The world is a ridiculous, confusing and chaotic place to be at the best of times. To help us make sense of it, stand-up comic Russell Howard is on hand with The Russell Howard Hour.
Picking up where BBC Three’s Russell Howard’s Good News left off, the Bristolian’s brand new show picks apart the week’s big headlines, while putting a spotlight on those under-the-radar stories that will restore your faith in humanity.
“I was reading the other day about English kids going back to school malnourished. I also read a story about deaf kids having hearing aids fitted and hearing their parents for the first time,” he tells us. “It’s beautiful. It sums up what life is like. We’re reeling from the news but we have these moments where we realise that it’s not all bad.”
Following his hit global tour – including a record-breaking ten-night run at the Royal Albert Hall (sorry, Frank Sinatra and Barry Manilow, who only managed eight) – we thought we’d check in with Howard to see if his jet-setting ways have turned him all showbiz. How will he fare?
Let’s Russell up The Fame Game!
So Russell, have you ever met the Queen?
No, but I have dressed up as the Queen on numerous occasions, for TV. She’s a far better-looking version than me. 0
Who’s the most famous person in your phone?
John Oliver. We used to gig together – we’re old friends. It’s nice to go around New York and see his face everywhere. I like it from a vicarious point of view. I’m not willing to put in the effort in America. I only do little small gigs in the States, although the audiences are much better than over here – we’re awful! English people go out of our way to try our hardest not to have fun. 1
When were you last stopped for a selfie?
At an airport half an hour ago. I don’t mind doing it – it takes a lot of confidence for someone to go up to you and ask to take a photo. 1
What was the last film you paid to see?
Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2 – I absolutely loved it. But premieres aren’t my bag. I get invited, but that side of it feels weird. I’ve been asked to do every reality show. Each year Strictly comes around – but why would I do that? Dancing is moving to music and letting the music make you move. You shouldn’t be judged and analysed. I’m morally opposed. And fundamentally, I dance like a newborn pony. 0
How many Twitter followers do you have?
A million? I don’t use it. I write emails to my agents and someone puts them on Twitter. I try not to go on there – it’s toxic. I have a job where I can try out my thoughts so I don’t need it. 1
What’s your typical coffee order?
An Americano, one shot, no milk – sometimes a bit of soya milk. 1
What was the last party you went to?
I went to my cousin Stu’s stag do in Bristol. 0
Do you have a life coach or PA?
I don’t, but my old friend Sam from school likes to tell people he’s my healer. He’s amazing – he’s got this long flowing hair, and creepy fingernails. He looks like a cross between Antonio Banderas and Bilbo Baggins. He loves telling lies. 0
Do you watch yourself on TV?
Occasionally. Years ago when I was living with my brother, I was eating cereal and flicking through the TV. There was an episode of Russell Howard’s Good News on. I saw something that I thought was quite funny. My brother came home with a girl and it looked like I was just sat there admiring myself. 0
Have you ever had a portrait of yourself commissioned?
No, but I get them at the stage door from fans. The truth is, I normally put them in the bin. 1
It’s a 5/10! Howard may not write his own tweets, but he’s still more than happy to stop for a selfie and brave a Bristolian stag do. That’s our kind of guy.
Watch The Russell Howard Hour, Thursdays, 10pm, Sky 1 (CH 110) and Sky 1 HD (CH 109). Also available for 30 days in Catch Up > Channels > Sky 1