Ed Byrne ponders his legacy in Crawley

Ed Byrne - pic by Roslyn Gaunt
Ed Byrne - pic by Roslyn Gaunt

TV favourite Ed Byrne takes a long hard look at himself in his new stand-up show Ed Byrne: If I’m Honest…

Ed invites you to join him as he tries to decide if he has got any traits that are worth passing on to his children.

Ed Byrne: If I’m Honest… is at the Hawth in Crawley on Friday, January 17.

The tour stretches months ahead with dozens and dozens of dates lined up. Daunting to an extent, but also great: “This is going to sound like classic high-sell, but I really do think that it is a good show. Life on the road is a lot easier when you have got absolute confidence in the show that you are doing.

“Sometimes you have got a bit in a show that you like but which needs that extra something and you know it won’t necessarily work everywhere. It might be political or particularly nerdy, and you know it won’t be the same every place you go.

“But I think that this show has actually got more that is universal. There is a lot about kids and that is the main theme of the show. We all at least have had parents!”

Ed’s own children are now seven and eight: “It starts off with me talking about them, but the show is about me really.”

Ed isn’t really sure just how parenthood has changed him: “It’s hard to tell whether you have changed because of becoming a parent or whether it is just a general coming of age. But I know I don’t have the same desire to watch really dark films or TV shows. I will watch something if it is good, but before I used to actually seek out the really dark stuff. Now I am much less inclined to do so. Perhaps it comes down to not wanting to think how dark the world is that we have brought our children into. But maybe it’s also that perhaps I am just more cheerful now!”

Parenthood is liberating in so many ways, but in other ways life becomes more serious, Ed says: “I don’t really do anything for fun anymore. Everything has to financially justify itself.

“The big difference with going on the road is that obviously my wife would come along with me in the past, and she would have a meal while I was on stage, and then we would go somewhere or we would be somewhere really nice, and if we were somewhere really nice, it wouldn’t matter if I had only sold 150 to 200 tickets… just because we were actually somewhere nice, especially if we were somewhere abroad. But now, like I say, everything has to be financially justified. Now I am going out on my own and I have had to become much more mercenary.”

The other difference is that the tours are taking longer… for the simple reason, as Ed says, that he is now “boxing much cleverer”.

In the olden days, he would be gigging six or seven nights a week; now he has cut back on that kind of intensity, so allowing time to be with the children in between. Also, he knows now not to be hitting the road when the children are on school holiday.

“When they are on holiday, then so I am!”

The other upside is the kudos of what he does with the older children of his mates who no longer see him “as their parents’ boring a*** friend”. Instead, thanks to exposure through things such as Mock The Week, they will be listening to Ed and they will be impressed. Ed has become cool…

But he’s under no illusions. It won’t last.

“I give it six months at most and then they will be thinking I am completely s***!”

In the past year, Ed has appeared on Live At The Apollo (Host, BBC), Mock The Week (BBC), The Pilgrimage (BBC), Top Gear (BBC) and QI (BBC).

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