Writer’s chance to try out something different

Comedian and new dad Paul Kerensa - co-writer on award-winning BBC sitcoms Miranda and Not Going Out - will be one of the stars at this year’s Worthing Comedy Festival.

“I think I just got a telephone call out of the blue,” says Paul, “but I do enjoy festivals. It’s a bit more of a chance than on the circuit to have a bit of fun and maybe to try something a bit different.

“I think I will know 90 per cent of what I am going to do on the day or a few days before, but I am still deciding what direction to go in. I think I might do a kind of best of my previous Edinburgh shows with perhaps a sprinkling of new stuff.

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“I think I have done five Edinburgh shows now. It used to be that I was up there every year, but now it’s every other year. You can spend 12 months writing a new show to get ready for Edinburgh, but you really do have to commit to it above all else, and I can’t really do that now. I have got lots of writing commitments, and now really I need two years to turn a show around for Edinburgh.

“I actually got into stand-up to be a writer really. I was trying to get sketches on radio, and I thought what a great way to try out these jokes if I could do some stand-up. I did some - and I just loved it. I was always trying to become a writer, but I became a professional stand-up before I became a professional writer.”

It’s a fascinating area - or rather three areas, really: “There is writing for the stage, for stand-ups; there is also writing or gagging up a script for a commission; and then there is the third section, which is the pipe-dream sitcom authored by me - and sadly that’s often the thing that takes a back seat. At the moment I am finding it harder and harder to find the time to write that magnum opus. The commissioned work has to get done because it is commissioned.

“But actually, I am working on an idea at the moment. We had a baby in the last year or so, and I don’t going to be on the road all the time going up to Newcastle or Glasgow. I am trying to work closer to home when I can.”

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This year’s Worthing Comedy Festival from October 13-16 offers Zoe Lyons, Henning Wehn, Joanna Neary and Paul Kerensa.

First up on Thursday, October 13 is Zoe Lyons, star of Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow and Mock The Week. The ‘German comedy ambassador’ Henning Wehn tops the bill on Friday, October 14. Support comes from character comedian Joanna Neary. Finishing off the festival on Sunday, October 16 is Paul Kerensa. All shows are at The Dome Function Suite, Marine Parade, Worthing at 8pm, and tickets are £8 (£6 concessions) on 01903 218026, 01903 207024 or 077200 40456.