Pat Condell: interview

Time Out meets Pat Condell, who doesn‘t respect your beliefs and doesn‘t care if you‘re offended

  • Pat Condell: interview

    Pat Condell 'Hard? I'm not hard. But I won't flatter fuckwits'

  • Pat Condell doesn’t much care for any form of religion. ‘I’m not saying it doesn’t have its uses,’ he declares. ‘Personally, I turn to it whenever I want my intelligence insulted.’ He particularly dislikes what he calls ‘God’s little helpers’, the ones who ‘take it upon themselves to police the rest of us on His behalf’. He’s even sceptical about so-called religious moderates. ‘They’ve helped to nurture extremism by tolerating it in their midst and by constantly demanding respect for faith-based opinion.’

    The media, Condell says, give airtime to ‘lunatics like Christian Voice’ whenever there’s a storm in a teacup like the arguments over ‘Jerry Springer: the Opera’. ‘Or, when Muslims erupt in fury over nothing, as with the recent veil nonsense, the BBC invites some hate-mongering fuckwit who represents nobody to speak for all the Muslims in Britain.’

    He’s expressing these and other controversial views in his stand-up show ‘Faith Hope and Sanity’, subtitled ‘A Few Jokes About Religion Before It Kills Us All’. He’s mounting a simultaneous assault on three separate fronts. ‘It seems to me that fundamentalist Christians, jihadist Muslims and settlement-building Jews are causing more than their share of trouble in the world. World events are being driven by people with apocalyptic delusions, while here in Britain a paralysing liberal guilt allows religious bigots to use intimidation and violence to stamp out free speech. If you can’t get laughs out of all that, you can’t get them out of anything.’

    Condell’s 56. He was born an Irish Catholic but educated in Church of England schools. ‘I found myself segregated in assembly and shunted into another room while everyone said their morning prayers. I didn’t mind. The whole pantomime seemed hollow to me even then. Once you become aware of the gulf between what people profess to believe and how they actually behave, it’s hard to take any of it seriously.’

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