Reaching big 5-0 is inspiration for John Bishop's tour

John BishopJohn Bishop
John Bishop
John Bishop's new live show, which arrives at Blackpool Opera House on October 15, is called 'Winging It'.

So where did the title come from?

John said: “I was in my promoter’s office one day, and he said to me, ‘we need a title so we can start selling this tour. What are you talking about in the new show?’ And I replied, ‘Nothing. I’m just winging it.’ ‘That’ll do!’”

The comedian, who turned 50 last year, enjoyed a meteoric rise to fame.

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Success came relatively late in life, as he only gave up his full-time job as a medical representative for a pharmaceutical company a decade ago.

It is very appealing that even today the comic can’t quite credit his luck. “I still can’t believe that I do this as a job!” John said. “I still think, ‘This is amazing!’ I wrote a book four years ago about that very feeling – that’s why it was called, ‘How Did All This Happen?’

“But now I realise this is the reality. It’s not going to go away. There is no chance that I could never ever go back.

“Whatever life I had in the past, I’m now officially in showbiz. I will retire from showbiz, or it will retire me!”

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Despite establishing an extensive TV career, he declares that stand-up has always been his first love.

He said: “There is probably a real scientific explanation for it. I was recently reading a report about how people are hung up on social media. We get a dopamine rush when we get so many ‘likes’ on Facebook. Being on stage is the same.

“When you say something funny on stage, you get your judgement instantly. You get joy and affirmation straight away. You don’t have to think about it. It’s either funny or not.

“You’re only ever four words away from joy or the fear that nobody will laugh. You’re always only four words away from success or failure. That’s a brilliant tightrope to walk. That gives me an absolutely huge buzz.”

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John, who is happily married to Melanie and has three grown-up sons, goes on to reveal what subjects he will be covering in “Winging It”.

“The show has three themes. I start by talking about being 50. It never struck me as being a big thing before, but now I realise that being 50 is like being five.

“At five people say things like ‘that’s good for your age’, they start saying that to you again when you’re 50. ‘That’s good for your age, you can carry your own bag, well done that’s good for your age.’”

“The second part of the show is about all the kids leaving home. I admit, that was hard. I really wasn’t expecting to have those feelings.

“The third theme is mortality, which is a thing you think about when you know you have already passed half way in your life.”

Visit: for tickets.