‘It’s mostly me talking about silly things’

Comedian Chris Martin heads out on his first national tour with his new show Responsibilliness.

Dates include October 2 at the Hawth, Crawley (01293 553636), and October 11 at the Komedia, Brighton, for the Brighton Comedy Festival (0845 293 8480).

For Chris, it’s a great opportunity, following on from a support slot with Milton Jones last year.

“That was great because everywhere we were playing to like a thousand people. The idea is that hopefully one or two of them will actually want to come back and hear just you.”

Milton would come on as his own granddad and introduce Chris, saying ‘He’s a really nice guy, please like him’ – and then it was down to Chris to further win over a sympathetic audience.

So did Chris pick up lots of tips from Milton? Possibly, but not necessarily about comedy.

“We both support Arsenal. We both played a lot of football backstage. Whenever we could find a corridor, we would be playing football. Maybe he gave me the odd tip or two, but it was the football that I was more excited about!”

As for his act, Chris explains: “It’s mostly me just talking about silly things that have happened to me. It’s observational stuff really, just anything that tickles my brain in a certain way, just looking at things from different angles.

“There is a lot of comedy around at the moment, but you have just got to carry on doing what you are doing and hope that people will like you. You have got to hope that you just keep on improving and keep on perfecting your style and your approach.”

Just being in front of people excites him, he admits: “Sometimes the audience are the first people that I have actually seen all day if I have been driving, so I do get overexcited when I go on stage.”

Sometimes an audience member or two might actually join in, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing: “Sometimes people will shout out, but 95 per cent of the time people are really nice to you. Some people plan what to say to the hecklers, but I usually just say whatever comes into my mind, which is usually reasonably funny.

“Some people don’t like interruptions at all, but sometimes it can take you in a different direction.”

But if it’s negative, it can be pretty tedious: “It’s OK, it is something a little bit different, and then you are just living on your survival instincts.”

But there was a time, however, when things threatened to turn nasty. A chap seemed to be choking in the audience.

Chris asked if there was a nurse in the audience, and the chap was whisked off, leaving Chris to carry on, not really knowing what was happening back stage – which was tricky. But in the event, all was well. It turned out that the guy was actually choking on his alcohol because he was laughing so much.

So a kind of compliment then?

“Yes, maybe I should murder a member of the audience at every gig!”

As a stand-up, Chris has performed all over the world including Dubai and New Zealand. As well as selling out his shows at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2013, he has supported Jack Whitehall, Russell Kane and more recently, Milton Jones on tour.

Chris has various TV credits to his name, including appearing on Fake Reaction (ITV2), and Dave’s One Night Stand (Dave).

Chris’s radio credits include: featuring on the panel show Fighting Talk (BBC Radio 5 Live), performing on Comedy on The Boat (BBC Radio 4 Extra) and has been as a guest on Hawksbee & Jacobs and Matt Forde (TalkSPORT). Chris also hosts a hugely successful podcast with Carl Donnelly, which is listed in the Guardian’s top ten comedy podcasts.