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Milton Jones

December 2010

THE more successful a comedian becomes, the harder it gets. So says Milton Jones.
The 46-year-old has just started making a name for himself with regular appearances on Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. But with a radio comedy and a TV sitcom, plus the set for his biggest UK tour next year, the Welsh-born stand-up is under pressure to write more new material than ever before.
“Especially when you do one-liners because you can work ages on it and end up with 15 seconds of material,” says Jones, whose style is just that.
“It’s all right if you’re a musician because people want to hear the old songs but they don’t particularly want to hear old jokes. But having said that, you always get some bloke up to you afterwards saying ‘oh you didn’t do the one about the thing that I brought my friend to hear.’”
He adds: “You Tube can be deadly because everyone has got a camera on their phone now and it’s really hard to stop people using them. How can you police that? And what goes on You Tube is often terrible quality and it actually makes you look quite bad.”
It doesn’t help that comedy promoters such as Darrell Martin pull in favours and get him to do additional live shows for Just The Tonic.
“He’s always bullying me,” laughs Jones, who will be back for the Just The Tonic Christmas Special next week, when he was only in the city three months ago. That was for the opening of the club’s new home at The Cornerhouse.
“A very nice it was too.”
So much better than the last one?
“Well the last one I did was the Queen Vic (he means The Old Vic, which was in Fletcher Gate) which was odd because the room was wider than it was long. You had to keep turning from side to side. And there was no dressing room. You had to stand by the bar in a tiny cupboard.”
More room in the new venue with, perhaps, a handsome rider full of snacks and alcohol?
“No. The only way to get anything out of him is to bully him back. I don’t think he does it maliciously, he’s just not thought it through. I’ll be surprised if he’s booked the theatre to be honest.”
Of course he has. For next Friday when Jones will be joined by Sarah Millican, Rob Rouse and Seann Walsh for the annual festive bash at the Royal Concert Hall.
Will his set be completely different to the one he did in September?
“I’ve not thought about it yet,” he admits.
“There will be an overlap but I’m not sure how much. I’m going on tour in January so I’m busy writing material for that. So there will be new stuff. I can’t even remember what I did in September. That’s the trouble, you go along from gig to gig, people ask if you’ll be doing new stuff and you can’t actually remember what you did last time.”
He is in the process of writing a pilot for a sitcom, which will be filmed next summer. There’s also a panel show in the works for the channel Dave called Milton’s College of Knowledge.
“It’s not like your typical competitive panel game but with experts telling you about stuff,” he says, rather vaguely.
“We’re doing that before Christmas and they’ll decide in January whether they want it as a series.
“And there’s another radio series for next year as well, so for the first time in my creative life I know exactly what I’m doing for the next 12 months.”
Why hasn’t he joined in the annual stand-up DVD release?
“There is one but it’s the one I did last year that they’ve put a new cover on to trick people in to buying it, thinking it’s new. That will be next year at the end of the tour.”

The Just The Tonic Christmas Special is at the Royal Concert Hall next Friday December 17. Tickets are £17.50 from the venue, by calling 0115 989 5555

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