Joe Lycett heaped praise on Liverpool as he arrived in the city to launch his new podcast.
The Channel 4 star's new show, Turdcast, lands on podcast platforms today and contains chats with celebrities on their most awful and hilarious toilet stories. The 35-year-old announced his new show in typically extravagant style with an event at the Albert Dock yesterday as he designed a "Turdis" and asked members of the public to come down to share their toilet stories, which would be included in the debut episode.
Joe spoke to the ECHO at the event in an exclusive interview and revealed why he always loves visiting our region. He said: "The people of Liverpool are so unique and so hysterical. I don't think I've met anyone from Liverpool who is not really funny. I just love being here and it's got such a great energy."
It was a full circle moment for Joe during our chat as he spoke to the ECHO next to the former Baby Blue club, a venue he honed his stand-up skills at on the way to becoming one of the biggest names in comedy. Joe is well versed in Liverpool's comedy scene and recalled tough gigs at the Slaughterhouse when he had to perform to a crowd comprising solely of Scouse farmers. He joked: "I managed to win some of them round... I think."
However, Joe said the challenging aspect of winning over an audience is the mark of a true stand-up. He added: "When you're on the telly and you get fans coming to your shows, they are there to laugh. It's lovely that they love you already, but I do miss that challenge where this room is actively hostile against me but I'm going to make you love me. That's what proper stand up is."
Joe said this is why he always loves performing in a city that understands comedy like Liverpool and revealed a quirk he has only ever seen in Merseyside clubs. He added: "In a comedy club in Liverpool, at least when I was doing the clubs a while ago, you have to have a Scouse compere because Scousers need another Scouser to endorse you before you're accepted into the clan. I find it so interesting and it doesn't happen anywhere else.
"You need a Scouser to say this guy's good, give him a chance, otherwise they will rip you apart." Joe enjoys a close connection to Merseyside and said he often enjoys visiting his friends in Wirral.
He said: "I love the coastline around West Kirby. I always say it's like going to the OC. Not that I've ever been to the OC. Everyone is gorgeous and done up and it just feels beautiful."
Joe's original approach to comedy has meant he has grabbed headlines with stunts such as when he changed his name to Hugo Boss to protest against how the multi-billon pound fashion brand targeted small companies for using "boss" in the title. Joe explained the unique interview format of Turdcast came to his head while filming an episode of Channel 4 programme, Travel Man.
He said: "We were talking about that time after lunch where everybody sort of goes a little bit quiet and starts to slip away. It started as us talking about toilet stories and I get such anxiety around that sort of thing.
"I can't go to the loo unless I'm behind 6 ft of lead. I'm so scared anyone is going to hear me."
Episode one features a wide-ranging chat with Gary Lineker, who relives the infamous moment when he soiled himself on the pitch during the 1990 World Cup. Joe said the high profile nature of the moment made the Match of the Day presenter the perfect first guest.
He said: "The idea of soiling myself on live TV is essentially the worst thing could ever happen to me. I thought he was so honest and open with it and I suppose that's all you can be once that has happened."
Joe said the interview format has been a interesting way in to create a safe space and enjoy a relaxed conversation with interviewees. The comic hopes the podcast can remove some of the embarrassment people have about their own toilet horror stories.
He said: "The word, the thing itself and the sound of poo is all funny. We all do it and we're all embarrassed about it but we shouldn't be and we can just talk about it freely and openly.
"I hope that people are inspired to do the same." The stunt yesterday was sadly hit with weather difficulties as a technical problem with the portable toilet meant the event had to come to an early end.
Joe later issued a statement to apologise to fans as he said: "In a bitter twist of irony, severe wind caused us problems in fully erecting The Turdis. I’m relieved to say the spillage was dealt with immediately so that the beautiful waters at the Docks weren’t damaged. Huge thanks to the lovely people of Liverpool who made it down.”
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