Sue Perkins is rapidly edging into National Treasure territory – and this month you have the chance to catch her latest show.
Sue Perkins Live in Spectacles is packed full of sparkling wit, great stories, a user’s guide to Mary Berry and the best bits from her hilarious best-selling memoir Spectacles.
Ahead of her visit to Buxton Opera House on September 14 she spoke to James Rampton.
Q: What prompted you to hit the road with this new tour?
A: It’s a good time to look back on my life so far. I fully intend to live to the age of 92, so this is half-time. Essentially this tour is handing out the orange segments.
Q: Tell us more
A: Writing a memoir begins a process that doesn’t necessarily end with publication. You begin to think about family life and stories and relationships, and those are ongoing. A big, technicolour puke of thoughts. Perhaps I should put that on the poster…
Q: What do you particularly like about interacting with the audience?
A: It enriches me. What I have done lately has been TV-based, so I haven’t had the same feedback as I get live, and that’s what I love. I don’t encourage hecklers, but sometimes a heckler is the funniest person in the room – why not embrace that? The audience is a big pool of fun you can swim around in. But remember – no petting.
Q: So what subjects will you be covering in the show?
A: Births, deaths, lemon drizzle and getting fondled by a Cambodian hermit. I’ll talk a lot about the catastrophising that went on in my family. There was always a sense that something awful, that imminent doom, was around the corner. It came from my mum – she’s a worrier. Everything was a potential trip to A&E.
Q: You will be giving each ticket-holder a copy of your book, Spectacles. What’s the thinking behind that?
A: It gives me the opportunity to meet the whole audience one by one afterwards during the signings. It’s as much about how people respond to the material. My memoir is a story of family and childhood, and everyone has had one of those. Mine is not the definitive version of childhood, but it’s a great way to start a conversation. I love it when someone says, “It’s weird. I lived next to an electricity substation for 20 years as well.” Or, “We had a cat that dragged our turkey across the room at Christmas and we had to eat boiled eggs for our lunch instead.”
Q: Why do you think The Great British Bake Off has proved so popular?
A: I think the chemistry between the four of us – Mary, Paul, Mel and I – works so well. But the real reason why the show is so successful is the 12 people who come to bake every year.
Q: Finally, do you believe that a sense of humour is vital?
A: Of course. Life is boring without the punctuation of punchlines. If you laugh at a joke, it’s because someone has put something you already know in a way you had never thought of before.