max temp: 9°C

min temp: 5°C


I’m destined to play Boris Johnson says comedian Milton Jones, heading to King’s Lynn, Southend, Norwich, Ipswich and Cambridge

PUBLISHED: 19:00 27 April 2017

Comedian Milton Jones. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

Comedian Milton Jones. Picture: Steve Ullathorne


Comedy is Milton Jones’ escape from normality. He talks more about stage Milton and real-life Milton, plus his latest show.

In Milton Jones is Out There we see him question the importance of his own nonsense. Picture: Steve Ullathorne In Milton Jones is Out There we see him question the importance of his own nonsense. Picture: Steve Ullathorne

“People have said to me ‘on one level it’s quite clever and on another level it’s not clever at all’,” says Milton, analysing his own comedy. “I think that’s a compliment,’ he laughs. “I’m not sure. You could take it either way.”

Over the last 20 years he’s established himself as the master of one-liners. Nonsense has always played a crucial role in his streams of non-sequiturs.

It - and his distinctive look - have helped the stand-up stand out among the T-shirt and suit-wearing comics on Mock the Week, which Milton has been regularly appearing on since 2009.

“I was on recently and I was the third oldest person there in terms of appearances. It felt quite odd. I think the BBC now uses Mock the Week to try people out and it means there’s a whole new batch of people coming through, which is great. I feel like a senior statesman.

“The new lot all know each other, so I think it’s less competitive than it used to be. There’s more teamwork. It’s a more pleasant show to do.”

Basically, adds Milton, you’re covering all the subjects in the news that haven’t got someone dying in them so he goes through his arsenal.

“A lot of people think it’s a satire show, but it’s not, it’s a joke show – which suits me.”

A joke he performed on Mock the Week inspired his new show.

“Yes, about Boris Johnson. An idiot with stupid hair running the country? Bing. That’s where it started. I feel like I’m destined to play Boris Johnson at some point.”

In Milton Jones is Out There we see him questioning the importance of his own nonsense.

“As well as loads of trademark jokes and little sketchy pieces, the show sees me thinking with all that’s going on in the world, maybe I should be doing something more serious rather than talking nonsense. I seem to have a crisis of confidence in terms of is nonsense of any value? Of course that results in more nonsense rather than less,” he says.

It’s difficult to mould a show in that way, to include a message and a narrative, via lots of one-liners.

“I end up with a massive bag of jokes which probably don’t fit, which is really annoying.”

The show isn’t really very political in terms of opinions or content, remaining fairly jokey.

“There is one pseudo-political joke, which is as near as I get. With my stuff, people remember the joke rather than the point. My aim with the tour is to add in a couple of moments of pathos, really questioning whether I’m on the right track,” he adds.

The on-stage Milton is a persona, which adds another filter for any opinions. He’s a character, but he still has Milton’s name?

“If I was starting again I would give him a name. He evolved as I tried out things – he was working so I stuck with it. But there are levels to him. I can pull things back and talk about my real life.

“I think most comics are accentuated versions of themselves, to some degree. I am, apparently, quite clumsy and I don’t approach things particularly rationally. I quite often see the other side of things.

“The differences are, hopefully, I’m not socially obtuse. I’m quite conventional – I’m married, I have three kids, a house – so it’s almost an escapism from normality. I don’t have to be responsible. I don’t have to pay car tax.”

He’s had many of his own series on Radio 4 and he’s working towards his own TV series.

“I’ve had three or four scripts that have come close. Who knows the truth of why these don’t happen, you get told one thing and whether it’s actually true, you don’t know. One day hopefully we’ll be in the right place at the right time.”

Milton’s never short of material.

“Fortunately I’ve done so many scripts now that if I think a subject’s coming up on Mock the Week I can put a key word into my material file. I have an all my material file on my computer. You’ve got to wade through it, but it’s worth it because there’s loads of stuff in there I’ve forgotten off the top of my head.”

Is there a particular formula to a Milton joke?

“It’s like balancing equations. There’s an ideal format, and yes it can work the other way round, but it’s not quite as elegant. It’s about getting the joke down to the lowest form of words, the minimal effort. That’s what really adds beauty to it.”

• Milton Jones visits King’s Lynn Corn Exchange, November 1; Southend’s Cliffs Pavilion, November 3; the Norwich Theatre Royal, November 5; Ipswich’s Regent Theatre, November 10 and Cambridge Corn Exchange, December 8.

A hair-raising ride which has proved a big hit at the Suffolk Show is back on the dirt track.

Declan Donnelly has announced that he will present without his TV partner Ant when Saturday Night Takeaway returns at Easter. But how hard will it be for two to become one on live TV?

There are other places than Swansea Tubbs, no matter what Edward says - and you’ll get to see them when The League of Gentlemen Live Again comes to the Ipswich Ipswich Regent.

Quiz show QI is leaving the studio for the first time ever for an exclusive Latitude Festival edition.

Dan Needham from North Norfolk had two strokes in the space of a week and has navigated a difficult path to recovery. He’s the stand-out star in an episode of BBC2’s The Secret Helpers where he enlists the support of strangers to help him cope with his wedding day to sweetheart Suzanne.

An Ipswich bottled beer shop has gained a tool which produces beer that stays fresh for up to a month.

Dan Needham’s life was turned upside-down by two sneezes which tore an artery in his neck and led to two strokes and a long road to recovery. Now he’s facing a new challenge on a BBC show which offers people facing difficulties a host of secret advice.

Youthful rebellion is nothing new, Teddy, a new high energy musical from Snapdragon Productions and Watermill Theatre, explodes onto the New Wolsey stage telling the story of Josie and Teddy and the social forces which shaped the teenage revolution and post-war Britain.

Check out our top spots in East Anglia to indulge in fresh waffles.

Whether appearing in front of or behind the camera, filmmaker and stuntman Nash Edgerton has long established himself as a formidable talent within the film industry.

Most read

Show Job Lists

Topic pages

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter
MyDate24 MyPhotos24