For the next few weeks, comedian Chris Ramsey is inviting you into his basement (not like that) for half an hour every Wednesday evening on Comedy Central for his brand new show, The Chris Ramsey Show so I caught up with him for a chat.
But who is the cheeky Geordie? Well, Chris Ramsey is best-known for being a stand-up and in his almost ten year history as a comedian has been nominated for various Edinburgh Fringe awards.
TV fans will best recognise Chris from his starring role in BBC Two sitcom Hebburn, his regular appearances on panel shows such as Celebrity Juice and more recently as one of four hosts of ITV2's I'm A Celebrity sister show, Extra Camp.
In last night's opening episode of The Chris Ramsey Show, Chris was joined by comedians Jimmy Carr and Natasia Demetrio who played 'Pet Toy or Sex Toy', took part in the latest Ramsey Challenge and played Just Dance whilst being distracted by alcohol and a group of hens. Casual.
First of all, congratulations on having your own show on Comedy Central!
Thanks man. It’s crazy ain’t it? I’m buzzing!
How would you best describe The Chris Ramsey Show?
It’s kind of like a hybrid of shows really. It’s a cross between a panel show, a chat show and a game show. We’ve also got the challenges too so perhaps it’s like a low budget version of The Cube at times?! (Laughs)
We also do challenges on a train which is just crazy. It’s really good fun and whenever a guest left they always left saying how much fun they’d had, which was lovely to hear.
How much input have you had into the guests you had on the show?
It very much is The Chris Ramsey Show in the sense that I was across everything. Don’t get me wrong, there is a team, but I was very involved in coming up with everything. It wasn’t a case of someone going to me “We’ve got this show for you."
I was massively involved in everything including the booking progress. Everyone was run past me and I was delighted with all the people we got on. Especially the likes of Jimmy Carr! It was great to have them on board.
What’s nice is that some of the comedians you have on, like Natasia Demetriou and Tez Ilyas aren’t that well-known outside of the stand-up circuit.
Exactly! And Adam Hess, Rhys James and Carl Hutchinson, who supports me on tour. He’s never really done any TV, but Comedy Central are big fans of Carl because obviously they came and saw me on tour loads.
I think it’s really important to get those type of people on. If people didn’t do that, I wouldn’t be talking to you now because I wouldn’t have got a shot. If you have to be massive to be on TV then what’s the point you know?
You ask each guest at the start of the show for a quick fact about themselves. What’s the best fact you’ve heard?
Weirdly, one of the best ones was when Jimmy Carr totally blindsided us by saying that he once took Stephen Hawking to see The Book Of Mormon! It’s just such a weird pairing. I can definitely see a sitcom in the making of those two going to the theatre together!
It’s probably difficult to say, but who’s been your favourite guest?
I genuinely couldn’t name a favourite guest. They were all absolutely fantastic! Everyone brought something different, but more importantly everyone threw themselves into it and properly went for it and enjoyed themselves.
We got Jimmy (Carr) doing Just Dance dressed as Danny from Grease and we had Joel Dommett getting abused by a dominatrix! Not at one point did anyone go “This is disgraceful. I’m not doing it.”
Talk us through some of the formats. What’s ‘Geordie on a Train’?
I got a pizza delivered to a train a couple of years ago and it went viral. It was all over the internet. It was huge! I didn’t expect it to be. You can’t expect something to be massive, it just was.
So we were like, let’s do different things on trains. So in the first episode I was like, let’s get on a train from Newcastle with Vicky Pattison and by London she has to, by whatever means necessary, turn me into a proper Geordie Shore bloke.
That was it basically! We drank a lot and Virgin were getting slightly upset thinking that this would look really bad but we were like “We’re doing a TV show. We wouldn’t normally do this on a commute do you know what I mean?!” (Laughs)
Who else have you got travelling on a train with you?
We’ve got James Haskell doing personal training on a train, Jamie Laing doing a haircut on a train, Ferne McCann doing dating on a train, Roman Kemp doing party on a train and Chris Kamara doing football on a train and I can’t remember the rest of them... (Laughs)
What 'Ramsey Challenges’ have you got coming up?
We’ve got extreme bottle flipping. We’ve got one where we have to swing around on an office chair without touching the floor or anything which was really hard and really tiring! Chucking shoes into a basket. Just everyday mundane things that we thought could make a little challenge. Just daft things really that anyone can relate to.
Fingers crossed, if there is a second series, who would your dream guest be?
I hope so! People keep asking me this and there are a few people who couldn’t make it because of timings and things like that.
Weirdly, in a perfect world, if I could have anyone in the world it would be Donald Trump and I’d get him doing painful stuff... that hurts. I’d definitely electrocute him while he’s playing Mario Kart! (Laughs)
What’s been your highlight from The Chris Ramsey Show?
My main highlight was off-screen and it was going into Jimmy Carr’s dressing room and explain to him what he was going to be doing on the show and looking him in the eyes! (Laughs)
“You’re going to be dressed up as Danny from Grease and playing Just Dance” and he was like “OK, that’s absolutely fine.” It’s good that he were up for it!
You’ve just finished I’m A Celebrity Extra Camp as well. What was that like?
Extra Camp was really good, really good fun. It was the perfect job apart from the hours. That is the last country on earth that you want to do night shifts in. You go to bed at 5 and you can hear people opening beers.
It was miserable hours but other than that it was great!
I loved Hebburn a few years ago. Do you have any plans to return to sitcom? I know you’re really busy at the moment.
Aw thanks man. I’ve got a few ideas for sitcoms and different scripted things. It’s just timing at the minute, I’m so busy with this and Virtually Famous and I’ve also got my stand-up tour so it’s just about getting some time set aside to write something.
It’s something I’d definitely like to pursue at some point, but I’ve got not time for it at the moment! I’ve also got a 14-month old baby as well so it’s a very busy time.
But it’s good to be busy. I’d be more annoyed if I was sitting at home going “Why aren’t I doing anything?!” - It’s an industry where everyone’s desperate to do stuff so you’ve got to embrace it. I love it.