Interview: Paul Chowdhry


Paul Chowdhry can’t wait to see you. The stand-up, one of the most thrilling comedians currently at work in this country, is coming to the Dukes with his brand-new show, ‘PC’s World’.

The comedian explains the sheer rush he gets from stand-up: “It’s like no other experience,” declares Paul, who has garnered a big following presenting C4’s Stand-Up For the Week and starring on BBC1’s Live at the Apollo. “I’ve done plays before in Edinburgh, and they’re great, but nothing beats stand-up. It is simply the purest art form. The great thing about live comedy is that during those two hours you’re on stage absolutely anything can happen.”

Paul has toured all around the world, in places such as Hong Kong, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Bahrain, Amsterdam and Germany. He says “People know me as a stand-up. I’m not known as a panellist or a talking head on TV shows.” On his latest tour, his biggest to date, Paul will aim to defy prejudices. PC may be his initials, but the unremitting world he lives in most definitely isn’t. In ‘PC’s World’, the comedian will pose some pertinent questions: Why do some people regard as humorous what others view as highly offensive? Why has tackling the preconceptions of political correctness become so contentious? He says that “the show will explore things we think but don’t dare to say out loud. We might be thinking ‘he’s an idiot’, but we won’t say it. We don’t say what we mean. We live in a PC World where things on TV are censored.”

But Paul resents the easy tag of “controversial comedian”. He argues: “My comedy is not that controversial. That’s a lazy way of approaching something you don’t like. If you don’t like my act, fair enough. But don’t try to put it in a box. It’s weird that people attach the ‘controversial’ label to me. I’m not Frankie Boyle. I don’t say half the things he says. I’m not controversial. My comedy is just jokes.”

Paul is quick to point out that with his coruscating new show he hopes first and foremost to entertain us: “When you’re performing in front of a room full of people who have given up their evening to see you, you really have to deliver. You feel responsible for those people and want them to have the best night of their lives. You’re not going to offend them or be controversial for the sake of being controversial.”

Paul will perform at the Dukes on Wednesday, week 6. Tickets are available here

Simon James

Any excuse to write about Oasis really.

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