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I TALK TO Lloyd Griffith

He’s a regular support act for Rob Beckett and most recently supported Jack Whitehall on his tour, but this summer the spotlight is all on Lloyd Griffith as he returns to the Fringe with his fourth show.

As I speak to Lloyd, he tells me that he's actually away in the Cotswolds at the moment, on a “two day writing session” and has even... quit social media. Not forever mind.

I talk to him about his new hour, his comedy inspirations and find out the thing he’s most looking forward to about returning to Edinburgh.

This is your fourth year at the Fringe. What keeps you coming back?

The fact that it’s somewhere where you can go and tell a story and do a show that people will listen to. It’s the equivalent of writing a book I guess for a comedian. It just means you can go back and tell your willy jokes. That’s why I’m going.

I love the fact that you can go there and talk about anything you want. I just love it really.

Also, a full hour to yourself is a real luxury isn’t it?

It is. When you first start doing comedy, it’s quite daunting having to talk for less. 30 minutes. Let alone an hour! But then I think once you grow up a bit and have something you want to say, you want to be on stage for as long as possible.

But don’t get me wrong. There are some shows that you do where you get 7 minutes in and go “This is going to be the worst hour of my life.” But there’s nothing you can do. You’ve just got to grit your teeth and get on with it. Flash a boob every now and then and hope they’ll enjoy it.

Talk to me about the title of your show this year, in:Undated...

I took a show up to Edinburgh last year called Lloyd Griffith: Is A Keeper which was about how I wanted to be a goalkeeper but I was too short and fat but was still trying to live that dream at the age of 32. But actually, I found happiness and fell in love with a girl who is 6 foot. Ironically the size of a keeper. So it was all about following different dreams and how I might not be the tallest guy in the world but in her eyes I’m a keeper.

But then ten days before Edinburgh, we split up which ruined the show. I had to change it. So this year’s show is about the break-up.

The title is a kind of pun - “Lloyd Griffith IN undated” and then being inundated with the world. What do you do when you become a single bloke at 33 years old?

How have you found writing this show? And when did you start writing it?

It’s been fun writing it. I mean, it’s been bloody heartbreaking mate re-living it. It took me quite a while to get over it and then you start working on it say December/January and you get an idea that just evolves from there.

I’d say I’ve been working on it for about five or six months now. It’s still changing. I’ve done three previews this week and they’ve all changed and no doubt they’ll change up in Edinburgh as well.

How have the previews been going?

Annoyingly well. Obviously you never say that to a fellow comedian because they’ll hate you. It’s like when someone has a newborn baby and you ask “How’s it sleeping?” and you go “Oh it’s sleeping through the night” and then all the other mothers and fathers hate you.

They’ve been going OK. I just need to get them funnier and tighter and stuff, but I’ve really been enjoying it.

What can people expect when they come and watch the show?

There might be a little bit of singing at the end... But this is the first year where I’ve gone straight jokes. Obviously there’s a bit of messing around. I’m just a self-deprecating fool really. But the main thing is that they’ll just leave happier than when they turned up.

They’ll watch it and go “Oh my God! At least we don’t have his life”... in a nice way.

Do you have anyone helping you with your show this year?

Last year, I had comedian John Robins helping me on my show and he was amazing. This year he’s got his own heartache to sort out so this year I’ve worked with various comedians. Not in a directory way. But just friends.

So I’ve been on tour for three or four years with Rob Beckett who’s one of my best mates and he helps me the whole time, just because he knows what’s funny. He’ll see me muck around in the car and tell stories and go “Mate. That’s funny! Put that in.” So he comes to previews.

Jack Whitehall has been helping with a few bits and bobs. I did his arena tour support recently and I’m doing the support for his Netflix special record in a few weeks time as well. So he’s on hand to help with various bits.

Also two comedian friends of mine, Mark Smith and Rhys James. But that’s just when you’re gigging together and you chat in the pub and stuff. And also your friends. Your friends have an eye for what’s funny because they see you muck around all the time.

What are you most looking forward to about the Fringe this year?

Mother India without a doubt. It’s the greatest Indian place in the UK I think. I sound sycophantic but I just enjoy getting up there and doing the shows, soaking up the atmosphere and seeing other people’s shows. I’m living in quite a nice house this year so we’ll have a bit of fun.

I’m doing 26 nights at the Fringe and then I’m taking it on tour in October.

Who do you take your comedy inspiration from?

My favourite comedians, when I first started getting into comedy, that I really admired were people like Sean Lock and Lee Mack who had quite quirky point of views and never take themselves too seriously. Those are the people you look up to and aspire to.

Others as well, Terry Alderton. The guy is an absolute genius. He’s a genius. And he’s one of those that you look at and go “He’s one of a kind.” There are very few people who can do what he does.

Obviously Daniel Kitson. I mean, you can listen to that prick for hours.

Outside of the Fringe, what are you working on? More Taxi to Training on BBC Three?

Annoyingly, there’s a few things but we find out in a few weeks. So I can’t really say anything. But fingers crossed, we had a really good time recording the first series of Taxi to Training. We got good views and a lot of people are asking for it back.

Also, we’ve got a lot of footballers who wanted to do the first series but couldn’t because of time constraints. What with various teams being in too many competitions or being rubbish and don’t want to be seen doing the show.

So we’ve got people lined up ready to do it. We just have to wait and see really.

Finally, how would you sum up your show in just five words?

Funny fat man being funny.

Lloyd Griffith in:Undated runs from Saturday 5th August to Sunday 27th August at 7pm at the Pleasance Dome (10 Dome). Previews 2nd-4th August.


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