Interview: Ian Billings
Children’s TV writer turned stand-up
This article is from 2011.
A children’s TV writer before he turned to stand-up, Ian Billings has written for some giants of television – Sylvester McCoy, Timmy Mallett, the Chuckle Brothers. Taking time out from his daily comedy show, Ian Billings: Dumbs Up!, he answers our brief Fringe Q & A
What inspired you to do stand-up comedy for kids?
The money! I earned £1 last year and I’m still wondering where to invest it. Also the sheer joy of being surrounded by gigglesome, joyous hoots of delight at something I’ve invented.
What’s the most awkward/funny thing that’s happened to you at one of your Fringe shows?
During Edinburgh 2007, one child said to his mother, very loudly during my show: ‘Why is he saying all this out loud?’. Clearly he didn’t object to my jokes as long I kept them to myself!
What do you hope kids and their accompanying adults will take away from your Fringe show?
A sense of mischief, wonder and ridiculousness. And one of my free bookmarks.
Who would be at your fantasy comedy dinner party (living or dead)?
Me (in charge of croutons), comedy poet, Chris White (napkin folding), Stan Laurel (soup and nuts), Spike Milligan (battered pudding) and Barry Cryer (sorbet and crackers).
Ian Billings: Dumbs Up!, Gilded Balloon Teviot, 622 6552, until 29 Aug, 11.15am, £8–£9 (£7–£8).