Dates include The Hawth, Crawley on Wednesday, February 2; The Old Market, Hove on Saturday, February 5; Worthing’s Connaught Theatre on Friday, April 1; and New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth on Saturday, April 2: “I was lucky that I did an autumn tour and that went ahead. I didn’t lose any of the dates. I got in in that small segment when we could live as free humans. Comedy clubs are now happening every weekend at the moment and that’s one of the benefits of my not being a household name! I would tend to play the smaller to medium venues anyway.
“During the lockdowns I was able to do writing for TV shows and it did mean that you were able to be productive but it was a strange time. I also think that it makes you realise the things that are knackering that you do. I had some time off over Christmas and then I did two gigs and I was just exhausted afterwards.
“But I think that’s mainly the driving really. Definitely you lose stamina when you’re not doing it. But we’re all just a bit older than we were when the pandemic started. Even if we hadn’t had the pandemic I would still have been two years older in terms of wear and tear. But with the driving, podcasts and audio books do help and sometimes you can actually be looking forward to catching up with them in the car. In the early days I would be listening to Radio 5 live for eight hours but now with the audio books, definitely the best ones are the ones that can make you feel a bit smarter by the end, that make you feel that you’ve actually learned something and that would give me something to talk to my wife about. We have been married for 17 years!
“The tour started in September last year and it’s like any gig you’re trying out ideas, does this get recognition and is there a laugh. But I also notice social anxiety being back in gigs. I noticed that my nerves were quite high. But by mid tour I think I’ve got my sea legs back. And I do think with this latest wave a lot of people will become more confident. A lot of people will know more people that have had Covid and have survived.”
For his brand-new tour, Geoff (Would I Lie to You?, Live At The Apollo, Mock The Week, Question Time and The Mash Report/Late Night Mash) will be talking less politics and instead will mostly explore personal responsibility, parenting and who should take the blame when things go wrong. Hint: it’s you!
Geoff alights on a phrase which is popular across the political spectrum I Blame the Parents: “I had particularly unusual and eccentric parents so blaming them is not necessarily a bad thing! The show varies between talking about current socio-political issues and also about my parents who are sadly both no longer with us. My mum was left in an orphanage to be raised by nuns from the age of five and she was a very blank sheet in terms of the approach to parenting. She was a very smart person from a very difficult background, and the same with my dad. He was a trade union man with one arm. They both faced the challenges and defeated them. My dad lost his arm in a motorcycle accident.
“But from when I was much younger and growing up, I think I can see better now what created their personalities and how their personalities happened and I have always been reconciled to how they were and why they were how they were.
“But I do think it can be damaging if you get other people who just don’t get past the grievances that they have towards their parents, the fact that their father didn’t take them to football practice 40 years ago and they still haven’t got over it. I had big love and respect for my parents and I can see, with them being gone and with me now being a man in my mid-40s, how they shaped me but I do also think there comes a point when you have to take responsibility for your own fate.”