Eddies winner on the dark side
This article is from 2007.
We’ve all got our heroes, and perhaps they provide us with life models. Or perhaps not. Phil Nichol’s new show throws into question the nature of our obsession with celebrity, and other forms of worship we see in contemporary society. ‘It’s about the difference between self-respect and blind worship,’ says the winner of last year’s inaugural if.comeddies main prize. ‘It’s about how living your life vicariously through celebrities detracts from the quality of your own life. There are people worrying more about Billie Piper than their own children.’
Nichol’s personal technique should blunt the edges of any complaints about his moralising. ‘I talk about all the famous people I’ve met, like “when I met Dennis Hopper, he said to Christian Slater . . . ” I go on and on about it, I almost make people sick with how fuckin’ great I am.’ The piece resolves itself around a man Nichol met some years back. ‘It’s a true story about a Japanese guy I knew who was obsessed with the Rolling Stones though ultimately, he found self-respect. When we idolise something too much, we need to find our way back, and this guy was greater than all the celebrities I met.’
The Stand, 558 7272, 3–26 Aug (not 13), 8.10pm, £10 (£8).