The Jack of all trades ...

Jack Dee
Jack Dee

Comedian Jack Dee is known for his deadpan tone and it’s that exact character that called The Press office last week.

He’s currently on tour with his first live stand up show for six years and he’s bringing the show to the Alhambra Theatre in Dunfermline next week.

So ahead of the gig he’s taken some time out to speak to us and tell us a little bit more about the show.

It’s been a little while, but now Jack’s back.

He explained: “I didn’t leave it [stand up] consciously, but I took a five or six year break from it because I was writing and making ‘Lead Balloon’, my sitcom for that time.

“We did four series and it was a time consuming project.

“As much as I enjoyed it, by the end of the fourth series I really wante d to get back to a more immediate art form with immediate response from the audience where it’s just down to you and them.

“It’s a slightly simpler way of living.”

Dee comes to the Fife stage on Saturday, October 12 and is pleased to be back north of the border once again.

“I’m looking forward to it,” he said.

“I’m doing a couple of other towns and cities in Scotland at the same time as Dunfermline of course.

“I haven’t been to Dunfermline for a long time.

“It will be nice to see how it’s changed.

“One thing I love doing is travelling around, especially Scotland and Wales where it’s very different from where I live.

“You realise the beauty of the places we live.”

As well as Lead Balloon, the funny man has been writing his hilarious memoirs, ‘Thanks for Nothing’, which he modestly dedicated to himself (“without whom none of this would have been possible”).

Ahead of taking the tour on the road around the whole of the UK, Jack spent time warming up his live act, and it’s something he really enjoyed.

There must be positives to touring?

He continued: “The kind of travelling we have done when we started the early part of the tour, I tend to do small villages and towns.

“It makes you realise how many market towns there are that you would never go to for any other reason.”

“It’s also the peace and quiet.

“In my marketing material I say I have gone on tour to get away from my family.”

And the negatives?

“You can’t really eat before a show, then after a show everywhere is closed,” he said.

“You live on sandwiches for long periods of time.

“You either need to have an early stop and have something to eat about 4.00 p.m. in the afternoon but you’re usually driving somewhere at that time.

“I’ve never really conquered it and made it possible.

“I was in Australia and because everywhere is so far apart, travelling that way is far more comfortable.

“You can get to eat a proper meal as you tend to drive the day before as it takes that long to get there.

“But in the UK it’s not like that as you’re driving relatively short distances.”

The father of four admits he was initially nervous about his return to the stand up arena, but the moment he stepped on stage again, his love for the genre was rekindled.

“I’m very proud of this tour to be honest.

“It’s been a great re-awakening of all sorts of instincts to me.

“You forget what you know as a stand up comedian when you stop doing stand up.

“I loved the early days doing tiny arts centres and small clubs trying stuff for the first time, going with a bag of ideas and trying to format it into a show.”

And speaking of shows, where’s the inspiration come from for his latest material?

He said: “A lot of it is from every day life.

“I’ve always thought of it as a rolling review of my life when on tour.

“What goes on in a day to day living makes up what goes on in my material.

“Observations about home life and living with teenagers.

“My take on it is that adolescence should really be regarded as a form of mental illness.

“Once you’ve accepted that, everything makes more sense.

“I’ve already recorded this tour for my DVD, which is out before Christmas.

“I’ve called it ‘So What?’ It’s a big thing that runs through the show, this idea of shrugging shoulders.”

But as well as stand up and his television sitcom, Jack is also well known as the poker-faced host of Radio 4’s legendary ‘I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue’ and has appeared on television panel shows such as ‘QI’, ‘Have I Got News For You’ and ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’.

So having experience in all of these mediums, does Jack have a favourite?

He said: “For the sheer enjoyment of doing a show, it needs to be live in a theatre.

“There are no other factors you have to consider like cameras.

“As soon as you have got that element you have to give that thought and let people know what you’re doing in advance.

“But I think the trick is though to enjoy what you’re doing.”

Jack Dee is at the Alhambra Theatre on Saturday, October 12.