Show and Tell #23 - Paul Kerensa

Paul Kerensa
19 November 2017

Paul Kerensa will perform his stand up comedy at November Barnstormers.

Winner of the BBC Radio Entertainment Contract Writer Bursary, Paul continues to write and script-edit for many TV comedies. His writing won a British Comedy Award for BBC’s Miranda, as well as a Royal Television Society Award and the Rose d’Or award for Lee Mack’s sitcom Not Going Out, for which Paul has written on over 60 episodes over the past decade. Paul worked closely with Chris Evans and Matt LeBlanc on the revamped Top Gear for BBC2, as well as on Channel 4’s revival of the cult show TFI Friday. Paul’s books include So a Comedian Walks Into a Church, which The Independent rated one of their top eight books for Christmas that year, plus 2017’s Hark! The Biography of Christmas. His first children’s books will be released in 2018.

Paul won the ITV Take the Mike Award and regularly gigs all over the UK as a stand-up. He also broadcasts regularly on the BBC Radio 2 Breakfast Show ‘Pause For Thought’ slot.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
A large doner in naan bread, mild chilli sauce, mint sauce, dash of lemon, from Tipoo kebab shop, Alfreton Road, Nottingham. Sorry it’s not Sailsbury. You must try harder.

What lies at the heart of your own desire to write and perform standup comedy?
A will to impress my parents. If they’re in the audience. If they’re not, whoever’s in the audience.

Who’s your favourite comedian and why?
Me. Oh but if not me? Me from five years ago. I was great then. Or Tommy Cooper. Or Ronnie Barker. Am I allowed dead people? If so, me from seven years ago. (Your cells regenerate every seven years).

Choose 1, 2 or 3 of your all-time favourite music tracks.
Track 2 from Now 25, Track 19 from Now 26, and Track 1 from Now 27. I’m not sure what they were, but Nows 19-28 were the golden era of British popular music, so they’re bound to be amazing.

From your favourite poem – could you give us a few lines that mean something to you?
“There once was a man from Nantucket
Who lived in a very nice bucket
He swallowed a lozenge”
(that’s just a few lines there)

If you were to die and come back as a person, animal or a thing, what would it be?
Given those options… a thing. Maybe The Thing. From that film, called – oh what was it? Thingymebob.

What is your greatest extravagance?
Ferrero Rocher toilet paper. It’s crinkly but looks nice.

What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?
People being nice.

Which artwork/film/book has most inspired you?
Once Upon A Time In America. This may be my only serious answer.

Favourite website/blog?
I don’t read blogs, but I am currently blogging on the history of Christmas, so I’ll have to pick my own. I’m calling it a Yule blog. It’s at If I’m not allowed to pick my own website, I’d have to instead pick

Best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
A wise man once said to me: “It takes a village to teach a man to fish, and you won’t have to work a day in your life.” Actually he might have been drunk.

Best recent read?
‘Hark! The Biography of Christmas’ by Paul Kerensa (published last month). Aw, shoot, that’s my new book. And I’m still not sure if I can self-promote. So if not, I’ll go with any book that mentions ‘Hark! The Biography of Christmas’ (there may not be many since it’s a brand new book – and of course available for purchase and signing after my gig at Salisbury Arts Centre…).

What is your final word?
Goodbye. There. Oh I suppose it’s ‘there’ then. Or, now it’s ‘then’. There. Then. That’s it now. ‘Now’. I’ve got to stop adding words, because my final word keeps changing then. I’ll stick with ‘then’. Or ‘now’. Now then. Now I sound like Jimmy Savile. That’s awful. Although maybe it’s time someone reclaimed ‘now then’ from Savile? And I certainly can’t have my last word be ‘Savile’.