Series showcasing the best of British comedy talent. 8 Out of 10 Cats star Sean Lock introduces Liverpool's finest, John Bishop, from the world-famous Hammersmith Apollo.
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This programme contains adult humour
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for tonight,
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thank you, thank you, what a welcome!
Hello. Welcome to Live At The Apollo.
This is amazing. I feel like the Pope.
This must be how the Pope must feel, just go, "Yeah!
"I'm the Pope!"
Actually, I know how the Pope feels. This is how the Pope feels.
I met the Pope when he was over here.
I was very lucky, I managed to meet the man. Amazing guy, amazing guy.
You know that little white thing on the top of his head?
You push that down and twist it, he's full of sweets.
I made that up for a laugh. What am I like?
Lovely to be here, especially nice for me to be here tonight
because recently, I had a third kid, quite recently.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
I was pissed. I did the bare minimum.
But since I've had a third kid, any excuse to get out of the house, I'm up for it!
The other day I was going through the kitchen cupboards, trying to find something we might be a bit low on.
"Just got to nip round the corner.
"We've nearly run out of nutmeg!"
I'll make up any excuse.
"We need a carrot. Yeah, better go and get a carrot.
"Well, it might snow.
"We don't want to have the only shit snowman on the street, do we?"
Sometimes I don't go anywhere. I just go and sit in the car.
I take all the kids' seats out, so I can pretend I'm single for 20 minutes.
Can't do anything about the raisins.
They're bloody every... My car is just covered in raisins.
They all get embedded in the upholstery.
Sometimes it feels like I'm driving a muffin.
I've worked out the back seat of our car is so sticky, don't really need kids' seats.
I could just lick the back of the children like that.
I don't know what it is, you give a kid a box of raisins, the first thing they do is this.
Like some kind of Hindu offering.
That's for Vishnu, rest for me.
I was looking the other day, it's disgusting in there, so unhygienic,
cos there's raisins, wee, snot, crumbs.
I mean, no wonder they're always ill!
If we drive past landfill, seagulls start following our car.
The only good thing about it is it will never get nicked.
I could leave it parked, doors open, keys in the ignition,
engine running, I'd come back an hour later, there'd just be a fox retching on the pavement.
Don't get me wrong, I do appreciate I'm a very lucky man. I've got three children.
The other day, I was thinking how lucky I was. I was downstairs in the kitchen reading a newspaper.
I heard a little voice go, "Daddy, I'm finished!"
From somewhere in the house, you know. Hopefully the toilet.
And as I was wiping the bottom, I thought to myself, "You lucky bastard!"
Cos people say, "You're very lucky" and they say, "Don't they grow up fast?
That's true, actually. My eldest daughter's nearly six.
She came up to me the other day, she said, "Dad, I think I'm too old for CBeebies."
She doesn't talk like that, by the way,
otherwise she'd draw a bigger crowd than me.
She says, "I'm too old for CBeebies.
"I want to watch CBBC. CBeebies is for little kids, I want to watch CBBC."
And I didn't say this, I was going to say this, "Oh, really?
"Too old for CBeebies, are you? Then how come
"you've got a squirrel on your T-shirt, then?
"A big, fluffy squirrel, holding a balloon. Ooh!
"Ooh, you're very mature, aren't you, yeah!
"Ooh, step back and let the big lady come through!"
I didn't say that, cos my wife doesn't like me treating the kids like hecklers.
And also, apparently, stuff you say to kids when they're little,
apparently it affects them when they're older.
I know, sounds mad, doesn't it? Yeah.
You say something to them when they're 5, when they're 24, they go, "Oh, I need some crack."
Also, apparently, you're not supposed to shout at your kids, yeah?
How's that supposed to work? (There's a car coming!)
No, like I say, I do appreciate I'm a very lucky man, but I'm a bloke,
I just like to skive when I can, a little skive, you know.
If I get enough time, I like to go to my favourite shop, which is Lidl.
Yeah. Yeah, I love it down there.
Lidl. Are you Lidled up here in Hammersmith?
Oh, it's great, I love it. What I like about Lidl is, because I don't recognise any of the products...
..it's like being on holiday, isn't it?
