Jasper Carrott took time out to give me an insight into the nostalgic show featuring comedy and music from Birmingham's famous sons and daughters, which takes place at New Alexandra Theatre, in Birmingham, April 25 and 26.
What can the audience expect from Made in Brum?
Jasper Carrott (JC)- The story of where our music and musical heroes came from in Brum. It's a show that will be a trip down memory lane for some, while for younger audience members, a fun education into the grass roots of what they are listening to today. So along with some funny stories, you get to hear some of Birmingham's finest singers and musicians playing some great songs.
Are there any other 'Brummies' or honorary Brummies you would like to get on stage with you? JC - Tony Iommi (The Iron Man)......Stevie Winwood, Robert Plant, Ozzy Osborne.......the list goes on....we have such a great musical heritage in Birmingham.
What do you think are the best qualities about being a Brummie? JC - We are no more or no less than any other city but our fortitude is putting up with the constant deluge of criticism from the national press about our city, our accent, football teams, etc but knowing all the time that we are superior.
What do you like best/worst about the city? JC - When the Bull Ring was first built it was the biggest shopping centre in Europe which was copied by the rest of Europe. Once they had all copied us, we knocked it down and built a better one. We are always pushing the city forward. The worst thing is we don't have a successful football team
What do you think of the comedy/music scene in Birmingham now compared to when you were starting out? JC - There was no comedy scene as such when I started out, comedians would perform in cabaret clubs, folk clubs whereas today there is a fantastic selection of clubs throughout the UK.....but there was a big music scene in all the pubs and clubs. The back rooms of pubs had groups performing every night of the week. Birmingham's music today, I think, is seeing a resurgence with more and more pubs putting bands on again. We had some massive bands from Birmingham The Move, ELO, Black Sabbath, UB40, Duran Duran but in recent times commercial success has been a little less. There are still some great acts though like Ocean Colour Scene and the Guillemots.
You went to school with Bev Bevan, so do you revert back to being teenagers when you are working together on a project like this? How does it feel to work with someone you have known for so long? JC - We are incredibly infantile when we get together, but it's great to work with old friends. I have been very fortunate to work on musical projects in the past with Bev and people like Tony Iommi and you can see why they are so successful because they really are fantastic musicians. The only drawback is they all have better hair than me.
The cast of Made in Brum who provide a night of music and comedy
A lot of comedians are moving in to theatre now, is there a musical you are itching to do? JC - I played Ko-ko in The Mikado in London's West End, and was in Malcolm Stent's Go Play Up Your End where I got to sing. I've always hankered after the part of the Innkeeper in Les Miserables.
Do you prefer television or theatre? Is there anything new you would like to try? JC - I prefer live performance, it is the ultimate for every stand up. You really need to see a stand up comedian live in theatre to fully appreciate them. As far as trying anything new, I am always up for new challenges but think I might start to slow down a bit on new projects when I hit 105 years old......
What makes you laugh?
JC - The same as everyone else. I have my favourites but comedy is very personal and if I don't laugh at someone it does not mean they are not funny. Not everyone likes all types of music.
What is your ideal Brum night out?
JC - A good meal out, then a show before retiring home to the settee to watch top quality movie.
Tickets cost £27.50 - £31.00. To purchase tickets please call 0844 871 3011 or visit the Theatre Website