Our interview with beloved UK-comedian Alan Carr starts when the subject enquires with genuine interest, “are you well, my love?” – an appropriate opener from the host of a TV talk show called Chatty Man.
Carr’s on-screen and on-stage persona is one part glitter to nine parts mischief and glee, and it turns out Carr is like that full stop. “You’ve hit the nail on the head,” he says, snickering. “I’m a little bit naughty, not too rude and a little bit saucy. That’s what I love about Chatty Man – I can just be that on my own show.”
Carr has affably interviewed everyone from Channing Tatum to Jamie Foxx, but his Christmas special with Russell Brand was especially memorable – Brand crash tackled Carr to the floor with an audible thud, while trying to smooch him under the mistletoe. Did it hurt? “Yes, yes it did,” Carr says, high pitched with indignation. “I do my own stunts. You see someone like Graham Norton would have had a stunt double, but no, I give 100 per cent to my viewers. But that’s the thing with the show, innit? It just goes a bit crazy sometimes.”
"Grace Jones is my favourite guest ... we had a couple [of tequilas] and I got really horny and tried to get off with her. As I was getting off with her, I was thinking, ‘what would Michael Parkinson do?’”
Indeed, probably no more so than the time Grace Jones came on, flashing her knickers at the audience. Note: as with many tales of mayhem and misadventure, tequila was involved. “She’s my favourite guest,” Carr says. “She said she’d nearly killed a friend once after having tequila with them, so she said ‘oh, no I can’t have tequila,' and I said, ‘ooohhhh no, come on, have tequila,’ and then we had a couple and I got really horny and tried to get off with her. As I was getting off with her, I was thinking, ‘what would Michael Parkinson do?’”
Carr is heading our way shortly with his stand-up show, aptly named Yap, Yap, Yap. His style is observational; always sharp, never cruel. Carr puts his ability to pluck his pithy observations down to growing up on the outside.
“When I was little I bashed my two front teeth in on the caravan, so it looked like my teeth were having a party, then I got really fat and then when I was 11 or 12 I started fancying boys, and I was like, ‘oh, here we go, I’m bloody gay, in’t I? Gimme a break'. But it made me tough and quick. It makes you a bit of an outsider, but the outside is where comedy comes from: you look in on society and spot things that no one else will see, because you’re looking at it from the other side of the window.”
Catch Carr in Alan Carr: Yap, Yap, Yap, Hamer Hall, Wed Aug 31.