In somewhere like Moldova.
I go, "Oh, look, Strongsbloff!"
I don't know if it's butter or mastic.
These days, I just buy stuff, take it home, see what it is, just open it.
Have a little surprise. "Oh, look at this, love!
"You want one? Want one?
"A bit like olives!
"Oh, look, wasps, cooked in their own business."
No, I love it there.
I love the way they've kept it simple as well. It's no frills, isn't it?
It's less a supermarket, more like a famine relief centre.
The best thing about it is, I like the fact at the checkout,
they don't go in for the bag for life.
They don't go in for what I call the bag for life shit, you know?
I say, "Don't give me that bag for life shit, lady."
You know, cos I don't like that.
I'm out shopping. I don't want to think about my own death.
Just getting a few bits and bobs, you know?
To be honest, bag for life, I'm not even sure if I want these genitals for life.
I don't believe in God, I think we're on this planet once, why not try everything?
ONE PERSON LAUGHS
That went down well, didn't it?
I'm not saying I want a vagina. No!
No, maybe just something furry, like a meerkat would be nice.
Oh, that's lovely, that is.
Soft. Feel that, that is soft.
You know those bags for life? Do you know why they last so long?
It's cos you never use them, do you?
I'm always at the checkout going, "Oh, bollocks!
"Forgotten it again!"
I've got a cummerbund at home that's seen more action.
The only way I'd remember the bag for life, if I had a couple of them sewn
into the sleeves of my jacket, like kids' mittens.
I'd just walk around with two bags for life.
"You got your bag for life?" "Too bloody right! Oh, yeah, yeah!
"Now fill it with vodka and fags.
"Let's see who goes first. Me or the bag.
"It's a duel."
Don't get me wrong, I think they're a very good idea.
I just don't think it's the right way to go about it,
cos they sort of shame you into buying them.
The checkout girl pulls out the carrier bags, looks at you in disgust.
Like she's pulling other women's knickers out of her husband's glove box.
"Dirty, dirty bastard!"
Maybe I've read a bit too much into that look.
But welcome, welcome to the show.
It's a fantastic show we've got tonight. We have got some very special guests.
We've got Esther Rantzen here. Hello, Esther.
I can remember watching That's Life, and it was a great show.
One of the best things about it was they used to have funny-shaped vegetables.
They used to show off if they had a funny-shaped vegetable,
we'd sit round the telly going, "Look at that parsnip!" It was great.
You know, they'd have, like, a cauliflower in the shape of a penis, and you'd go, "Blimey!"
It was an amazing feeling.
Life was quite dull, back then. Now it's all changed, television.
Now you've got Embarrassing Bodies, and they've got penises in the shape of cauliflowers.
And we all have a laugh about that now, don't we?
And hello, Stephen. All right?
Welcome. When you're on Wild On Heart, the vet show,
when that came out, I was really excited cos I thought, "Vets in Africa!"
I thought there'd be loads of lions wandering round
with those plastic funnel collars on.
Or a giraffe whose back legs have gone, so they put two penny farthings on it.
Or an elephant with worms, dragging its arse along the floor.
It's a great show. You also ballooned in Africa, didn't you?
I mean, not like Chris Moyles, you actually went in a balloon.
What am I like?
-Did you like ballooning?
-Yeah, I did.
-I went ballooning, and I thought,
"This is a bit like RyanAir, isn't it?"
You've just got a basket, it's pretty basic,
and you tend to land about 50 miles away from where you planned to, don't you?
That RyanAir guy, Michael O'Leary, he's a crazy guy.
He's always trying to save a few quid, isn't he?
Shaving off the money wherever he can, and recently I heard he plans to do flights
where everyone stands up on the plane,
and also he wants to get rid of the co-pilot, so there's just one pilot on a flight.
And I thought, "What he's actually doing
"is playing Kerplunk" with airline safety."
"I'll take that out. Ooh! Still works.
"Ooh! Still works.
I've got new glasses as well.
Yeah, went to Specsavers.
Wasn't my idea. Someone suggested it to me.
Yeah. I thought it was very rude of the guy seeing as I'd just fallen in the river.
"Should have gone to Specsavers, mate!"
