Ian Moore, more, more, more!
‘Doing the actual job of being a comedian isn’t the problem’ an experienced comic once told me. ‘It’s all the bloody travelling which gets in the way’ he said. Well, have a look at this travel itinerary;
Started from Loire Valley (France) at 6:30am, forty-minute drive from Vierzon, an hour half train to Paris, an hour train to Alley airport, three-hour wait, one hour’s flight to Heathrow, hired a car, then a two-hour drive into the heart of the Cotswolds.
This travel log was undertaken by comic Ian Moore to get to a Comicus corporate gig. Give that man a medal? Well, we’ll need a chest full as this journey he undertakes regularly in the duty of comedy.
Ian walks on stage dressed like a 60’s mod minus the scooter delivering cleverly crafted material alongside a manner which endures him quickly to his audience. He has been a fixture on the circuit for over seventeen years. In that time, he married his French sweet heart who he met at sixth form college living at first in the UK but moved to France ten years ago. ‘Why did they do that?’ ‘Because we can’ he announced. But did such a departure effect his growing comedy career, not on your life raft. Ian maintained his stand-up career by coming over for the weekend clubs and making special journeys for important corporate gigs and television work. He has slowly learned French, not perfect, but good enough and is right in the firing line of Brexit, with a very popular blog on the matter. He has also applied for French nationality to secure the way he conducts his comedy business.
There is a lot more to Moore than being a successful act, he is also an author and committed writer in the process of completing his first novel, alongside making some splendid chutney (which I’m waiting to taste). One feels comedy gets in the way of his life rather than being a part of it.
What was your first job? And what was the pay packet? Paper round. £3.20, seven days a week. Double bag on a Sunday as the Times were so big. It was a posh town so everyone took the Times. Two trips on my bike.
Why did you choose comedy as a profession? By complete chance. It was not my idea. A friend asked me to go to a show at the Banana cabaret in Balham 1995. She asked ‘What I thought?’ I said to her ‘It was ok. But I could do better’. She dared me to do so, and booked me into an open spot.
Where was your first gig? The first gig was my open spot at the Banana which went really well. On my second gig, I invited my friends and family to see me as I thought I knew it all. I absolutely died on my hole. There are still friends who were at that gig, who will not speak to me after that night.
What has been your worst or unusual gig? I did a gig in the South of France, I did not speak any French then, it went awful. The audience and myself were just starring at each other.
What advice would you give would be comedians, just starting off? Do it, if you love it, but don’t do it if you think it’s going to get you somewhere else. It is all consuming the job of being a comic.
What do you always take with you on stage? I always take my set list in my back pocket. It might not even be the set for that night. But I never refer to it, I just have to have it in my back pocket. It is a comfort blanket.
If you could do another job what would it be? Aside from being an author, Cricket commentator on Test Match Special Radio 4 would have been my dream
What comedians do you admire? Boothby Graffoe. He’s just so different. I admired Woody Allen sets of the 1960’s (Moose routine).
Have you ever been ripped off in Comedy? Yes, I did a series of corporate gigs which I did not get paid for. Through persistence I eventually got my money.
Who do you most admire in life? David Niven, I always wanted that life, his films, books, that era in a way has informed my character. I am very British even though I live in France.
Who’s your best friend? My wife and my little dog Chiweenie
What is you annual Car mileage? Not that high as I travel by train and plane so much of the time, but if you count those miles I hate to think how many.
Do you remember your first football match? Blackburn v Bolton 74/75. Bolton fans set fire to a stand. My dad remarked it happens a lot son. This was the era of football hooliganism
Favourite TV programmes as a teenager? ‘MASH’ Wednesday nights BBC2. My dad went out to play darts. I watched ‘MASH’
What book are you currently reading? PG Woodhouse. Forgotten which one, there’s so many. I am a great fan, got all his books
Favourite food? Chorizo & scallops. But I never eat before a gig as it slows me down. Sherlock Holmes thought he could work better if he was starved and that’s good enough for me.
What is your favourite music? I don’t know? I can’t pin that down. All types. Next month, I am going to the Charles Aznavour concert in Paris. He is 92 years old.
What do you feel most proud of in your career so far? That I am still going .. turning over material and still learning.
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be? The birth of my second child. I was there but actually fell asleep as it happened so quickly.
What is a skill you’d like to learn and why? I’d love to play the Guitar. Tried it, had three lessons but told I had no talent for it by my music teacher.
What do you want your tombstone to say? Finally stopped travelling
Matthew Willetts MA is the Director of Comicus who has over 35 years experience in television, film, theatre, and comedy club/cabaret entertainment, working as a performer, screenwriter, producer and agent. He lectured at Southampton Solent University in Comedy, Screenwriting, Television, Theatre & Radio. Matthew can sometimes be seen and heard on TV & Radio and often quoted in the national press and media publications. As well as speaking regularly at festivals and industry conferences, he has been a judge at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and the Montreux Television Festival.