Keeping up with the Joneses
Milton Jones ticks all the boxes to be a great comedian. He is quiet, introverted, unassuming plus when off stage he never does material. He’s not a gossip or seldom speaks unless spoken to, but you know something deep is going on in that head. What comedically comes out of his mind is just as fascinating as the man himself. His witty and clever one liners have been receiving recognition for several years. Jones’s style is surreal with those wide-open eyes, almost intimidating the audience, drawing them into his world.
It was 2010 when his career went into overdrive with five appearances on ‘Mock the week’, his BBC radio show series ‘Another case of Milton Jones’ receiving great reviews and his DVD playing regularly on the Dave channel helping him to reach an audience of comedy connoisseurs. Since then his tours have been packed with further television plus worldwide opportunities coming his way. Milton has always been ideal for a corporate audience, especially those that recognise him as his jokes are clean, funny and cleverly written.
Sitting having dinner with him before he went on stage to host an awards evening for a leading catering company I asked him ‘Have you ever been angry?’ Milton put down his fork, thought hard and said ‘Yes some years ago, playing football … can’t remember why? I chuckled to myself, maybe he is human after all. It was time to find out a little more about this interesting man.
What was your first job? And what was the pay packet? Usher at Richmond theatre. £12 a shift
Why did you choose comedy as a profession? I was trying to be an actor no one else wanted me as an actor, so comedy was a good way into acting . then the comedy gained its own momentum
Where was your first gig? The Square in Harlow 1990. Lee Evans was closing.
What has been your worst or unusual gig? It was on a gig with friend and fellow comic Dan Evans .. a private gig for brewery staff .. I decided to talk to them … I said ‘This is odd you get free food and drink if you work in a pub’ … one shouted back to me ‘We don’t get free food and drink’ .. I said ‘How come your all so fat’ .. It kicked off .. one woman burst into tears .. some blokes surrounded me .. the promoter wouldn’t pay me …. Awful .. I could not blame anyone else apart from myself
What advice would you give would be comedians, just starting off? Don’t judge yourself by your last gig .. take an average over two years
What do you always take with you on stage? My Wallet .. with all my money … wouldn’t leave it in a dressing room
If you could do another job what would it be? Acting, but outside of that … I use to run sports schemes for the council .. so probably a sports teacher
What comedians do you admire? Bill Bailey, he does everything one liners music, improv. Harry Hill, he takes ideas and runs with them, just batters them to death. I like Tim Vine and Alan Francis but they are my friends so it’s complicated. Lee Mack, Dara O Brien, Frank Skinner
Have you ever been ripped off in comedy? Yes. Two shows in Manchester for a guy called Nick Hancock, not that Nick Hancock ..another, who actually is no longer with us anymore .. and he did a runner. It was in my early days, I paid for a weekend in Manchester, hotel, food the lot and got paid nothing
Who do you most admire in life? My grandfather who after the war went to help the refugees in Germany. Spent half a year away from all his family just to help them. … A true Christian .. He went with no money as well.
Who’s your best friend? My wife
What is you annual Car mileage? It has gone down since I had a driver for my tours .. so I never see the mileage but I estimate it is 35,000 on a tour
Do you remember your first football match? Yes, it was a Home International at Wembley … England v Northern Ireland .. May 1978 .. England won 1-0 Phil Neal scored.
Favourite TV programmes as a teenager? Match of the Day .. Blackadder …
What book are you currently reading? I am reading three at once … ‘Surprised by hope’ by Tom Wright .. Book on English history stories .. and a book on North American Indians .. It is a diary of a Victorian who lived with a tribe of them in 19th century . I just picked it up and started reading .. then got really into it.
Favourite food? Apple crumble
What is your favourite music? Soft rock …something with a tune. I have no favourite band
What do you feel most proud of in your career so far? Keeping going and lasting so long in a real competitive business
If you could witness any event of the past, present, or future, what would it be? Stoning of St. Stephen (first martye ever), his last words were forgive them as they don’t know what I am doing.
What is a skill you’d like to learn and why? Speak another language .. German .. it turns out some of my ancestors were German .. maybe some genetic that helps me learn better
What do you want your tombstone to say?
To be continued …..
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.