INTERVIEW: David Baddiel finds fun in the fame game

David Baddiel plays Falkirk Town Hall on Monday, July 29
David Baddiel plays Falkirk Town Hall on Monday, July 29
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Ask any child what they hope to achieve in later life and there’s a strong chance the answer will be ‘I want to be famous’.

Fame, as everyone knows, is a double-edged sword. It can as easily lead to misery as it can to happiness.

But, for most of us, we’ll never get the chance to find out if that’s really the case.

David Baddiel knows first-hand what it’s like to be famous and all that it entails.

He achieved huge success as a stand-up in the early 1990s along with his comedy partner Rob Newman, before becoming very well-known - by any standards - as the face of the hugely popular ‘Football Fantasy’ BBC series alongside Frank Skinner.

The duo immortalised themselves in modern footballing history - south of the border at least - by co-writing the song ‘Three Lions’ with band the Lightning Seeds to commemorate the 1996 European Championships in England.

In recent years, the 49-year-old Londoner has concentrated less on performing stand-up and more on his successful career as a writer for television, radio and film.

Now he’s back with his first solo stand-up show in 15 years, ‘Fame: Not the Musical’, which is coming to Falkirk Town Hall on Monday, July 29.

He told The Falkirk Herald that the show is a humourous exploration of the different ways he’s been perceived by the public over the years: whether it’s “token Jew, new lad or comedy rock ’n’ roller”.

“When people talk about fame, they either think of it as brilliant, or as absolutely terrible, in a Amy Winehouse or Janis Joplin kind of way,” he said.

“My show goes between that, and looks at the slightly annoying, slightly ridiculous element of it all. For example being mistaken for someone else, like Andrew Lloyd Webber or Ben Elton.

“I also talk about some of the horrible press I’ve received, which I can laugh about now.

“Seventy per cent of fame is blokes in vans shouting things like ‘Alright Dave!’, which I quite enjoy. I still get it all the time. Only this morning I passed some builders, one of them says ‘look it’s that comedian!’ and the other says ‘no it’s not’.”

Baddiel says he’s pleased with the reaction to his return to stand-up, and is looking forward to visiting Falkirk - having already received the thumbs-up from one well-known local.

“Eric Joyce came to see the show in London,” he said.

“He came along with (Sunday Times columnist) India Knight. I told her that was fine - as long as he didn’t kick off.”

See David Baddiel at Falkirk Town Hall on Monday, July 29