“One of the sharpest comic minds to have emerged in recent years.” The Guardian
James has something he’s been meaning to tell you. He’s been putting it off for some time. You might want to sit down for this.
James actually isn’t the stand-up comic you think he is. He’s going to reveal that he’s an undercover cop and always has been. He’s invested too much in his assumed identity of a comedian. It’s time to make things right.
James Acaster has made a triumphant return from the New Zealand Comedy Festival where ‘Recognise’ won Best International Show. James will be performing his award winning show all over the UK starting on Sunday 21st September – Saturday 29th November.
James announced himself onto the stage with his critically acclaimed debut sellout show Amongst Other Things gaining five and four star reviews. He then followed this up with two nominations for the main Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Award, with Prompt in 2012 and Lawnmower in 2013. The Sunday Times described his show as “Beautifully constructed ‘art of stand-up’ stuff…this show will be taught in schools as the perfect how-to example”.
Off stage he has his own series ‘James Acaster’s Findings’ for BBC Radio 4 and also regularly features on XFM with Josh Widdicombe.
James has also made a number of television appearances including, Never Mind The Buzzcocks (BBC Two), 8 Out Of 10 Cats (Channel 4), Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Three), Dave’s One Night Stand (Dave), Show and Tell (E4), Live at The Comedy Store (Paramount) and the Edinburgh Fest Comedy Gala (BBC Three).
In your own words, give us a short biog on yourself.
I was born in Kettering, played in bands then turned my hand to stand up age 23. I live with my friend Joe and watch a lot of Netflix.
Can you tell us a bit about your new show, Recognise?
It’s about my life as an undercover cop posing as a stand-up comedian. It’s low key and whimsical and includes some props. It’s my favourite of my shows so far.
Can you tell us about the highs and lows of being an undercover cop?
My wife left me. That’s a low. But on the plus it’s a really cool thing to tell people when they ask what you do for a living, even though I’m meant to keep it to myself.
What tips would you give to other under-cover cops who are disguised as comedians?
I would tell them to write what they know. It’s done me no harm to talk about the job. None whatsoever.
How did you get into comedy?
Through being a show off and needing a way to fill my days. Plus my band split up so I didn’t have much going on at the time.
What do you do to prepare for a gig, any warm up habits?
I sit in a corner and catch up on my text messages, pretending like I don’t have to do a show in a few minutes.
What has been your most interesting/funny/bizarre gig experience thus far?
A 4 yr old child got on stage and did his version of beat boxing once, he basically made a sound like a pig oinking for nearly 7 minutes.
What did you want to be when you were young?
A rapper and a vet. Simultaneously.
If you could be remembered for one thing, what would it be?
The man who often gave his seat up on buses then let himself down by looking around proudly to see if anyone had noticed.
You’re often described as ‘low-key’, how do you manage to remain so unaffected by the chaotic world around you?
Maybe I am affected by it, maybe the chaotic world around me is the reason I’m low key. Hmmm?
Is it fair to say you’re one of Kettering’s biggest exports? How does it feel?
I’ve still got a long way to go before I’m one of the biggest exports. It feels good to be from Kettering, it’s a mellow place, full of hip dudes.
Kettering is famous for its Weetabix factory, something you’ve covered in the past. What is your favourite way to have Weetabix and why?
Milk and sugar – the classic. The real trick is to get them as firm or supple as you like. You develop a great sense of timing when you’re a regular bix eater.
Which comedians inspired you to pursue a career in stand-up?
There was a man in a red jacket who hosted the village variety show when I was 12. He was funny and made telling jokes look like an enjoyable profession. Looking back though some of his jokes were inappropriate.