You don't even know if I can swim.
Cos that's how I swim, sort of camp and upright.
I love wearing glasses, I love wearing glasses. What I like about it is,
any time I want, I can do this, right, and the world's a completely different place.
Sort of fuzzy, soft-focus, dreamy landscape, where nothing really bad can happen.
Normal people have to take drugs to feel like this.
With my glasses off, I'll drive through gaps I wouldn't dream of with them on.
If I've got to reverse a caravan over a hump-backed bridge onto a rusting ferry,
the first thing I'll think is, "We won't be needing these, will we?"
It's fine when I take my glasses off. There's a lady there wears glasses. Do you have this?
You know when people ask you to try your glasses on, right, they never wait to be handed them, do they?
They do, they just take them off.
People say, "Can I try your glasses on?"
Then they just take them off your face.
It's so rude. I think, "Oh, thanks very much, now I'm blind. Nice one."
But then, then they put them on, and they go, "Bloody hell, how d'you see through this?"
Just laugh in your face.
"Ha ha ha ha ha!
"You're blind, aren't you?
"Ha ha ha ha ha!"
It's so rude, isn't it?
I mean, you wouldn't go up to someone in a wheelchair and go, "let's have a go in that, mate.
"How d'you get about?
"Woo-oo, woo-oo, woo-oo.
"This is ridiculous, isn't it?"
So are you ready for the main act of the evening?
Please put your hands together, go mad for a wonderful comedian, John Bishop!
Hello, good evening. How are ya?
Good, good, good.
Thank you. Thank you.
Thank you. Thank you!
That's what I like about this job. I used to have another life.
I used to have another job. I don't know if anyone remembers them.
They was something that was popular a few years ago.
Loads of us had one. They were great fun. We used to do it every day.
I know now it's not as popular as it used to be. Er...
But I used to have a job and I was speaking to a mate of mine recently
and he said, "What's it like doing this job compared to your old job?"
I said, the only way I can describe it, "It's like having oral sex
"with a girl who's got big teeth."
You know what I mean? Cos it can be brilliant,
but you know at any moment, it can all go wrong.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
All right, I've got to be honest,
this isn't the first time I've done Live At The Apollo.
I did Live At The Apollo a year ago,
and it was brilliant because this is an absolutely brilliant venue.
It's fantastic. But I did it,
and what happened is, I left the job that I used to have.
I left the job. And what I did is what a lot of comedians do
when you leave the job or you try to go full-time as a comedian.
I went on tour. The first tour I'd ever done.
The difference between that first tour I did
and the tour I recently did is, no-one came to the first tour.
And when I say no-one came, no-one came.
Honestly, it was less of a tour and more of me just driving round on my own,
having a little look at England.
But what happens is, when you do a tour, and you'll see it here outside
the Hammersmith Apollo, you'll see people with flyers with the tour dates on.
And I got this flyer made
with all the places I was going to around the country.
And one of my mates saw the flyer, and the big London date I had on my
first ever tour was a place called the Leicester Square Theatre.
Yeah, you'll know it. I'm sure you'll know it.
The Leicester Square Theatre, in the heart of Leicester Square.
It's got 400 seats in it, it's a beautiful theatre.
I'm sure people in here will know the Leicester Square Theatre.
Downstairs, it's got a small room.
I was booked in the small room.
The small room holds 25 people.
But when you put your flyer out, you don't put
"I'm doing the Leicester Square Theatre, but calm down,
"I'm only downstairs in the small room."
You let people think you're doing the Leicester Square Theatre.
My mates picked up the flyer.
They said "You're going to give comedy a go?" I said, "I am."
They said "You know what we're going to do? We've had a chat."
"We're going to come to one of your tour dates."
I said "Lads, I'd really appreciate your support."
They said "Brilliant. What we're going to do, we're going to come to your big London date!"
I said "You don't have to do that." They said "No, we're going to come to your big London date."
I don't know if anyone's ever been in the small room
of the Leicester Square Theatre.
There's not even a stage.
Honestly, there's a curtain... This is about three years ago, this.
There's a curtain in the corner where you get changed.
It's like playing charades at your nan's.
