Greenwich Comedy Festival: Milton Jones
Wild haired comic Milton Jones is regarded as king of the one-liners and is Chortle's headline act of the year.
The Wharf caught up with the west Londoner before he appears at the Old Royal Naval College's Greenwich Comedy Festival on July 16.
■ It's your second year at the Greenwich Comedy Festival. What do you remember of your debut?
Being late and thinking, 'Oh this is bigger than I thought.' I've been to Up The Creek a few times, so when I see Greenwich I naturally think of that.
With other festivals, not Greenwich, you'd be performing and then everyone would get up to watch the White Stripes play next door. You then find if it's on for several nights the audience become more aware of how to behave and not to throw cups on the stage. As I remember the audience at Greenwich know how to behave. They are comedy educated.
■ What can the audience expect from your performance?
I'll be doing some older stuff and some of my material for next year's tour, On The Road. It's one-liners still but I'm trying to stick them into chunks. I won't say like storytelling; but just bigger chunks.
■ Did you feel you had to focus on one-liners for your latest material as it's what your fans expect?
If you're in a band people want to hear the older songs but if you're a comedian they don't necessarily want that.
They want something similar but not the same. I remember doing some work with Rory Bremner when he wasn't doing a show with any characters. The audience were like, 'We came for the funny voices and not the political stuff.' But if you don't change it up you'll go mad so there has got to be a balance.
■ Last year was a big year with a successful tour and you also won Chortle's headliner of the year.
There's an element of randomness about it like all awards. I think it's reaping the harvest from the last few years.
■ I understand you've been performing stand-up since 1996. What did you do before that?
I was trying to be an actor and not doing very much acting. You were always waiting for the phone to ring. So I was doing rehearsals and jobs like filing, decorating and gardening.
Acting was my first love and it wasn't until I really worked out if I was in character with mad hair and shirts I could combine the two.
■ Do you remember your first gig?
I did a few open spots where I learnt my lines, forgot them, tried to improvise and it went horribly wrong so I stopped doing it for a few years.
But success is like a drug and once I got that I just wanted more and you forget about the bad times.
Greenwich Comedy Festival runs from July 13-20. For a chance to win a pair click here
To buy tickets, go to greenwichcomedyfestival.co.uk.