John Bishop has said “some positive” has come out of the fact he is unable to perform live stand-up at present, because it has allowed him to launch a podcast.
The comedian and the writer, actor and director Tony Pitts have teamed up on Three Little Words, in which they talk to people about their lives, hopes, struggles and beliefs, inspired by the three words that mean something important to them, as well as the word they hope to never hear again.
The duo interview stars including Robbie Williams, Jason Manford and Rachel Shenton, as well as less well known people, about the words that have had an impact on their lives.
Bishop joked that they are “desperate” for the show to work, because their professional lives are still on hold while live performances cannot go ahead without social distancing.
He told the PA news agency: “We are both in industries that have been massively affected by the situation, and this has benefited from the fact we have both been available to make this happen.
“Under normal circumstances, if I was doing the year that I was meant to have this year, and if Tony was doing the year that he was meant to have, we would have spoken about it and said it was a good idea and it would have never happened.
“Now that it has to be we are both committed to it, we both feel that this is something we are in for the long haul, it’s such a joy to do.
“So out of all the craziness that we are surrounded with, some positive has definitely come out of it in this podcast.
“There is nothing better for me than being on stage doing stand up and that is how we met, Tony booked me for a gig in Leeds twenty-odd years ago.
“Everything else is behind being on stage. Now that is not available, and if I can’t do that, this beats any telly I’ve done.”
Giri/Haji star Pitts added: “John and I have both said to each other that at the minute there is nothing that I would rather be doing. If this is going to be my new reality for a little while, then I’m delighted.”
The duo have been friends for more than two decades and wanted to bring their playful dynamic to the show.
Bishop joked: “We are two men from northern working class backgrounds who cannot cope with our own frailties, so what we do is abuse each other.”
He added: “The dynamic is a very natural thing. I didn’t want to do something on my own, I wanted to do it with somebody who could bring some level of intelligence and insight into it and that matched my own levels of inquiry and inquisitiveness so it works very well.
“If it was me and another comic it wouldn’t work. It sounds odd but it’s also not always easy to find people who are as interested in other people as you are, people fascinate me, that is why I like this type of thing.
“But some people in my circle use other people to feed off, not to learn from. In the world of stand-up, you bounce off people, whereas in the world of inquiry and interview, you don’t bounce off, you try and get in with them.”
Three Little Words episodes are released every Tuesday through Acast and are available to download on all major podcast platforms.