Russell Kane only gave up his day job a few years ago. Now he’s won the Edinburgh Comedy Award and flies First Class. Makes us sick, frankly. But we managed to swallow our jealousy and catch up with the comic to talk about baboons and Bacardi Breezers.
How are you?
I am brilliant and gay! How are you?
Er… very well thanks. So when did you realise you were funny and how on earth did you get into comedy?
Everyone was always telling me I was funny but I was really paranoid that I was only funny within my group of friends. This and the fact I hadn’t seen any stand up put me off for years. But then one day I thought, “Sod it,” took a box of Imodium and did it. At my first gig I couldn’t hold the mic I was shaking so much.
Did you enjoy doing Big Brother’s Big Mouth? Did you feel any competition with Russell Brand?
Yes it was fun. I don’t want to be a Ziggy though and bang on about something I did three years ago.
Ok. You also went to Zambia and got attacked by an animal. What happened exactly?
We were staying at this place, Flat Dogs Camp. It was the kind of place that wouldn’t be certified here in England. We were sleeping in tents in trees and all the animals would just be wandering around. One day we decided to eat our food in the camp, watching the animals go by. One baboon came up and was looking at us and even though I’m skinny, they won’t approach a male. As soon as my back was turned though he jumped on my fiancée Sadie and took the jam jar. The baboon sat there staring at us and opened the jar… then threw the lid at Sadie.
At my first gig I couldn’t hold the mic I was shaking so much.
Was she hurt?
What? By a jam jar lid? No she was fine but what a very English injury that would have been.
For your travelogues on Five US you travelled to the US. Which makes sense. But tell us about it.
It was the best job ever. I left my day job in March 2006 and everyone was like – you won’t live the dream, been on telly yet? Then I got this job and was flying First Class to the States and was like, “Up yours ugly!” The main difference is the audience, they’re really supportive. It put me off in a way. It’s just not the same without the flying Bacardi Breezers and shouts of “W*nker!”
You also did Out To Lunch on BBC Radio 2. You must enjoy radio…
Yeah the challenge is being funny when you can’t say things like bum or arse. I followed Jonathan Ross and had three to four million viewers ranging from the ages of four to 94. I had to watch what came out of my mouth.
What makes Russell Kane laugh?
Our pets. We have dogs and cats and we laugh at how stupid they are. To be honest, Sadie and I make each other laugh. We lie in bed and when we can’t sleep, we make each other giggle. People don’t like it because we worked together and do everything together and still love each other. People don’t like things to work out – they want you to fail.
Tell us about Fakespeare. What the Dickens is it?
Sadie and I were messing about and did some sketches. They’re set in Southend-on-Sea, where I live, and the situations are told using Shakespeare. It’s like normal kids, wooing each other with Shakespeare.
It isn’t rewriting Shakespeare – I hate it when some Oxford tw*t does that. You’re like, “They weren’t interested in it, so why rewrite it?” We use everyday situations and then tell them in Shakespeare speak. I don’t know where it comes from, I’m like a rapper but I freestyle Bard.
Russell Kane heads back to his hometown of Southend-on-Sea and headlines Dave’s One Night Stand on Sunday 7th November at 10pm supported by Carl Donnelly and Holly Walsh.
Where to find Dave: Sky channel 111, Virgin TV channel 128, Freeview 19.