You change behind the curtain, step out and go "Hiya"!
I got changed behind the curtain, I stepped out on my big London date, I went "Hiya"!
There were 16 people in the room.
14 were my mates.
Two were Japanese tourists who were just lost.
Can you imagine a what a walk that was?
I had to do a full show of comedy to my mates, about my mates.
And then afterwards, we'd organised to go for a curry.
So we all went for a curry, which you should never be able to do.
No comedian should ever be able to go for a curry with the whole audience.
And it was, it was the whole audience, because the Japanese came.
They thought it was part of the show.
And it's amazing how things change in your life,
because I'm sat there and at that point,
I was, you know, I'd left the job
probably about 12 months, and I was struggling to get gigs, I was struggling to get booked.
I'd gone on this tour, no-one had come and I was sat with my mates.
There's certain moments in your life where your mates
just prove why they're your mates, and just say something that's...
That means so much to you.
I'm sat there having this curry with my mates, and I said
"Listen, lads, I'm really sorry."
They said "What for?"
I said "Well, you've come all the way here and there's no-one here."
And they said "Yeah, it was a bit shit."
I said "Well, to be honest with you, lads, I'm thinking of giving it up." They said "What do you mean?"
I said, "I'm thinking of giving comedy up."
"I'm just not making enough money."
"I'm not getting more money on the mortgage, we're struggling at the house."
"And I just don't...I just don't think I can make it work."
Then my mates turned round and said "Don't do that, give it another go.
"Give it one more year, give it maybe 18 months, just see what happens.
"Just give it one more go. Don't give up now, because you'll never know what would have happened."
And I went...
I said "That's brilliant, that.
"What you've just done there, lads,
"I'm never going to forget that."
I said "If I ever get booked on something big, something like Live At The Apollo",
I said "You're comin', all 14..."
You two aren't.
All 14 of you are comin'.
"Because we're on this journey together."
And me mates went "Yeah, OK."
12 months later, I got a phone call from the producer of Live At The Apollo.
He said "John, we'd like you to come on Live at The Apollo."
I said "I would love to come on Live At The Apollo.
"Do I get any guest tickets?"
He said "Normally, you can have two."
I said "I need 14."
He said "You cheeky bastard! You're lucky to be on the show."
I said "I know, but I genuinely need 14."
He said "Why on earth do you need 14?"
I said "I need them for my mates."
He said "You what? Why on earth do you need 14 tickets for your mates?"
And I just couldn't think of anything else to say. I just went
"One of them's not got long."
He said "I'll see what I can do."
He put the phone down and phoned me back ten minutes later.
He still works on the show.
He said "John, I've got you 14 tickets
"for a recording of Live At The Apollo."
I said thanks. He said "John?" I went "What?" He said "Be strong."
I said "I'll do my best."
I put the phone down. I phoned my mates up and said "Lads,
"you're not going to believe what's just happened."
I said "I've been booked on Live At The Apollo.
"And what's more, you're coming, all 14 of you are coming,
"but one of you has got to wear a cap."
I turned up to do Live At The Apollo last year.
It was here, obviously, the Hammersmith Apollo.
Biggest gig of my life, biggest gig of my life.
I turned up, there's 3500 people in the audience.
I'm shitting myself. The last gig I'd done in London, there were 16.
So I'm shitting myself.
I'm on just like tonight, and last year I was on with Rhod Gilbert.
I'm stood at the side of the stage and I'm shitting myself.
I'm watching Rhod Gilbert and wobbling from side to side.
That's what I do when I'm nervous. I don't know if anyone else does.
I just rock from side to side, like in my own head, I think I would be less nervous if I was on a ship.
So I'm just rocking from side to side and watching Rhod Gilbert.
There's nothing worse for a comedian than watching somebody
who's brilliant and knowing you've got to follow them.
Watching someone who's better at it than you are, and you've got to follow.
It's like waiting for your turn at an orgy
and finding you're behind the porn star.
You're stood there going "You could have finished ages ago."
And I'm stood at the side of the stage like that
watching Rhod Gilbert, and the only advice the BBC give when you do Live At The Apollo is, they say
"There's a good chance you're going to freeze when you go out there.
