Good Evans! A salvo of silliness is on its way
Someone famous once said, "Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead". "Ah, it can be very frustrating," says comedian Simon Evans. And he should know. Besides his stand-up, Simon is a prolific writer for TV and radio and has penned jokes and skits for the likes of Dara O'Braian and Lee Mack, among others.
"I prefer writing for myself," he says, "I saw a comedian on tour recently and I realised he was telling a joke I'd written. You end up giving your best stuff away."
Said comedian was Sean Lock. He'd used something put together during a brain storming session with Simon for a popular panel show, and there it was, in his set.
"It happens," accepts Simon. "On shows such as TV Heaven and 8 Out of 10 Cats, we knock ideas back and forth. I'm as much a sounding board, than anything. And I can't complain. It's good money and family-friendly hours. Not like being on the road.
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"Being on tour, being a stand-up is great," says Simon. "It's just the monotonous travelling that gets me down.
"I do still feel nervous. There's a responsibility in being a stand-up, when someone has committed to you personally, you don't want to let them down."
If reviews are anything to go by, Simon has very little to worry about. Chortle described his Friendly Fire show as "a storming set. His most pointed gags an evil delight".
"It's an hour of stand-up," he says. "It's always themed, but the name isn't as important as the quality of my jokes.
"What you'll get is the experiences and preoccupations of a 40-something father-of-two living in Hove.
"What gradually emerges is disillusionment. A battle against the influences on my malleable children. There must be more worthwhile role models than on TV or the people on their mates' bedroom wallpapers? It's a one-man crusade against premiership football," he says.
Simon is a true and fearless iconoclast. It seems no-one is safe from the perceptive gaze of his tiny, tiny eyes.
He is determined to fight back. But how should he develop the arsenal to do so? How can he make his heroes – the likes of Shackleton and Scott – compete for his son's attention with Spiderman, or Rooney?
"A lot of my comedy comes out of frustrations and bewilderment, our own idiosyncrasies and failings to understand," he says.
When Simon was a lad, the plan was to study law at university and become a barrister. "I was naive about it. I thought law was standing in El Vino's on Fleet Street enjoying a claret and being witty about various characters at the bar.
"In reality, it was a lot of reading and hard graft. I did graduate, but ducked out early on and was ejected into the wilderness. It was quite a few years before I had a grasp on reality."
In fact, from there, Simon became a writer, of sorts, selling advertising space in a publishing house, until he discovered journalism and started working on a Hove newspaper.
It was while writing a story on improvised comedy workshops, he discovered his "funny" and joined the class.
"I remember my first open mic, it was in the dingy, badly-lit, back room of a pub called Four Mile Circuit in Kingsway, central London.
"I went down very well. Afterwards I was buzzing. My next few gigs were good, too, and that gave me the confidence to stick at it."
After catching his appearances on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and Live At The Apollo, we're glad he did.
"I enjoy being on TV, it's always a buzz. Something like the Apollo could change your career for ever.
"When you create a show and get a great reception, there's nothing better.
"I'd like to develop an audience who continually enjoy my shows, tour after tour. I don't want to play huge arenas. I don't have huge ambitions. Being a jobbing stand-up is fine with me."
Simon Evans is at the Century Theatre, Snibston, tomorrow night. For tickets call 01530 278444, or visit: