Leicester Comedy Festival: Brian Conley Interview.
Long before X Factor, Brian Conley was the face of Saturday night tv, with comedy, music and sketches which were enjoyed by millions. In more recent years, his career has seen him win critical acclaim in the West End but now he’s going back to his routes with a brand new live show, and it’s set to be one of the highlights of Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival.
Brian, what can you tell us about your Alive and Dangerous tour?
It’s a potpourri of entertainment, with a brilliant support act who does a lot with me in the first half and then it’s all me. Everything you’d expect, so singing, dancing, magic comedy, lots of laughs, in fact I’d say it’s the most fun you can have with your clothes on.
How do you go about writing a variety show like this?
It’s a show that’s grown up with me, this is what I do best and so the show writes itself. There are elements people will recognise, Dangerous Brian, Nick Frisby, Larry the Loafer of course, but I just love being on stage doing what I do and I’m just there to ensure the audience have a great night out.
How does doing something like this compare to acting in the West End?
I love all of that, but I’m an entertainer through and through. I love the acting and I love panto but this show is what I love doing best.
You also have a new tv show where celebrity guests talk about tv shows they grew up with. I remember watching you on tv when I was younger, what did you watch?
The shows I enjoyed are probably the ones that have most influenced what I do. So the Generation Game, Larry Grayson’s work, I loved all of those variety shows and Saturday night tv. I absolutely loved Morcombe and Wise, I learned a lot from them. I also loved things like Captain Scarlet and Colditz, they were great.
What do you think about the current state of Saturday night tv?
I watch all the big shows, X Factor, Britain’s Got Talent, I’m a Celebrity which I did as well. You know what, many of these shows are just the old variety shows dressed up in a different way. There are lots of variety elements in them, look at Saturday Night Takeaway for example, people love it. I really enjoyed doing I’m A Celebrity and I’m watching Big Brother at the moment because my mate Darren is in it, but I would not do that show myself!
How will you bring some of the old stunts and magic to a live stage?
There will be lots done on stage of course but there will be video screen stuff as well, clips from my career, all sorts.
Do you like going on tour or is it a chore?
I love being on tour, I do enjoy it. I do make a point of only doing three shows a week because when you’re doing a show like this, the last thing you want to do is get bored with it, that wouldn’t be fair on the audience. I want to be fresh and be able to give the audience the best possible show that I can.
Brian Conley’s Live and Dangerous tour comes to Leicester on 20th February. See curveonline.co.uk for tickets.