Interview: Comedian Stephen Bailey on his 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Show 'Our Kid'
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Stephen Bailey is a five-star comedian whose 2017 Edinburgh Fringe show, the critically acclaimed ‘Can’t Think Straight’, has just seen him through a UK-wide tour. He has also supported Katherine Ryan & Jenny Eclair on their UK tours, and has recently been announced as the host of Channel 5’s ‘Celebs on the Farm’.
Credit: Duncan Elliot
Hi Stephen! Tell us about your Fringe show this year, Our Kid.
‘The show this year is kind of about imposter syndrome, and not feeling good enough. I think most of us, whatever we do in life,
In your show last year, Can’t Think Straight, you spoke a lot about being
‘I like to do my shows as almost a reality show, you know, ‘this has happened in the last twelve months’ kind of thing, and do every show like a new series. My comedy is quite conversational, quite gossipy. What I found quite early on is that people buy into me. So if I talk about a guy that I went on a few dates with and I say that I hope we get together, people want to know the outcome – they message me on Facebook or Twitter.’
Do you think working class comedians are being shut out of comedy as it’s so expensive to get going?
‘I know so many comedians who claim to be working class, but say things like they can’t afford to pay their rent in Edinburgh, and they’ll have to borrow it off their Dad or something. But my parents don’t have that money – when I moved to London they were worried, and they said if I had even one month where I couldn’t pay rent they didn’t have spare money to help me out. So I’ve always bankrolled it myself, which sometimes is really hard to explain. When you’re talking to agents or producers and they say ‘oh it doesn’t matter it’s only one episode’, and you’re like ‘no, that one episode is so important to me, that’s what pays my bills.’ There is a difference, and it’s always the people who have the money who say there isn’t a difference in class.
What can we do about it?
‘Everyone’s got their own cause, whether its gay rights, race, feminism… and actually what we’re all fighting for is equality, and to be treated right, and to have
Is there a different atmosphere at Fringe to on tour?
‘Sometimes with the
Which comedians or entertainers have influenced your comedy?
‘I love American women. That’s what made me get into comedy. I love Amy Schumer, Kathy Griffin, Sarah Silverman, they’re the people I used to watch. They’re incredible, and there’s just a different vibe to them than with British comedy. You feel like nothing’s off the table with them. That’s what I really like – you think it’s very funny because it’s a bit outrageous.’
Did you decide early on that you wanted to be a comedian?
'No, I never wanted to be a
So what’s next for you after the Fringe?
'I’ll be doing Zoe Ball’s chat show on a Saturday and Sunday morning until September. Then I’ve got two episodes of 'Live at the Comedy Store' coming out for Comedy Central, and it’s just been announced that I’m going to be presenting a new comedy show, 'Celebs on the Farm', on Channel 5.'
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Stephen Bailey will perform 'Our Kid’ at the Laughing Horse Free