Staying the wrong side of PC

By Rob Virtue on July 22, 2010 11:56 AM |


He's been shot as many times as 50 Cent, helped Russell Brand get laid and now he's coming to The O2.

While the jury's still out on those first two statements, the latter sounds like the truth.

Anglo-Indian comedian Paul Chowdhry, well known on the circuit for his improvisational technique and a touch of controversy, is performing at the Indigo2 tomorrow night (Friday) ahead of his appearances at the Edinburgh festival.

It's not his first time at the entertainment centre, though.

"Yeah, I've been there before," he said. "Well I've been to Nando's. You could say it was a kind of show - with chicken.

"But I'm really looking forward to the Indigo2. I like to improvise a bit and see what happens. Every show is different.

"A lot of people do Edinburgh previews with 10 to 15 people but I thought I'd change that by doing a show with 2,000 people, then go to Edinburgh and perform in front of five."

The crowd at the North Greenwich venue is likely to be in for a lively show with Chowdhry's emphasis on audience participation, a style which has got him into trouble in the past.

"Yeah, I've been attacked," he said. "Shot nine times. I'm the 50 Cent of stand-up. The problem is you do that Gangsta stuff if you're a rapper but if you're doing comedy it's harder to pull off."

Although we suspect the shootings are the product of an overactive imagination, Chowdhry has been confronted after his act, and has had to contend with danger from the off.

Chowdhry said: "I was always interested in stand-up. I watched a lot of comedy, like Bernard Manning and Little And Large. It always fascinated me. I gave it a shot after uni at an open mike event, which I ended up headlining.

"As we finished the show was held up by robbers. As I was crawling out on my hands and knees I thought to myself this is the job for me."

Chowdhry has been a hit on the underground circuit with a cult following since he took up the mic in 1998.

Over the last year he has become more mainstream, with new management and a sell-out stint at Soho's Leicester Square theatre.

However, he still fondly remembers the early days in smoke-filled comedy clubs, particularly chilling after shows with another British comedian and a few groupies.

Chowdhry said: "I used to hang around with Russell sometimes. I even set him up with a couple of girls. That man is not fussy. Do you know what he's doing now? I haven't spoken to him for a while. Not sure what he's up to. Any idea?"

- Paul Chowdhry Not PC, Indigo2, Jul 23, 7pm, £16.75, 0844 856 0202,, Jubilee: North Greenwich


Fraz said:

I was there he was too funny!