you see him...

You fuckin'...

He has to roll it to the nest

that he built.

Then when he gets a clutch of them,
six or eight of them

he sits on them

he hatches them

and he brings them up until they're adult.

While she just fucking walks around
with her mates, doing this!

It's brilliant!

If you go into the field,
they have a go at you and everything.

It's brilliant, it's brilliant.
They're like proper emu hard things.

So we've got loads of them.

But the other thing that we've got
before I move on is...

I've got to tell you this because we have got

the world's only

medically certified hypochondriac pig.


Cos we got three pigs, right.
We've got a pot-bellied pig called Milo

which came from the RSPCA

and then when they found out
that we could have pigs

they phoned up and said "We've found
another pig, another two pigs."

Uh, cos someone would have
bought them when they were little

and they grew to this mad rare

English long back breed.

Massive. Honest to God,
these pigs are massive.

You know like a pantomime horse
has got two men in?

This is like two men in a pig suit.


But one of them developed a limp,
like that.

Walking with a limp.

And there's a vet called Hugo
who comes to our house all the time

cos he thinks it's a cash point.


And the pig's limping

and I said, "Hugo, the pig's limping there."
He went, "Yeah, I know".

I said, "Well...

you're a vet, what do you think it is?"

He said, "I don't know."

I said, "Do you think it might be old age?"

He said, "Oh, it could be".

He said, "I've never seen a pig that old,
they're normally sausages by now."


I said, "Well, don't you think
we should do something?

Do you think we should X-ray it?"

He went, "I can't x-ray that!"
He said, "Have you seen the size of it?"

He said, "I couldn't get that
in my surgery and X-ray it!"

So my wife organised for the pig

to go to Liverpool University Hospital

in a little piggy ambulance

cos they're linked with Knowsley Safari Park
so they've got equipment to X-ray zebras

and giraffes and everything.
It spends four days there

for assessments with full board and lodgings

and comes back with a report.

And the report said that
"We've done MRI scans on the pig."

"We've done X-rays on the pig

and we have seen signs of mild
inflammation in the pig's left hand shoulder.

However, the extent of the inflammation

does not match the extent of the limp.

Therefore, we can only conclude

that the problem is in the pig's mind."


I said, "If you think I'm paying for a piggy
counsellor, you can piss off!"


But we've got all of this

and that's what happens,
you try and re-gear your life

you try and reshape it,
but it doesn't matter

when your kids go, something's...

gone that you never think
you're gonna get back.

So I went into a proper depression.

Like a real depression,
I'd walk into the living room.

If Harry Potter was on I'd start crying

going. "I miss my kids,
I took them to see that."

So Melanie phoned the boys up

and said, "Listen, you're gonna have to
come home your dad's gone a bit...

gone a bit odd.
You're gonna have to come home.

Your dad's on a downer, you're gonna
have to come home for the weekend."

So the three of them, bless them,
they all came home for the weekend.

And it was lovely...

for about half an hour.


And then after half an hour
you see the gap in the generations.

See, if you're living
with the next generation every clay

you don't see the differences between us
but, Jesus...

If they go off for three months
and come back

oh, my God, it's like
they're from another planet!


But the one that got me.

The one that really got me, that showed
the distance between the generations

was my oldest son.

He's a good-looking boy,
fair enough, he's 23.

Sat a the kitchen table
on his phone going...



No, oh, Jeez no...




Right, shout out if you know what that is.

- Tinder, yes, yes, thank you.

I always ask people to shout out

cos it creates tension amongst couples.


One of the most... "Tinder! Don't know, love,
don't know what that is."

Tinder. So I said, "What's that?"

It's a dating app which I'd heard of
but didn't know how it worked.

I said, "Alright, what happens?
How does it work?"

He said, "Well what you do is,
you load up your profile."

So you might say like

"I live in London, uh... I like comedy

I support Liverpool, I ride a bike

uh... and I eat quiche."

So you put all these parameters in

and then you send them to the...

to the app
that lives in the cloud in the sky.

And what it does, is there's an algorithm

that'll then match you up
as much as possible

with all of those parameters
so it'll send you back

the profiles of people who also
live in London, like comedy

urn... ride a bike

and eat quiche.

So it sends it... So it won't get everything
but it will do the best

So it basically filters out
the whole world for you

and just sends you

profile pictures of people
that you already match.

And by the way, these are profile
pictures as they are now.

You know like people take pictures
of themselves now?

