8 Questions with Geoff Norcott

We can’t wait to have Geoff Norcott here on Thu 19 Oct with his brand new show Basic Bloke. Find out more about the show, and Geoff’s new book, below!

Tell us about the show?

I called it Basic Bloke because, recently, I realised almost everything about me is bang in the average range. My favourite food is curry, my favourite drink is lager. My shoe size is the average, as is my weight. I also inform the audience I’m the average height 5”9, and the nightly disbelief that I could even be that modest height is, frankly, hurtful.

What does it mean to be a bloke these days?

I tend to think of blokes as different from men. We’ve seen a rise in ‘men’ being used as a pejorative for power and toxicity, but I’d argue your average bloke is none of those things. He’s just plodding on, with his heart in the right place but a pathological inability to remember the birthday of anyone he loves.

Why do blokes want medals for doing housework?

I spoke about this on my last tour. My generation were still mostly raised in fairly traditional households, which meant we saw our dads pick up the hoover as often as we saw our mums mow the lawn. Consequently, there’s an awful feeling which resides in me that when I do anything around the house that is somehow constitutes a ‘favour’. Women often ask a bloke seeming excessively proud for doing the odd chore ‘do you want a medal?’ and the truth is, deep down, we do.

Why are blokes so bad at knowing what’s going on in their mates lives?

I recently returned from three days away with the lads and my wife asked me how they all were. A simple question, but I couldn’t really answer. I knew we’d had a laugh but couldn’t tell her any new details about their lives. It’s great to talk nonsense and rip each other a new one for any minor infraction of blokey protocol, but we should also at least know the names of all of our mate’s kids.

Have you stopped talking about politics?

No, not at all, I’ll always do a bit of the show on what’s happening politically. If anything, politics has become a lot funnier to me since we lost cranky figures like Corbyn and Johnson. You’ve got Rishi sitting there grinning like he just won Junior Apprentice, and Keir Starmer boring people to death like the human manifestation of Nando’s lemon & herb. It’s fair to say all parties come in for a pasting this time around.

There’s also a book – your second one. Apart from sitting down and standing up, what’s the discipline of writing a book like compared to performing live?

There’s a distinct lack of immediate feedback. You write what you think is a decent paragraph but won’t know if anyone else felt the same way for about six months. Stand-up is fairly gratifying in that respect: think it, say it, get the reward. But that can be quite temporary, so one thing I loved about the last book is that every so often people get in touch to say nice things. A book is like a version of you that’s out there still performing even when you’ve got your feet up at home watching something hosted by Stephen Mulhern.

What has been your favourite telly appearance so far and why?

My second Live at the Apollo appearance. The first one went well, but I was terrified and spent half the time nursing an irrational fear I might wet myself. I was determined to enjoy the second one and I did. Though my head is a bit shiny. With a spam like mine, you don’t want to draw any more attention.

What’s next for you after the tour?

Well, this goes until the end of April 2024, so God knows what sort of world we’ll be living in. With any luck there’ll be an AI version of me out on the road by then and I’ll be at home with a curry.

Geoff Norcott: Basic Bloke will be at ARC on Thu 19 Oct. Book your tickets here.