Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'If I Were on Drugs, It Would Be Incoherent'; Stand-Up Ross Noble Has Been Hailed as the New Eddie Izzard. He Talks to Bruce Dessau

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

'If I Were on Drugs, It Would Be Incoherent'; Stand-Up Ross Noble Has Been Hailed as the New Eddie Izzard. He Talks to Bruce Dessau

Article excerpt

Byline: BRUCE DESSAU

IF travel broadens the mind, that explains why Ross Noble's brain hops around among subjects as diverse as hats, luminous monkeys and ballroom dancing. In the past two years he has gigged as far afield as Singapore, Australia and South Africa.

After this interview he is off to Shanghai, an unusual place to prepare for a run at the Soho Theatre.

But, then, Ross Noble, 25, is an unusual comedian. While others make do with mundane observational gags or clinical character comedy, Noble spins off into another comic universe, where the seams of Jon Bon Jovi's trousers are made of meat pies and there are special rules if you want to befriend a Mogwai from the movie Gremlins.

Call him the new Eddie Izzard and a blush will probably appear under his jet-black fringe, but there's certainly a bit of Izzard genius there.

Like Izzard, Noble has shied away from television. After his Perrier nomination in 1999, the usual panel games and stand-up shows made overtures, but Noble's style is not exactly box-friendly. "Sometimes it doesn't start for 15 minutes, which is not much good if you are offered a 10-minute slot."

He is also reluctant because of the commitment required - "I'd have to take time out of touring. I wouldn't want to leave putting the TV thing together to someone else and I can't neglect gigging. If I go more than four or five days without a gig I go mental."

He moved from near Newcastle a couple of years ago, but doesn't consider anywhere to be home.

"I've got a house in Walthamstow, but I wouldn't say I live there, it's just where my stuff is."

Television would be a more attractive proposition if he had confidence in the programmemakers. "Ninety per cent of people who work in telly can take something that's funny and make it crap." For a moment he rages, but he is no angry young man, just passionate about his craft: "I like those quiz shows. I think Jonathan Ross is great on them, but he isn't a stand-up comedian. …

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