Kevin Bridges Interview

Andy Bridges could choose his rewards from an almost infinite list; Rolex, Ferrari, Gucci – you name it.

But the modest father of the best comedian of a generation simply asks that the laughs keep on coming.

And fortunately for the whole Bridges family – not to mention an expectant global audience – providing gags on demand is the very thing Kevin thrives on and is supremely talented at!

The good news, then, is that Kevin is again sharing that with the people as his 135-date ‘A Whole Different Story’ tour of Europe hits Glasgow and Edinburgh between September and November.

Fans can rest assured that only the finest and funniest material passed the Bridges Test, as Kevin still runs his gags past dad Andy for quality control.

It’s a bond that was formed early in Kevin’s career and one which provides both men with the kind of satisfaction that money simply cannot buy.

Kevin explains: “I asked my dad [Andy] what is the one thing you would do if you could…what is your dream?
“Andy loves trains so he immediately said, ‘a trip on the Orient Express!’
“I was able to make that trip happen for him and my mum – which he loved.
“And I also took my mum [Paddy] on a trip to New York – she is a ‘WAG’ and you can keep that in!
“My mum definitely likes her handbags.
“But Andy made it clear he has financial security and doesn’t want for anything.
“I could buy him an expensive watch but he’s not interested.
“What excites my dad much more is when I come to him with a new idea for material, this new ‘bit’ and I take out my notebook and we go over it together and he is in fits of laughter.
“He’ll chime in with his own wee ‘bits’ but he knows they’re s***e and we’ll laugh that off and start talking ideas again.
“This is where a lot of my drive comes from. My dad was at my first-ever gig and we share that father-son bond through my comedy.
“Making my family proud is important to me.
“After my first ever gig my dad welled up a bit and that was a huge moment for me, I was blown away by that.
“It had come after a time of two or three years not going off the rails as such but definitely getting into trouble at school; getting into  trouble with the police a couple of times; falling in with a bad crowd
“From my parents’ point of view there was a sense of ‘what on earth is Kevin going to do next?’
“So for my father to see me on stage for the first time being creative it meant I could say ‘See dad, the police and teachers are not lying, I am quite funny!’
The ‘A Whole Different Story’ tour marks Kevin’s return to the stage following his immensely successful ‘The Story Continues’ tour.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that he’s setting off on his biggest ever tour to get a break from the frantic pace of his life since he was last on the road.
Kevin’s ‘time off’ has been anything but restful– a testament to his permanently curious and adventurous nature.

In the interim, beyond writing and fine-tuning this show, he’s become a house owner, been shown nautical skills in his nifty little boat, acquired a much- loved dog and written his bril- liant, funny and revealing book ‘We Need To Talk About… Kevin Bridges’.

The Clydebank boy has also scratched an itch by attending the incendiary Boca Juniors v River Plate Buenos Aires derby at the legendary Bombonera Stadium and presented well-
received shows tied in to last year’s Scottish Independence referendum.
None of that would have been possible had he not taken some significant ‘me’ time away from stage performances – a decision he partially owes to advice from a wise soul-mate/father in 
Andy.

Kevin explains: “If you’re working extremely hard and you’re chasing a level of quality to which you’ve made people accustomed then you’re on a kind of treadmill – with the button jammed up to top speed!
“The process is all about having to keep up with yourself plus the demand you’ve created.
“I never once felt like I could relax and ‘be Kevin Bridges’.
“When things really took off in 2009 with my first television breakthrough I became a successful comedian with a career which was soaring but, initially, with the idea ‘this run could end at any minute’.
“I was in demand for television and I was receiving calls from my agent saying: ‘There are people who want to meet you and talk ideas…’
“I had no interest in being a comedian who simply went on TV only then to ‘burn-out’…not unlike the X-Factor or Britain’s

Got Talent contestants. I concluded that if I put in the hard graft to write and perform one more big tour and DVD [2012] that would then afford me valuable time off to relax.
“In fact Andy said as much to me at the time.
“His advice was that I was established, that huge amounts of people had come out to see me and that if I were to take time off then they would come back.
“Andy argued, ‘You have done two big arena shows and two DVDs and you’re only 25. If you want to do this your whole life then you can afford to ‘pull back’ for a while’.
“My dad knows me well. He has a different perspective and can see things from the outside.
“This ‘A Whole Different Story’’ tour will be my first for three years and I initially thought that if I took that much time off people would forget about me…but they haven’t.
“What has become very apparent to me is that you need a reason to tour.
“You need the right mind-set. It is psychological.
“I continue to write material, but I need a reason to tour.
“I know it sounds like a cliché but all this is not simply about the money.
“My dad’s suggestion to take a break was good advice.
“In the time off I reflected and wrote the book.
“I have a sense of gratitude and calmness but I still have the insecurity and it is that insecurity – I have 10,000 people coming to see me at some gigs – that motivates me to do the work.
“You need that deadline and that pressure because without it you are nothing.”

Details of Kevin Bridges’ tour, “A Whole Different Story…” can be found on www.offthekerb.co.uk and www.kevinbridges.co.uk