There not like pictures of yourself
used to look.

Cos a picture of yourself
just used to be that didn't it?


Where as for whatever reason now

when you take a picture of yourself

you've got to look like someone's just stuck
a finger up your arse




So he's looking at all these pictures

and what he does, if he doesn't like someone
he throws them in the bin

just dismisses them, swipes left,
goes "Go on, get off my phone."

"Got no chance, go away. Off."

"Please no." So he throws them away.

But if he likes them, he swipes right.

And if they've done the same
and they've swiped right on him

which means that they like him

that means they are a match
within the app. I said

"Well, what happens then?"

He said, "Well, then you communicate
via the app

you build up some trust
and once you build up some trust

you can swap personal details
like phone numbers.

Then you can phone each other
and you can hear each other speak.

And then you can arrange to meet.

And then you might go for a drink

or you might go for a meal

and if you still like each other
you might have a shag."


I said, "Oh, my God son, you've filtered
the whole world out just for that!"

I said, "You know what we used to do?"

We used to walk into a room

and take what we could find.


There was no filter!

No one ever walked into a disco
in the 80s and went

"Excuse me mate,
can you just turn the music down?"

Just a bit, just a minute,
just turn it down, thanks, mate.

Yeah, just a minute, thanks.


Can everybody who likes quiche
come over here for a minute?


You just dealt with what was in front of you.

And I was speaking to a mate of mine
who's got night clubs in Belfast

and he said, "Oh, mate,
that's the way it is now"

He said, "You see them all,
the first hour or so

it's all on their phones

setting up the rest of their night."

He said, "Cos the apps will tell you

if there's someone in the same building
on the same app

whether you're still available
and all this stuff.

He said, "Sometimes...

they don't even do that,
they just find someone's name out

get on that person's Facebook profile
and poke them."


I mean for Christ sake, where I lived

if you'd have poked a girl,
she'd have glassed you.


And so what upset me though,
the reason that that got me

was something that had happened
two weeks before

because I'd come home
and Melanie had been watching the tele.

What happens now...

cos the kids have gone when I go home

I go home to a dark, empty house

cos normally after a gig, Melanie's...
you know, it's late Melanie's gone to bed

and it's horrible, you just go home
to be lonely.

Because you've go to remember like
we've had teenagers in the house

for like ten years
so there was always a crack.

There was always something happening.

They were up or their mates were up

or something was going on,
someone to talk to.

There's no one now, nothing.

And as a comedian,
sometimes you need a chat.

So we've got one of those Alexa machines

have you seen those?

That has a little woman living inside it

and you can ask it anything
and it'll give you an answer

which is probably why they gave it
a fucking woman's voice, to be fair, uh...


Nothing wrong with that!

It's not being sexist,
it's saying you're cleverer than us.

So anyway, I come home sometimes
and I just talk to Alexa

just to have someone to talk to,
cos even the dogs don't say hello anymore.

They don't...
Well, like got two clogs

and one's not that bothered if I come home

cos he's just lazy,
but the other one really loves me.

But the dog that really loves me
has gone deaf.

Which is sad on one level,
but it's great on another

cos it means every time he sees me
it's a massive surprise. He's like...


"How'd you get in the living room?

I didn't hear you come in the house!
How'd you get in the living room?"

It's brilliant, honest to God.

Any married man in here who hasn't got a dog,
get a dog!

You need someone in the house
that's pleased you've come home.


So anyway, what I've started doing is

I've started saying to Melanie,
"Look, if I'm not gonna be back too late

will you stay up?" And, uh, so
she does to be fair.

So she's there but often
she'll have a glass of wine

and I'll walk in
and she'll be like that going


"Were you funny?"

"Saying the same old shit

you've been saying for years"

"Did they laugh?"

"Did they laugh, did they?
Did they laugh?"

"Yeah, well they don't fucking live

with you, do they?



Right, the first time I did that mumbling
into the glass bit, right

was when Melanie came to see
the show in Brighton.

And I only did it as a little joke.

Cos she was in the audience.

And she came up to me
after the gig and went

"I am so sorry, I never thought
you could hear me."


This whole tour has been worth it
just for that moment!

When she said that, I fell over!

But anyway, because she stays up
the tele was on in the background

and there was a programme on
that I'd heard of but I'd never seen before

a dating show called Naked Attract/on.


Right, well those who've seen it know
that what I'm about to say is just true.

Those who haven't seen it,
what I'm about to say is just true.

