John Bishop on his accidental stardom: ‘Comedy was never on my radar’

John Bishop has said his younger self would be shocked by the success he has had.

Now a household name and TV regular, the comedian’s career began after he was lured onto the stage at an open mic night by the promise of a free drink. Then a sales rep, he discovered the crowd enjoyed his dry wit.

Asked what his 25-year-old self would make of his success, John said. “I think he would struggle to believe it, as I do.

“The main thing he’d struggle to get his head around is why, because it was never something that was on the radar.

“It’s a weird thing to try and think about why on earth I would at all end up in this situation, coming from where I started.”

The star, whose new show John Bishop’s Australia airs on BBC One, believes finding fame later in life worked to his advantage, saying: “I recognise it for what it is. As far as the options of all the jobs you can do in life, this is the best.”

But he said life as a touring comedian does take its toll.

“You’ve got bank statements you’ve got to file, letters you haven’t opened, bags with stuff in you haven’t sorted out. In reality, I’ve always done it [lived this way] – in my other life, when I was a sales rep, I did it. I guess there’s a bit of a nomadic streak within me.”

But he added: “I’m glad I took the chance to [be a stand-up], because even if it hadn’t got as big as it’s got, I showed the kids you can try and do something that you want to do, rather than do something you felt you have to do.”

John Bishop’s Australia screens on BBC One on Monday, July 7.



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