Legal High; Steve Hughes Is the Australian Comedian Who Says What He Thinks and Thinks about What He Says. Dave Freak Listens in as the Former Rock Roadie Makes Himself Heard

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HE'S packing out venues the length and breadth of the UK (and beyond), but you'll be hard pressed to spot Steve Hughes behind the desks of semi-scripted TV panel shows or lounging about on comfortable chat show sofas.

"They don't seem to like to put me on TV," confesses the Australian heavy metal musician who fled his home for the wider opportunities offered by the UK comedy scene.

"I've done a few things - Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, Live At The Apollo - but they've never got me on Mock The Week, I don't know why. Maybe I'm too much of a loose cannon. In the old days, that would be exciting for TV producers, but we're in the age of careerist comedy now."

The outspoken Hughes reckons that because many new comics are driven by a desire for fame and fortune rather than desire to speak out against injustice and hypocrisy, their comedy is 'safer' and therefore more suited for telly.

"I like genuine artists, who do art because they're compelled to do it," he says. "You have to have lived to do really good comedy, or the comedy I like. When I see some 19-year-old boy, he's only moved out of his parents' house a week and a half ago."

Following the success of his extended debut UK headline tour last year, Steve's now back out with a new show, While It's Still Legal.

"Basically my comedy is for adults and my opinions can be deemed controversial in an age of hate crimes, political correctness and where people can be charged for being offensive," he says of the title. "Being offensive is subjective. If I've offended you, do you sue me? Or deal with it? When I grew up, if someone offended you, you'd sort it out as hating hurts the hater more. If they have offended you, you would be nice about it. But in this age: no! You get to report them. It's very Orwellian. Whatever happened to 'sticks and stone may break my bones, but little words don't hurt me'? That's a very profound saying. …