Stephen Bailey has been busy lately, especially given his recent support slot on Katherine Ryan’s latest tour. This comedian is cheeky, flamboyant and a prime example of someone who is destined to perform in some medium or other; his recent successes on the live stand up circuit prove this to be the case. Stephen is taking his latest solo hour, Nation’s Sweetheart, to this year’s Edinburgh Festival.
I asked Stephen these seven questions to learn a little more about him…
1) When was the last time you were personally offended?
I am not easily offended and in fact I think we Brits can sometimes be a little TOO sensitive about things so it normally takes a lot for me!! HOWEVER, having said that, I took some time off dating and have just started to get back into the swing of it and modern technology is ruining my life because of what I am calling blue tick panic. This is a reference to WhatsApp and knowing that they have read the message and just NOT responded!! That OFFENDS MOI.
2) What makes a gig memorable for you?
Not to sound too much like a cheese ball – but I like when I’ve connected with an audience; if after I’ve done a set, I’ve felt like I’ve done it to 100 friends – that is amazing to me. I think comics do gigs for all different reasons but when I feel like I’ve walked away from a bunch of new pals who like me just for being me on stage, I ADORE THAT.
3) Have you conquered any fears in your life?
Getting on a stage used to be terrifying to me. I NEVER PERFORMED before I got into comedy in 2011. And now it’s my job so I guess I conquered that. Also, I went to Hull for the first time this year and that had always terrified me.
4) What do you wish someone had told you when you were young?
Ohhh great question. I wish someone had told me that it will all work out. I obsess a lot and worry about the next thing before I finished the current thing – so I would definitely tell people to enjoy the journey because when you look back there has been some interesting things happen that I don’t think I appreciated in the moment.
5) Do you think you can get away with saying anything on stage?
I think I could get away with pretty much anything except the N word. But I don’t want to say that so we’re good.
6) What kind of people do you avoid?
I don’t like slippery weasels. I prefer people that are completely themselves (shout out Caitlyn Jenner). I think even if, at your core, you are a twat (Tracy Barlow – Corrie reference) but that is 100% you, I would prefer that. I always think you can tell fake people through their dead eyes. Be yourself because, no matter what is happening, your individuality makes you, YOU. Even if you are a twat – look at Jessie J.
7) What makes a comedian stand out from the rest?
I’m still trying to figure this out. But I just want to be myself. I want to talk about things that are of interest to me or my own experiences. I am not going to talk about politics, for example. But I’ll talk about the politics in Atomic Kitten and them inviting Kerry back instead of Jenny.
And I love an honest hour show. Mine is fluffy, light entertainment and dick jokes and I would never force a message unless there was one. This year is my first show with a message because I felt like I had something to say. But I don’t think a contrived message and fake tears are the way to go.
I love a comic to be on stage to be how they would be in the pub.