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'Show Me The Funny' winner interview: 'I'd love to host a game show'

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Show Me the Funny: Pat Monahan

© ITV

Ladies and gentlemen, we have a winner! Yes, Pat Monaghan triumphed in the live final of Show Me The Funny last night, beating Dan and Tiff in a show at the Hammersmith Apollo.

After celebrating his success, Pat got on the phone to have a little chat with Digital Spy.

Read on to find out what he makes of his mentor Johnny Vegas, whether he'll keep "t*tting about", and why he isn't a fan of panel shows...

Congratulations! What did you do to celebrate last night?
"Oh, it's mad. In between filming the show I went up and did the Edinburgh comedy festival for a month, literally doing two or three shows a day. So when I came back to London, it was chance to go, 'Oh God, I hope it'll be nice and easy and relaxing - it's an early finish, 10.15pm'. But we ended up doing the meet and greet and seeing everyone and saying thanks to people and getting pictures. And I got 280 text messages.

"We ended up leaving there about 3am. We got home and watched a little bit on the telly, and about 5am I think I started to lay on the bed because I thought, 'Oh, I'd better get some sleep'. But I was trying to text people back saying thank you, and then I had to get up an hour later to do Daybreak. I mean, the celebration's just fun in itself. You think, 'Oh my God'. It's just unbelievable."

Are you running on adrenaline, then?
"Pure adrenaline. It's been 48 hours and I've had an hour of kip. It's brilliant."

What's the first thing you're going to do with your prize money?
"It sounds a bit naff, but it's true. When I first started doing stand-up, my family helped. My dad was a welder and he did that from scratch - he worked at a steel works and then set up his own thing. So when I wanted to do comedy, they realised it's a risk but you've got to try to make something for yourself. So they helped me when I started out.

"They didn't have much money or whatever, but I lived with my brother when I moved down to London. When you first start doing stand-up and you're doing open mics, you don't get paid. I've always lived with him so now with the money I was thinking about getting a little place, because he's got a missus now. I'll probably do something sensible with the money - invest in a property for the family and things like that."

How would you rate your performance last night? Were you pleased with it?
"Yeah. For me, it was a personal challenge. On paper, of the three of us I had slightly more experience so you have that slight advantage, but it was actually a lot harder for me. You've got Dan, who's a one-liner gag man, and Tiff, who's quite anecdotal, quite short, whereas my stuff's a bit crazy - there's a little bit of banter, there's routines - so it can just go on and on.

"For me, going back to five minutes was almost a hindrance. I'm used to doing 45 minutes or an hour in a club. It was quite nerve-wracking - you were playing to 3,000 people, where normally you might play to 300 people max. Also if you do 30 minutes you've got time to relax into it - you can mess about with the audience. And also it's not going out live on ITV!

"You've got all these big massive hurdles. Normally, if a gag dies it doesn't matter - no-one's going to remember it as long as the next gag's funny. Whereas this is on telly - millions of people are watching it."

Why was it a personal challenge for you?
"It was a case of just trying to prove to myself that I can go on and do five minutes of material. Over the past few weeks the judges had told me to stop t*tting about - 'You've got to start proving you can stand-up - just deliver material about you. We're not interested in the bloke in the third row, we've come to hear you'.

"For me I was never interested in that, I was always interested in other people. I thought, 'Why would people want to listen to me about my life?' So last night was a personal challenge to see if I could stand on that big stage and deliver five minutes of material - no t*tting about, just go bang bang bang, just tell them about me. I think yeah, it was alright.

"Obviously there's still bits I could improve but I think it could have gone a lot worse. It could have been horrible. The audience could have just been like, 'It's not that funny, why's he not engaging with us, why's he not messing about?'"

Are you going to carry on t*tting about in the future?
"I think I'd be crazy to stop it completely but then again I'd be crazy to just go back to it because I've learnt so much during the show and in the finale. Actually, it was great to go on stage and get these big laughs just by standing, delivering a line, pausing.

"I love t*tting about because you're getting stuff out of the audience, but then you've got to make jokes out of it. And I love that. But you've never got the reliability of doing a routine where you know the set-up, the punchline, the payoff, the big laugh.

"To be honest, I'm very rarely going to be doing five minute sets ever again. You only really do it in competitions and I don't think I can handle another competition! So now I'll be going back to doing hour shows, the first section - yeah, I'd be crazy not to do a bit of t*tting about because that's what the audience have come to see. But I'll just do 15, 20 minutes and then do some solid material so they go, 'We've got everything here'.