It is unbelievable!

Particularly when you compare it

to the dating show of our youth
which was what?

Blind Date, yeah, Blind Date.

So for those who don't remember Blind Date

Blind Date was a similar premise
to Naked Attraction.

The person looking for a date

couldn't see the people
they were gonna have a date with.

Hosted by a woman called Cilla Black.

And what she used to do, yeah...

So what she used to do, she used to get
a boy or a girl on this seat

a screen there and three members
of the opposite sex there.

And she'd ask them a question,
so she goes

"So, uh..."

"So Michelle...

You're looking for
a new boyfriend, Michelle?

She was Scottish,
I don't know if you know that...


"You're looking for
a new boyfriend, Michelle."

"Uh, what kind of a boyfriend are you after?

And then the girl would go

"Hiya, Cilla."

"Hello Mum!"

"I just want a boyfriend, Cilia."

"I want a boyfriend
I can have some fun with."

"I like going to discotheques
and I like going roller-skating

and I like going horse riding.

So I just want a boyfriend that
I can have some fun with and do that."

And Cilla would go,
"Oh, well that's lovely."

And then she'd walk forward
for no reason what so ever

and look at the three boys and go

and then she'd come back like that.

"Well, we all wish you a Iorra, lorra luck
with that, don't we folks?"

"So, have you got a question
for the boys, Michelle?"

And she'd go, "Yeah, yeah,
I have Cilia. I have."

"Hiya, boys."

"I like going horse riding
and roller-skating at the discotheque

and if I came home after doing all of that

and I was hungry

and I wanted to eat a dessert

and you were the dessert

what dessert would you be?"

- HE MUTTERS: For fuck's sake.

"And I'll ask that to number one."

Then the cameras would come on the boys
and the lads would be sat there going

- "Get off, get off.."

"Allo, Michelle."

"Hello, Michelle, I like desserts
as well, Michelle

and if...

If I were a dessert for you, Michelle

I'd be spotted dick!"


"No, cos I'd love to fill you up!"

And uh...

And then Cilla would step forward
and go, "Oh, aye!"


"Cheeky, wasn't he a bit cheeky,
sorry to the folks at home.

Sorry about that, eh?
It was a little bit racy."

That's "a little bit racy."

Oh, my God. Times have changed!

There's Naked Attraction, fight

hosted by a woman
called Anna Richardson

who's brilliant at it,
can't imagine anyone else doing it.

The one that I saw, there was a girl on.

There was a gay woman
looking for another gay woman.

They have gay men looking for gay men.

Men looking for women,
women looking for men.

Everyone's treated exactly the same,
the way it should be.

So she's there with this girl,
and she goes, "So".

"So, Gemma you're...

you're looking for a new girlfriend.

What kind of a girl are you looking for?"

And she went, "Well, I...

I'm really passionate about history
so I enjoy going to museums a lot.

I'm vegan so I really love organic cooking.

I spend a lot of time in the countryside,
I love walks, but...

my true passion is the theatre.
I really love the theatre.

So, someone who shares some of those
passions would be marvellous.

And she goes, "Oh that's...
that's really nice. OK, well...

Well, let's see what we can do."


She turns round.

There's six pods... with screens.

The screens come up
with the contestants in, to there.

The screens come to there,
you can't see anything above.

You just see below.

Not a stitch on!

There's literally just a row of fannies.


All stood like that. This row of fannies.

It looks like a shit Top of the Pops
of the 80s.

Cos two of them look like
they're out of the Jackson Five

there's a couple of Mohicans
and Right Said Fred.


And they're all stood like that, and she goes

"So, urn...

So, Gemma, does anyone catch your eye?"


Does anyone catch your eye?
It's a row of fannies! As if you're gonna go

"Oh, I tell you what, that fanny looks
like it enjoys a museum doesn't it?"

I couldn't believe it, I said to Melanie

"Give me that wine, I am watching this!"


They stand there

for a few minutes like...

I don't even know what the collective noun is
for lots of fannies but...

Discussing what's in front of them,
and then...

This is the bit I couldn't believe,
like a pair of farmers, they walked over

for a closer look. They're like...


They're there!
They're that close to the fanny!

I'm half expecting the fanny to answer, go...


"Well, what do you think?"

I... I think it looks a little bit
lop-sided to me

What do you think?

They're like that by each one going

"Oh, I don't know about that one,
I think you need...

You'd need a torch if you went in there.
You'd never get out!"

