Page last updated at 08:13 GMT, Wednesday, 25 November 2009

Michael McIntyre on his 10-year slog to the top

By Fiona Pryor
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Comedian Michael McIntyre

"I've always felt deep down that I was going to be best on a big stage," says comedian Michael McIntyre.

"But obviously you can't start there. You can't just say 'I want to be a comedian, book Wembley.'"

The 33-year-old has been on the comedy circuit for more than a decade now, but it was only last year that he shot to fame by scoring the biggest selling debut stand-up DVD of all time.

Since then he has fronted the BBC's popular Michael McIntyre Comedy Roadshow and toured up and down the country filling massive venues such as Wembley Arena.

"I did the driving around the country, playing small rooms and adapting to different audiences," he says.

"So, it's taken me this long to get there, but it's where I feel most comfortable in big arenas. I love running round the stage," he giggles.

He then adds that his trademark skip is the "only exercise" he gets. "I am so lazy the rest of the time."

When asked how he is dealing with being recognised on the street, he insists it "does not bother me".

Michael McIntyre and his wife Kitty
A lot of McIntyre's routines revolve around his wife Kitty

He adds: "People come up to me in the street and they want to say hello, which is very exciting."

However, he does prefer fans to ask first before taking pictures.

"Somebody leaned into my life the other day," he says.

"I was having lunch - they didn't even ask - and they just leaned in next to me and took a photo.

"Of course every once in a while you might meet someone who has no idea who you are and it's awkward.

"That's why I keep pushing myself because I want everyone to know me," he laughs.

On stage the star makes boring shopping trips with his wife sound hilarious and mocks himself for looking like a "fat Chinese man" when smiling.

'Deep depression'

He makes telling jokes seem easy and claims putting together routines comes naturally to him.

"I find things funny, not everybody agrees that they're funny, but I'll always find things funny and share them," he says.

"It's about what makes me laugh and if I can't think of anything and I run out of material, it means I'm not laughing, which means I'm going to go into a deep depression."

I am enjoying myself and I am 100% focused on making people laugh
Michael McIntyre

But a black cloud forming above his head seems unlikely, judging by the way he laughs and jokes throughout the interview, despite suffering from a sore throat.

"Every comedian, I suppose, thinks they're hilarious, otherwise they wouldn't stand up to do it. It's just pot luck over how many people agree," he says.

"But I do think that people like the fact that I'm upbeat. I am enjoying myself and I am 100% focused on making people laugh.

Some comedians are known for their controversial routines, which have, on occasion, led them to being criticised in the press.

'Great comics'

Both Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr recently hit the headlines over jokes which, according to some, over-stepped the mark.

But McIntyre is quick to defend his fellow comics and their routines.

"They're telling jokes to their audience. It's the media that's transporting the joke to people who get upset."

He calls Carr and Boyle "great comics, who have their audience who go for those kinds of jokes."

Jon Culshaw as Michael McIntyre
McIntyre refuses to watch Culshaw's impression of him

The star insists there is "no right or wrong way" of doing comedy.

He adds: "There's got to be room for everybody, everyone's got to do their own thing. You need all sorts of different styles of comedy, people like different things."

However, McIntyre refuses to watch comedian Jon Culshaw's impersonation of him on BBC One's The Impressions Show.

"I haven't seen it, I can't bear to do it," he says.

"People keep telling me it's an honour, but is it? Do you remember when you were at school when people would take the mickey and mimic you?

"Well people didn't think it was an honour then, so why is it an honour now?"

He refuses to criticise Culshaw though, calling him a "charming and lovely man".

I suppose it is kind of cool. My Mum thinks he's brilliant, but then again she is getting on, and I think she thinks it's me," he laughs.

The Michael McIntyre: Hello Wembley DVD is available in shops to buy now.



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