"That's what the big main professional comics do - Peter Kay, Ross Noble, Dara O'Briain - it looks like t*tting about but they're breaking the ice with the audience. The difference is, they then go and smash it with an hour of well-constructed written material. I think that was probably what I was lacking.

"I thought, 'I could do this for an hour and a half'. You probably could but there's only so many people that would want to hear that. And you couldn't sell a DVD like that. I think in the long term if I want to progress as a good stand-up I've got to knuckle down and put some discipline into it."

'Show Me The Funny': Jason Manford, Alan Davies

© ITV



You mentioned your DVD - how will it differ from all the other comedy DVD's out there?
"This is an overnight thing where people go, 'Oh my God, he's won a DVD contract in the space of 24 hours', but I've got ten to 11 years of stand-up experience. In that time, I've done seven one-hour shows at Edinburgh. In normal DVDs, comics will write an hour-and-a-half show, they'll tour it round the country, and they'll record it. Whereas this'll be me choosing from all the seven hours of stand-up, putting it into a great hour and a half. It should be so tight.

"There are comics that'll give you a bit of banter and then material, but I'm hoping I've got this engaging thing. I'll do a bit at the beginning where I introduce everyone - it'll be nice, it'll be a warm video, it's going to be clean, I don't use any swears. I've got some stuff about my background which is so unique - you never really hear stuff like that on the circuit. Then also I do a lot of music and dancing in my shows - I've always got some big musical pieces. So it'll be quite interesting to see the DVD."

What are your big ambitions? Do you want your own TV show?
"Every stand-up goes, 'You just want to tour live' and that's amazing, that's your bread and butter. But every comic wants to go off and do panel shows or they want to do a chatshow. For me, I've never really been interested in a panel show. What I would love to do - and it's a bit weird, because I think other comics either laugh or look down on it - but I'd love to host game shows.

"I'd love to do something that involves real people. Even something like Michael Barrymore's My Kind of People - do you remember he used to go to shopping centres and just get people to do daft things? Or even like The Generation Game or Strike It Lucky.

"I'd love to do something where I get to work with real people having a studio audience, because I think that sort of thing is what comedians used to be good at - that's what we grew up with as kids. Now there's so many panel shows and all it is is comics competing with other comics to try and outdo each other with gags. And I'm thinking, 'This is just your stand-up. It's just a lazy way of doing stand-up'.

"I think that's the problem now - people look down on it, but I think what comics are good at is the way we work with people. I'd love to do a TV show where it shows, 'Actually this guy can be a comedian, he can be funny, but he's using real people'. Bringing back something like family entertainment to a Saturday night. But that's something that would take ten or 15 years to achieve."

What was it like working with Johnny Vegas?
"He's one of the nicest people you could meet. I think that was a real turning point for me in this competition. The real difference came for me in week five when I had a chance to do personal stuff and I ended up just messing about and taking the mick and compering.

"Even though I had a good gig, Johnny brought it down to Earth. He used this great analogy where he said, 'You always do this thing where there's a bit of cake on the floor and you grab it, but you always miss the chicken that's in the oven. You can always go for that'.

"It's a crazy thing but what he's saying is that you always go for the first thing, you get tempted too easily, you play to your strengths, but you never work on the other stuff. And he was right. Hearing stuff like this, there's only so many times I can take this and Johnny Vegas is saying this. If you want a chance of getting half of what his career is, you've got to listen to these people. You've got to at least take some of their advice on board.

"He was so good. He was a great mentor for me - I think that was perfect. Even though it was a bit dodgy where people were going, 'Hang on, Johnny Vegas is telling me how to stick to material and keep to time and this is a bloke that goes on for two and a half hours, pants around his ankles, drinking beer, drunk out of his head?' But he's like a professor. He's just a genius on comedy. He knows his stuff."

Who are your comedy heroes?
"I grew up with people like Dave Allen - my dad used to watch him. He's fantastic. Just watching the way he would sit there and just hold a crowd - he was amazing. Also people like Richard Pryor, Lee Evans we grew up watching. Robin Williams - just his energy was amazing. The way he went on stage - it was just beautiful."

Pat Monaghan's Show Me The Funny winner's DVD is out on November 28 by 2Entertain. Live tour tickets are available from www.ticketzone.co.uk.

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