Interview – Richard Herring
Ahead of bringing his podcast RHLSTP to this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, we were delighted to interview comedy legend Richard Herring about all things podcasts, parenting and, for anyone who loved surreal comedy in the late 1990s “This Morning With Richard Not Judy”:
Q. Tell us more about your podcast RHLSTP and what fans can expect from seeing it brought to the Fringe?
Richard: I have been doing these interview podcasts, usually with comedians, since 2012 and have clocked up almost 250 shows (plus 75 at the the Edinburgh Fringe). It’s a long-form interview which is a rarity these days and gives the guests a chance to open up and tell longer stories without fear of being cut off in their prime. And I have a book of weird and wonderful Emergency Questions for when I dig myself into a hole or can’t think of anything to say. The Edinburgh run will be more of the same, with big names on the Fringe, plus some future stars. As it’s daily you can expect it to be even more ramshackle than usual and to see me getting increasingly tired and confused. We’ve already got some big names booked in such as Arabella Weir, Tony Slattery and Richard Osman, but I am looking forward to seeing how newer acts rise to the challenge. All guests listed at www.richardherring.com/rhlstpt/tour.
Q. What do you love most about performing at the Fringe and spending August in Edinburgh?
Richard: It’s great to be surrounded by so much great art and comedy and to all be in one place so you can chat and drink together. It’s a long slog and it’s usually quite arduous and mentally straining and sometimes downright depressing. But some of the best moments of my life and most of my friends have been made in this city in the 24 Augusts I have already spent here (this is my 25th Fringe).
Q. What’s coming up next for you after the Fringe?
Riichard: I am touring RHLSTP in the autumn – you can see the dates at http://richardherring.com/rhlstpt/tour and writing series 3 of my Radio 4 sitcom Relativity. If there is time I also want to start work on some books and maybe an internet sitcom too. But I have two young kids and they take up a lot of my time and energy.
Q. In the late 1990s I used to miss church with my parents in order to watch This Morning With Richard Not Judy, why do you think it became such a cult comedy classic and what’s your fondest memory of doing the show?
Richard: If it’s a cult, it’s a tiny, tiny one, but it’s lovely that this small band of enthusiasts still remember it twenty years on. It’s all a bit of a blur now, though the best bit was that our work each week was done on Sunday at 11am and so we went out on to the terrace at the Riverside studios and drank vodka and Red Bull in the sunshine. We then had Monday to recover before getting on with putting next week’s show together. Again, I was too drunk to remember all the details, but that relief and celebration with the team is my abiding feeling, if not memory. It was fun doing the film ending parodies too.
Q. We’re missing the Edinburgh Fringe this year, as we are expecting our first child at the end of August. As a father of two young children what’s the best parenting advice you can give us?
Richard: Sleep now before it’s too late. No one can prepare you for the tiredness and even now I have to keep reminding myself that it’s sleep deprivation that makes you short-tempered or argumentative. So enjoy the baby – they’re wonderful as well as being a living Hell, but make sure you make time and concessions for your partner. It will test your relationship but hopefully make it stronger (you know, or destroy it).
Q. Is there anyone, living or dead, that you would love to interview for your podcast but haven’t yet, and what would you ask them?
Richard: Michael Palin is my dream guest. I had really wanted to get the Chuckle Brothers on too, and assumed I had all the time in the world… We might have Paul on at some point, though the absence of Barry will make it sad.
Q. What’s the best thing about being the world’s premier semi-professional self-playing snooker player?
Richard: It’s just great being the world champion at something. But snooker is it’s own reward. Me1 and Me2 would keep playing even without the adulation and awards and millions of fans.
Q. Tell us more about your involvement in Scope, the first charity I ever volunteered for as a teenager, and how the public can get involved?
Richard: It came about as I was going to run the London Marathon and my friend told me I could get a guaranteed place via Scope. I had no real personal connection with the charity beforehand. But over the last 15 years I have been doing free programmes at my shows and having a collection at the end for the charity and got much more involved with the issues and campaigns and am honoured to be a patron of the charity. Equality and access are the main concerns and the brilliant people involved in this organisation are making good progress in raising awareness of these issues. It’s madness that people are afraid and ignorant about disability. It’s something that will come to all of us at some point.
Q. And finally, as we “Remember, there’ll always be milk”, what is your favourite type of milk and why?
Richard: The Milk of Human Kindness due to its rarity.
You can catch Richard Herring’s RHLSTP at The Stand Comedy Club at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe from 2 to 4, 6 to 11, 13 to 18 and 20 to 25 August. For further information and to book visit https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/richard-herring-rhlstp.
For further information on Richard Herring, including his podcast and forthcoming gigs, visit www.richardherring.com.