‘Chitty, Chitty, Cruise, Cruise’ Martin Beaumont: Interview
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Having been pushed to the back as a child actor during the filming of ‘Chitty Chitty, Bang, Bang’ as he looked to healthy for a starving child in the famous cave scene. Martin Beaumont went on to star on Saturday night TV in the eighties. When the show was cancelled Martin redefined himself as a comedian performing in all the major comedy clubs in Britain and abroad. He began to make a name for himself as an act on Comicus cruise ships and went on to headline major resorts and cruises all around the world.
What was your first job? And what was the pay packet? A milk round boy aged nine, I asked the milkman to pay me in caramel biscuits. And he did. I loved them
Why did you choose comedy as a profession? After my first marriage was breaking up and my initial successful TV career was coming to an end, I became quite ill. I was losing my flat so wrote stand up comedy routines all day and decided to go out and perform them.
Where was your first gig? Putney. A room above a pub. October 5th 1995. I invited all my friends and family and asked them to bring someone who didn’t know me, so the audience wasn’t totally partisan. The gig went well and my confidence grew from there, until my second gig at the ‘Bearcat’ in Twickenham where I was booed off.
What has been your worst or unusual gig? It was at a corporate black tie event at The Hilton Hotel, Park Lane, for the fruit & veg. industry. I got there at 7:00pm and was told I was not on till 9:30. It was a Xmas gig and there was a problem with getting the meals out, so some people had no food, just bottles of wine. The audience was smashed; 9:30 came and went,10:00pm came and went and 11:00pm came and went. At 11:30pm the organiser came to me and said ’How did it go’? Being a comic I said ‘Brilliant’. He gave me the fee and I left. To this day no one has complained or asked for the money back for the gig I never did.
What advice would you give would be comedians, just starting off? Enjoy it… simply as that. It’s the greatest journey in the world if you can stay the course.
What do you always take with you on stage? Excitement. Every time you do it is the last time your able to perform so enjoy it.
If you could do another job what would it be? There is no other job I would want to do.
What comedians do you admire? Eddie Izzard. He is prolific. A true comedian. A fantastic mind, surreal and just great.
Who do you most admire in life? Anyone who does not get paid for what they do.
Who’s your best friend? My wife. We are both lost souls
What is you annual Car mileage? I don’t travel by car. At present it must be around a million air miles and with that I am entitled to a stainless steel toaster
Do you remember your first football match? I remember being put in goal at school and letting one through my legs. I think my first professional game was at Ipswich and I remember them singing about the ‘tractor boys’. I find football chants hilarious although I don’t support a particular team.
Favourite TV programmes as a teenager? Always comedy programmes, Tommy Cooper Show, Morecambe & Wise show, the thing is I was in them as a child actor doing a few little parts. My mother was an established star in the fifties and knew these people, and having gone to Corona Academy of Arts I ended up on their shows.
What book are you currently reading? ‘Attack at Dawn’ (The battle of Narvik) by Ron Cope. It is about a navel battle in the Second World War. I am keen on reading about the Second World War – we don’t seem to learn lessons.
Favourite food? Spaghetti Bolognese
What is your favourite music? My favourite band was A.C.D.C
What do you feel most proud of in your career so far? Working in showbusiness for 49 years and meeting ridiculous people.
What is a skill you’d like to learn and why? How to be funny … I am still learning
What do you want your tombstone to say? That’s it I am going back to my dressing room
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.