Barry Dodds, stand up comedian

BARRY Dodds, a Gateshead-born stand-up comedian (and finalist in Jimmy Carr’s Stand Up Idol competition) attended school in Whickham and now lives in Leeds.

BARRY Dodds, a Gateshead-born stand-up comedian (and finalist in Jimmy Carr’s Stand Up Idol competition) attended school in Whickham and now lives in Leeds.

The 29-year-old will be returning to his native North East this month to play a series of gigs for the Grinning Idiot Comedy Club, alongside Charlie Chuck and Phil Kay.

What’s your first memory?

I can just about remember being very young and playing in some sand next to a caravan in France on a family holiday. Not very exciting I’m afraid!

What were you like as a child?

Quiet really. I used to knock about with my mate Phil, playing video games, camping out in his back garden, that sort of thing. I used to have a right laugh with him but I was quite shy with other people.

What childhood games did you play?

I’d love to give some romantic answer about playing with a hoop and a stick but we would be running about having bonfires and playing Mortal Kombat on the Sega Megadrive. I can still remember the cheat to make the game gorier!

What music did you like and what was the first record you bought?

I used to like (and still) do, 80s- sounding synth stuff. The first single I ever bought was Always by Erasure, a band who I have continued to follow to this very day. I don’t think they have ever released anything that I don’t own now.

Did you have a family pet?

Couple of cats, a dog, hamster, fish. Lots of furry things knocking about the house.

Were your school days the best days of your life?

Nope. Anyone who says that is having a rubbish time as an adult. School days are boring, plain and simple. As an adult you can get cash and go out and do what you want. Much more fun!

What were your favourite TV programmes?

I used to watch anything that had a focus on comedy. I love laughing and when I was young, hearing a great joke would put me on the floor. Red Dwarf and Men Behaving Badly were big things for me.

What did you want to do when you grew up?

In my teens I only ever wanted to be a stand-up comic. Comics were like rock stars to me (someone has to be when you follow Erasure) and the thought of being on the stage just appealed to me.

How did you spend your weekends?

Mucking about with my mate Phil, chasing girls in Metroland!

Do you remember your first kiss?

Yeah, a girl called Helen in a field in Whickham. Time has tinted my memory of it. I think it was amazing but I am sure it was a bit crap really.

Who was your first love?

A girl called Marie, always had a crush on her. We ended up dating a few years later which was a surprise.

What was the most important thing in the world to you?

I honestly don’t remember thinking anything was that important! I was happier just messing about.

What did you wear then, that you would never wear now?

A denim shirt. Tucked in. The thought makes me shiver.

How have you changed from your teenage self?

I worry a bit more about stupid things, maybe I should go back to being a bit more carefree.

Where did you go on holiday?

Butlins! I used to love it. Loads of the family used to go. I used to spend the whole week in the swimming pool or the arcade with my cousin Gary.

Would the young you be pleased with the adult you?

I think so. I’ve had a good crack at doing all the things I dreamed of doing and it’s worked out all right. And I have a massive TV that young me would love.

If you could go back in time what would tell your 15-year-old self?

Un-tuck that shirt.

Barry Dodds will be performing at the Queen’s Head, Morpeth and the Cornerhouse in Newcastle on Friday, October 15, and Stanley’s Lamplight Arts Centre and St Dominic’s in Newcastle on Saturday, October 16. To book tickets visit www.thegrinningidiot.com

Compiled by Karen Wilson

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