They do this

fanny by fanny!

Unbelievable! And then...

at that point

she has to reject one of them.

Purely based on what her fanny looks like.

I couldn't believe it.
It used to take us weeks to get to the fanny!


You'd just be grateful to be there.

I don't know anyone who's ever got
to the fanny and gone

"Oh, let's leave it, eh?"


"Honestly, it's not you, it's me.

No, it's not you, it's me, I just...

I just wasn't expecting that".
That's never happened!

So, I couldn't believe it.

So she does this.
She picks one of them to reject.

Screen comes up, this poor girl's stood
there completely naked.

Comes out,
"I'm really sorry, I'm really sorry."

Kiss, kiss on the cheek.

She walks off, final indignation

camera on her arse as she wobbles off.

I'm like, "Oh, my God, I can't believe that!"

I said to Melanie,
"I can't believe how brutal that was."

That poor kid has told everyone
she's going on the tele.

She's told all her mates

everyone at work.

They're all gonna say to her tomorrow,
"So how did you get on on tele?"

She's gonna have to go...

"Fucking fanny let rne down again!"


"Honestly, I don't know
what I'm going to do with it!"

I couldn't believe it.

But then it continues.

It goes from there to there.

So then it's boobs.

What kind of boobs do you like?
Do you like big ones, little ones?

Do you like inverted nipples,
pointy nipples?

Pierced nipples?
Which apparently get in your fillings.

So that's a conversation, that happens.

She rejects the one from there

and then the next stage

the final contestants are revealed in full

from head to toe
so you see the whole person

and it was at this point

Anna Richardson the host said
something that's never been said

on planet Earth before.

Cos there was never a reason for
anyone to ever say it.

When the screen comes up
to reveal the full person

of the remaining contestants

in full from head to toe,
Anna Richardson goes

"Oh, God!"

"Now, I'll be honest with you

I would never have put
that minge with that face!"


Like, who has ever clone that?

That's the worst game of Guess Who ever!


So, when I saw that...

When I saw that,
the rejection going on with that

and I saw my lads rejecting
people on the phone

I was saying, "Lads, don't do that,
don't filter out the world, take a chance."

And he went, "Alright then,
how did you meet my mum?"

I thought, "OK, I've never told him."

Cos you never tell your kids
stuff like that do you?

So I told him the story cos...

I told him the story cos I remember
every detail of it.

It was in the 80s.

I was in a library in Manchester.

Uh, and I saw Melanie, and because
it was the 80s she had big hair.

All combed back. Big head like that.

Big head, little face right in the middle
of this massive big head.

Big glasses.

She had a white top on, faded denim jeans,
little Reebok boots.

Uh, I was wearing a tracksuit.


If you're not from the 80s you may not know
that at that time there was a law

in England that said,
if you've got my accent

you have to wear a tracksuit.


So I had this tracksuit and I saw her.

And I looked at her and she did something
you can't do with an app.

She looked back at me.

I caught her eye, she looked back

and then she did something else
that was amazing.

She got her glasses
and she pulled them down.

So she looked at me
over the rim of the glasses

you know, like a sexy secretary?

I thought, "Oh, my God,
that is the biggest come on

I've ever seen in my life!"

I mean, now I'm married to her,
I know she's long-sighted. But I...


She just couldn't see
what that colourful blob was

in the corner. That was my tracksuit.

She was looking at me light that.

But I took that as... as the come on.

Cos that's what I said to my lads,
"You know, we didn't have apps."

You didn't work things out,
you had to go off signals.

I thought, "That's a signal.
That's the signal."

I said, "When you've got the signal
then you have to walk over.

But you had to do it with confidence."

So I walked over to her like that.


I said, "I'll be back in a minute,
we can go for a coffee."

To which she said...


"What makes you think I want to go
for a coffee with you?"

To which I said, and this is the killer...

"Cos you do."


And then I sauntered away.

But as I'm telling the lads this story,
Melanie went

"But you didn't come back."


I said, "Of course I came back,
we're married with kids."

She said, "No you didn't
come back for 45 minutes.

And I kept sitting there thinking

'The arrogant cocky git,
who does he think he is?"'

She said, "lf I didn't have
an assignment to get in

I would have left after ten minutes.

Cos I thought,
'what an arrogant, cocky sod.'

But I had to sit there and finish it."

And I said, "Well, you're wrong."

I said, "I didn't realise it was 45 minutes,
I knew it was a while.