"So don't interact with the audience. Just remember your material,
"concentrate on your material."
So I'm stood at the side of the stage watching Rhod Gilbert, trying to remember my material.
I know there's 3500 people in the audience.
Amongst those 3500 people, I know there's 14 of my mates,
who have either forgot to wear a cap or are all wearing a cap.
I thought, I bet one of them has come in a surgical gown with a drip,
going "I'm taking no chances, lads."
I'm there, I'm stood at the side of the stage.
You know what happens? You stand behind the word Apollo.
The girl from the BBC comes up to me
and says "John, listen, Rhod is about to finish,
"so you need to get in position." She leaves me behind the word Apollo.
You stand behind the word Apollo, the word Apollo comes up,
your name gets announced and you walk on. That sounds dead easy,
and it probably is. If you're not shitting yourself.
I get left behind the word Apollo.
I'm stood rocking from side to side, trying to remember my material.
I'm stood rocking from side to side.
I'm stood behind the letter L.
I'm about to go on the biggest gig of my life, shitting myself,
trying to remember my material.
Before she walks away, she just stops and says
"John, has anyone told you about the change in transmission time"?
I said "What?"
She said "Has anyone told you about the change in transmission time"?
I said "What are you talking about?"
She said "The BBC, they've changed the slot.
"We were originally going to be on after ten.
"We're now going to be on some time between nine and ten on a Saturday night."
I went "So what?"
She said "That means you're allowed two twats, one wank, nothing stronger", and walked off.
I forgot everything I was going to say!
I only had three words in my head.
At that point, I heard Rhod Gilbert say "Ladies and gentlemen. please welcome John Bishop!"
Instinctively, I walked forward.
What I should have done is wait for the sign to come up.
I banged my head on the letter L.
If you ever watch, they'd filled the stage with smoke to cover it,
which meant I couldn't see where I was going.
It was like being in an Ultravox video.
I come out, and I'm stood here.
I just started talking, and fair enough, it went OK.
Afterwards, I walked off.
Afterwards, they take you to a bar
and the only people allowed into the bar are the acts
who had been on the stage, the odd person from the BBC, the odd agent.
And selected - selected VIP guests.
On the night that I was on, they only had 14 selected VIP guests.
Who were already pissed by the time they arrived,
passing the cap between each other.
"You put it on, I'm cured. Look at me, I'm cured!"
You go into the bar, it's a VIP bar.
Me and my mates aren't used to a VIP bar.
We just get pissed. They drink everything in the bar.
They drink the bar dry.
The girl from the BBC comes up to me again and says "John, I'm sorry, there's nothing left.
"But I've organised you a car back to your hotel."
So my mates turn round and said "What about us?"
I said "There's 14 of you."
They went "Oh, you've changed."
I said "How can I get 14 in a taxi?
"I can't get 14 in a taxi. I'll take two of you.
"I'll take sick boy and one other."
Then they started fighting over the hat.
I said "The other 12 - get taxis. I'll see you back at the hotel."
I was in the car for ten minutes when my phone rang.
It was the producer from Live At The Apollo.
He said "John, I'm just phoning you up
"to let you know the panic's over."
I said "What panic?" He said "It's OK, we had a little problem,
"but it's been resolved." I said "I didn't know there was a problem."
He said "There was a little problem, but it's OK, I've managed to organise a minibus..."
"..For your 12 writers."
Ladies and gentlemen, I've been John Bishop. Thanks for listening, good night and God bless.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
All right, John?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
John was talking about being nervous before you come out
and it is a big venue, it's quite nerve-racking.
It's weird what people say to you before gigs. I did a gig recently
at the Swiss Embassy, it was like a cultural exchange.
I don't know why they had me on.
Just before I went on, somebody said to me
"Oh, by the way, don't mention Swiss Nazi gold."
I thought it was a radio station, I had no idea.
You've been a fantastic crowd, give it up for John Bishop.
I've been Sean Lock. Thank you very much, good night!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Live at the Apollo returns to BBC One, showcasing the best of British comedy talent. 8 Out of 10 Cats star Sean Lock introduces Liverpool's finest, John Bishop, from the world-famous Hammersmith Apollo.