Chatting to comedian Lee Hurst, you get the feeling that he likes to go his own way with things.
Speaking to us ahead of his new show Comedy Show No. 9 coming to The Core atCorby Cube on Thursday March 30, he doesn’t like to be bound by constraints.
He said: “There is no running theme to the show, I have done that before on some of my other shows and they have all done really well.
“And I have called it Comedy Show No. 9 because it is roughly the ninth show that I have done.”
I suggest to Lee that it is a little like the Monty Python philosophy in that they just wanted to make the shows as funny as possible.
“Exactly,” Lee added. “I have done shows which have been themed before but I didn’t want to be restricted this time around.”
But in the life of the comedian, he is already working on material for his next tour.
Lee said: “What I don’t want to do, which is what a lot of other comedians is leave the cupboard really bare for the next tour. But I will still be trying out material for the new tour and make a note of what does and doesn’t work.”
Unless you have a habit of checking out live comedy and comedy clubs, you might be forgiven for thinking that Lee hasn’t been up to much since leaving They Think It’s All Over in 1998.
Lee said: “The thing is I never really enjoyed doing television. When you did those shows, you’d do the recording and then it was up to someone else what made it into the final programme.
“I remember doing one bit that got a huge roar of laughter and was taken out of the final edit on the orders of the executive producer. It was a routine about fish. So the following week, I told the audience the gag, everyone laughed and then proceeded to give every answer as a different type of fish. It was literally just because to give the people a nightmare when editing the show together.”
And his slightly mischeivous persona began at an early age.
Lee said: “It started at school. And whenI was at primary school, I was judged to be gifted so we learnt a lot of subjects at school which was advanced.
“So when I got to secondary school, we were all learning the same things and I used to get bored. Therefore, I would make it my mission to get sent out of the classroom because that was a sign that they couldn’t cope with anymore.
“A teacher once asked what year was the Battle of Hastings and I put my hand up to tell her I didn’t know.
“There was one time I was sent out of the classroom and was causing so much disruption in the window that I was bought back into the classroom.
“But it was never malicious or rude. It was because I was bored. But there was no joined up thinking in the education system.
“I didn’t know it at the time but I was practicing at the time and I was writing with a mate and he came to the conclusion that it was better than what was on the television at the time.”
And Lee isn’t short of an opinion on the state of comedians in this country.
Lee said: “I see a lot of comedians, I won’t name names, but they quite clearly haven’t written their own material and worse still, they do not credit the writers of the original material.
“They even have the nerve to complain when another comedian steals the joke and I’m thinking, you didn’t even write it in the first place.
“I used to think that American stand ups were nowhere near as good as the British comedians and now it has very much reversed.
“But there is talent on the circuit, and they just need to be given a chance which is what happened to me."
Lee Hurst takes to the stage at The Core at Corby Cube starting at 8pm. Tickets cost £16.50 and are available from the ticket office on 01536 470 470 or online at www.thecorecorby.com.
The show is recommended for ages 16 and above.