Best known for his regular appearances on BBC2 panel show Mock the Week, Andy Parsons recently brought his sharp, topical comedy to Exeter’s Corn Exchange and Barnstaple’s Queen’s Theatre as part of his “I’ve Got a Shed” tour – to great acclaim.
Andy, who has also proved a big hit on such TV shows as Live at the Apollo, QI, The World’s Most Dangerous Roads, Saturday Live and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala at the O2, spent much of his childhood living in Dorset, Torbay and Cornwall. So when Visit Devon spoke to him during his Barnstaple appearance the first thing we asked of course was: which was better?
You spent time in Devon, Dorset and Cornwall in your youth – which was better? It was Devon, wasn’t it?
It was, of course, Devon. And that’s exactly what I said to “Visit Cornwall” and “Visit Dorset”.
Do you have fond memories of Torbay?
Yes. It’s a great place to earn good money being an extremely lazy deckchair attendant.
Do you have ‘Westcountry’ material in your routines?
I do, but given that a lot of people think I’m from London not everybody believes it.
Is there a difference playing to smaller town audiences, over large city audiences?
You can get away with some of the same material, whether you’re in Hong Kong, Croatia or Bovey Tracey. But don’t let on.
Do you try to work local material into every gig?
There will always be a little bit of local stuff. I get given a copy of the local rag in my dressing room and there are always experiences pre-gig that are fun to relate, whether it’s the disappointment of the one-way system, the food or the theatre’s technical rig – or some combination of all three.
Do you get back to Devon often?
I still have family in Devon so I’m usually back a couple of times each year, as well as sometimes passing through on my way to Cornwall – where I go just to check it’s still not better than Devon.
Where’s your favourite spot in Devon?
Barnstaple. As I recounted very recently to “Visit Barnstaple”.