Belfast Telegraph

Questions and answers: We chat to comic Micky Bartlett

By Andrew Johnston

Pot Noodles and being mistaken for Ricky Martin are two highlights in the life of the Lurgan comedy star who is embarking on a new tour this week.

The blurb for your latest show says you're ‘mildly famous and absolutely broke' - would you rather be more famous or less broke?

I'd definitely rather be less broke. I don't necessarily want to be rich, not even well off — I just need enough money for the bus fare and a couple of Pot Noodles and I'll be a happy man!

You promise lots of embarrassing stories in the show — is there anything you wouldn't share with an audience?

Not a lot, if I'm honest. Obviously there are some things that paying audience members don't want, or need to hear about, but if I think I can share an experience with a crowd of strangers, I definitely will.

How would you describe your style of comedy, and has it changed much since you started doing stand-up?

I don't really know if I have a style. Someone once said (about me) that the only difference between my personality and behaviour onstage, and my behaviour offstage, is that in one of them I'm holding a microphone ... I took it as a compliment.

How has coming from Lurgan had an influence on your act?

I don't think it has. Sometimes, when I say I'm from Lurgan, people wince as if I've just admitted to being a cave troll from the land of Mordor, but the truth is it's quite a nice wee town. I've always found the people really supportive and fun.

What's the best gig you've ever done?

I think it would have to be the night I warmed up for Patrick Kielty in the Grand Opera House. It was as part of his recording for Dave's One Night Stand, and I got to share a stage with Paddy, Mike Wilmot and the amazing Jimeoin. As a warm-up for a TV crowd, it can be pretty hectic, you never know how long you're going to be onstage. It can range from 15 minutes, to 30 seconds, it was mental, I completely revelled in it.

And the worst?

It was in Lurgan... I went on during a karaoke competition, the MC couldn't hear my name over the screams of a woman singing Crazy by Patsy Kline, when I said “Micky Bartlett” he misheard me and introduced me as “Ricky Martin” but he failed to mention that the karaoke was over. So when the ladies in the room realised that they weren't in fact seeing their Latin American Romeo, but instead, a short, chubby ginger man in a waistcoat... they didn't take it well. I still maintain that the people of Lurgan are a noble bunch... I just got some of them on a bad night.

Be honest — were you nervous opening for Paddy Kielty at the Odyssey Arena?

I was TERRIFIED! It was about two years ago and I still sometimes look at photographs of the audience and just think, “WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU DOING UP THERE?!”.

Did you enjoy appearing on BBC show Monumental and what doors has it opened for you?

I had an absolute ball. The other comedians on the show, in my opinion, are some of the best the UK and Ireland has ever produced. It was an absolute treat to work with them all, especially Michael Smiley. I owe him a lot, he did a bit of standup on telly a few years ago, about ’90s raves, and when I was 15 I acted the whole thing out in a disco and got my first snog!

  • Micky will be performing at The Mac, Belfast, on Thursday, September 18, at 8pm and the Island Arts Centre, Lisburn, on Saturday, September 20, at 8pm.

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