FOLLOWING the sell-out success of The Big Day Out 2015, the festival returns this year from Friday, July 1 to Sunday, July 3 July at Humble by Nature in Monmouthshire, the working farm owned and run by Kate Humble.
The festival promises to be a barrel of laughs with comedians Miles Jupp, Justin Edwards, Lucy Porter and Ivo Graham starting the weekend in style.
Writer, actor and comedian Miles Jupp, who now lives in Monmouthshire, is the host of BBC Radio 4’s The News Quiz and regularly appears on Have I Got News For You, Mock the Week and 8 Out of 10 Cats.
Miles recently took time out to answer questions put to him by Andy Howells.
How did you get into comedy?
I loved watching comedy as a teenager. People would bring videos into school and we would watch them together - things like Jack Dee, Eddie Izzard and Lee Evans. Then I started watching Fry and Laurie, BlackAdder and so forth. We also used to listen to lots in the car as a family - Max Boyce, Tom Lehrer, Victoria Wood.
Who are your comedy heroes?
It changes all the time - but probably the Beyond The Fringe team.
You’ve had a varied acting career as well as been a stand up comedian, how important is it for you to have that balance in your career?
It’s really important to me, but also a source of frustration. I always end up wanting to do the thing I’m doing least of at the time. That also acts as motivation though. The whole thing’s a mess really!
Many people (parents and children) will remember you of course for your role as Archie The Inventor in Balamory. Were there any funny scenarios that happened to you while making that series?
It was 12 years ago we finished that, but we used to laugh a lot as I remember it. And probably get quite grumpy too. The best stuff was when we were on tour. At the Hammersmith Apollo three of us were once left onstage for a minute and a half trying to fill in while someone else was late for their cue. We spoke utter rubbish, whilst giggling hysterically, in front of 3000 people
Another long standing role was as Nigel in Rev. with Tom Hollander. Was that a good show to work on and did you enjoy the situation comedy format?
Rev. was life changing for me. Great bunch of people and a massive opportunity. I’d had smaller parts in a few sitcoms before that, but I really loved it. Getting the chance to play a character over a decent period of time was wonderful.
What has been the funniest thing that has happened to you at a gig?
Something funny happening at a gig? Some sort of disaster probably. In Singapore I once not only died on my arse, but then tripped as I was getting down from the stage and fell full length onto a table full of drinks. This sort of thing is character building, by which I mean completely demoralising.
You’ve recently moved to Monmouthshire – are you enjoying your new surroundings?
I am really enjoying it. So beautiful. They’re not completely new surroundings to me. I’ve been coming here for over ten years to see my wife’s family. She grew up and went to school here.
If you hadn’t become a comedian what do you think you would have become?
A barrister? A dog groomer? Honestly no clue. Perhaps a very serious actor and writer. Perhaps I’ll become that anyway.
You’ll be performing at Humble by Nature – what can fans expect from your performance?
Fans, and indeed non-fans, can expect me doing the sort of thing I normally do, only in a lambing shed.
What else are you working on presently and what can we look out for in future months from yourself?
I am writing some books, and a new stand up show, and also working on some scripts. I also host The News Quiz on BBC Radio 4.
- Visit www.humblebynature.com/bigdayout for further details on the festival.
- A version of this Q&A appeared in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on May 20, 2016