But you're wrong as to the reasons why.

It wasn't because I was being cocky
and arrogant

I wasn't because I thought
I was better than you.

It's because, the moment I saw you

I knew you were out of my league

and I didn't know anyone who knew you.

I didn't know your name. I didn't know anyone
who knew anything about you.

I couldn't go on your Faoebook profile
and see what you'd had for breakfast."

I said, "So I spent 45 minutes

being scared, because I knew
if I got you for a coffee

I knew the moment I saw you

if I managed to get you to sit down
with me for a coffee

it could be five minutes
that could change my life.

And I just knew it

and so I was too scared to come back.

I spent all that time building up the bottle

to come back. It wasn't cos I was cocky.

It was cos I was afraid.

I didn't want to get it wrong."
And that's what I said to my lads.

"Sometimes in life...

be too scared to speak to people,
don't filter the world out.

Take a chance.

Cos if you do,
you don't know what will happen."


Well, it's true. Thank you, but it's true.
It's absolutely true.

That woman that I was once
too scared to talk to

I'm comfortable enough with now

to make love to while the dog licks my foot.


Cos that's what you find yourself doing
in marriage, innit?

When you find yourself in that situation,
you know...


And she's going

"What's wrong with you?"

"Frigging dog's licking my foot."

"Well just tell him to get off!"

"I can't, he's deaf."



Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen,
I'm gonna finish in a minute.

Um... but

I'll be honest with you,
it's difficult with me sometimes

to find a way of ending a show because...

because it's not really a show.

It's not jokes,
it's just stuff that's happened.

And I was talking to Melanie about it
and she said

"Well, if you're gonna end the show,
end it honestly.

Just tell them the truth."

Because when I do this, people go,
"Oh, have you made all that up?"

She said, "No just tell them the truth"
and what's happened has happened.

You know I did... I did turn 50.

I did get old and my kids did leave home

and it did upset me. It upset me massively.

But it's different now.

Cos I take the piss out of the internet
but it's changed everything because now...

Now, cos the kids do these lnstagram stories.

Like when we left home
you'd phone home till the pips went out

and then you'd phone back
three months later.

Whereas now, kids have all got lnstagram.

So they post these lnstagram stories.

So I can see them when
they don't even know I can see them.

Which I love, because you know
what it's like if you're a parent.

A kid can break your heart

to a thousand pieces
and put it back together with a smile

and you just need to see it.

Sometimes that means everything

so Melanie said, "Just do that."

"Just do the same that you ask of them."

"Just do your lnstagram story of this show."

So this is my story of the show.


How big is my cock?


I'd rather not answer that.

MUSIC: "You're the Best Thing About Me" by U2
# When you look so good #

# The pain in your face doesn't show #

# When you look so good #

# And baby you don't even know #

# When the world is ours #

# The world is not your kind of thing #

# Full of shooting stars #

# Brighter as they're vanishing #

# Oh you've seen enough
to know it's children who teach #

# You're still free enough
to wake up on a bed or a beach #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best thing that ever happened a boy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# I'm the kind of trouble that you enjoy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best things are easy to destroy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best thing about me #

# I been crying out
"How bad can a good time be?" #

# Shooting off my mouth
is another great thing about me #

# I have everything
but I feel like nothing at all #

# There's no risky thing
for a man who's determined to fall #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best thing that ever happened a boy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# I'm the kind of trouble that you enjoy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best things are easy to destroy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# Why am I #

# Why am I walking away? #

# Why am I walking away? #

# I can see it all so clearly #

# I can see what you can't see #

# I can see you love her loudly #

# When she needs you quietly #

# You're the best thing about me #

# The best things are easy to destroy #

# You're the best thing about me #

# Why am I? #

# Why am I walking away? #

# Why am I walking away? #


Thank you.

Thank you.

Ladies and gentlemen

Thank you for coming out, as I say,
these were bonus gigs, but you know...

To call this a bonus,
to be somewhere like this

I never dreamed of coming

this has been wonderful.

I've gotta thank all the crew
who've been with me

throughout the tour,
Adam and everybody else

gotta thank each and everyone who helped

who helped put all this together

and Cameron who's directed it,
but mainly

I've gotta thank you for coming out
and sharing the evening with me

and God willing,
I'll see you again soon, thank you.

Good night and God bless, thank you.


Thank you.

Thank you.

Thanks everyone, good night
and God bless. Thank you.

"You're the Best Thing About Me" by U2