Paul Sinha Interview
We were lucky enough to have a 20 minute interview with Paul Sinha on Friday 20th February on his upcoming perfomance at Specs Comedy on 6th March. Check out what the man had to say.
Q. How are you Paul?
I'm very well thank you very much.
Q. Can you please tell us a little about yourself? I understand you was born in Luton
I was born at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital 45 years ago. I don't have any memories of Luton because my dad left to go work in Norwich when I was 18 months old. My dad was a surgeon at the L&D Hospital and we were living in hospital accomodation at the time. My mum also worked at the hospital as a midwife. My dad moved around jobs a lot but we eventually ended up settling in the south of London when I was about 4.
Q. So do you like football and which team do you support?
I do like football but to my absolute shame, I support Liverpool rather than Crystal Palace. I know I should support my local team but as a young lad I just sort of supported the best team around. I’ve been to both Liverpool and Palace games to be perfectly honest with you, and it’s always enjoyable.
Q. Have you performed in Luton before?
Once or twice but I can't really remember the names of the venues, it was a couple of years ago. One of the venues might have been near the train station.
Q. How did you find the experience of the Luton audience when you performed here?
To be honest I’m not one of these people that think every town or city is different everywhere you go. The audience is full of people who have paid to come and see you, so that’s how they should all be treated regardless of where you are.
Q. So how does a qualified doctor end up in comedy?
Well you don’t go to University to say you want to become a comedian, you go to University to try and get a proper degree and a proper job at the end of it. I just kind of always wanted to try comedy once or twice and after I qualified as a doctor, I just thought I should give it a go. I never thought it would be more than an experiment. 20 years ago is when I had my first gig and now I’m here.
To start off properly I had to find a gig first and prepare for it. So I managed to find a ‘new comedian friendly’ gig but they scheduled me to perform 6 months later. So I had 6 months to come up with 5 minutes of material for my first gig.
For the first few months I was a full time doctor and a part time comedian, I only concentrated on comedy during my time off. My first proper gig was a 5 minute set for the Comedy Store. It went so well that I managed to get an agent out of it and that’s how it sort of started out for me really.
Q. Do you still practice as a doctor?
Not really but it’s something to fall back on if comedy doesn’t go well, but it’s going well for me.
Q. What is your best gig you’ve performed at?
The biggest audience I've performed for was 4 thousand people in Johannesburg but it was a bit weird because I really couldn’t see the audience. It was in an exhibition centre and I only had 10 minutes on stage so it didn’t feel like the biggest audience I’ve performed in front of.
Whereas every time I perform at the Comedy Store it always feels bigger even though it’s only 400 people. In fact it is the biggest comedy club in the country, so the stakes are always high. Performing there always feels like the biggest gig of my career.
Q. How does it feel to be in the position you are? I mean it must be amazing to be a qualified doctor, well known comedian and TV personality.
It always feels weird when I get recognised on the street. That will never ever stop feeling weird. But where I live in South London, I hardly ever get recognised at all because people are at work until 5 pm. I don’t think that many people watch The Chase so I barely get recognised.
So my everyday life is quite normal, I use public transport, trains and buses. I don’t get driven around town in limousines nor do I have my own driver, I do all the things a normal person does. I live in a quiet suburban area of south London and I go to the pub and eat bacon sandwiches in cafes. I don’t really live that celebrity lifestyle, it’s not me.
Q. Are you looking forward to performing at Specs Comedy on 6th March because we are very much excited to have you on board?
Of course, I’m very much looking forward to it mate. Is it next Friday or two Fridays away, Paul giggles.
Q. In your own experience can someone learn to be funny on stage?
It’s a mixture of luck, instinct and having a bit of talent. I don’t think you can completely learn to be a good comedian. I have to be honest I have gone into this business with no real talent, I can’t act, sing, dance or do impressions the only thing I can do is write material and perform it. It’s like any job you learn with experience and your confidence grows. You learn with more knowledge as well.
I always think of the analogy of a guy that lands the plane, his got 200 people or lives in his hands but for him it’s the easiest job in the world. That comes from experience and practice and I’ve now been doing comedy for 20 years, so I’ve got a lot of experience behind me.
Q. What are you expecting from the audience when you are perfoming on stage?
Nothing, I don’t go in with any expectations. Everyone is just different and that’s the way it should be. Some people in the crowd are drunk and some are sober so I don’t really mind. I mean I go in, look at the audience and try and make some sort of judgement on what sort of people they are and just do the job really.
Q. What are the secrets for telling everyday jokes in order to get the biggest laughs?
Confidence. The belief that you are the best in the world and hopefully they will believe you as well. But never big yourself up to the audience, always try to be the victim of the joke.
Q. Who is you favourite comedian?
I haven’t got one really but I’ve always enjoyed Harry Hill. I think he is really funny but then again I saw him from the beginning of his career. He actually went to my medical school as well.
Q. Are you fan of Eric Morecambe?
Huge fan! My family and I used to watch Morecambe & Wise all the time. For me that was a huge show.
Q. How did you end up in T.V?
I got into The Chase from taking quizzes very seriously. I used to go to National Quiz tours around the country, well I still do. During my travels I heard The Chase were looking for someone to join their team and I was told to apply so I did. I had been part of that world for a very long time. Apparently I’m ranked the 8th top quizzer in the United Kingdom and I’ve worked hard to get to that stage.
Q. To be a Chaser you need to have great general knowledge, is this something you’ve always had or you had to sort of learn it?
Absolutely, I mean this morning when I woke up the first thing I did was look at Wikipedia. You have to keep yourself in great trim really.
And I should have great general knowledge when I spend as much time as I do on Wikipedia. As a kid I was always obsessed with quizzes. My parents liked quizzes too, so they tried to get me into it them from an early age.
Q. What is your first love? Is it stand up comedy, television or your medical work?
It has to be comedy, The Chase won’t last forever whereas comedy is actually a career I’ve chosen. I can’t just be good at it and relax, I have to try keep on getting better and better.
Don't miss out on seeing Paul at the next Specs show on Friday 6th March.
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