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This Is Your Life: A Conversation with the Legendary Bobby Davro

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Comedian, impressionist, actor and reality star Bobby Davro has announced a 20-date UK for 2016 starting on May 17 at Epsom Playhouse and culminating on June 26 at Chesterfield’s The Winding Wheel.

He has been on a few reality TV shows most recently this year he was on Celebrity Big Brother where he was shown to be both hilarious and extremely tolerant though willing to speak his mind, eventually he made the final and came fourth!  Other reality shows he has taken part in include ‘Dancing On Ice’, ‘Come Dine With Me’ & ‘The Games’.

Bobby made his TV debut in 1981, but his major breakthrough came with an appearance in ‘Live At Her Majesty’s’ in 1983, followed by ‘Copy Cat’s’ that led to his own Saturday night series for ITV ‘Bobby Davro On The Box’, ‘Bobby’s Sketch Pad’ and ‘TV Weekly’ BOBBY that immediately topped the ratings for six consecutive years.

In 1991 Bobby moved to the BBC and made three series, ‘Public Enemy Number One’, ‘Rock With Laughter’ and ‘Run The Risk’ and in1997 Bobby hosted for Yorkshire Television’s ‘Winner Takes It All’ for 65 programmes. He has performed on hundreds of other entertainment shows over the years that include in 2013 ITV’s ‘Your Face Sounds Familiar for his chosen charity ‘Kids ‘n’ Cancer’.

1) He appeared on the No 1 Hit by the Proclaimers ‘500 Miles’ for Comic Relief with Peter Kay.

2) In 2007 and 2008 Bobby played loveable rogue ‘Vinnie Monks’ EastEnders.

3) He has appeared in many Pantomimes over the years alongside varying people that have included Melinda Messenger, Denise Welch, Lee Mead & Nigel Havers.

4) Davro’s father, Bill Nankeville, was a runner; a British national mile and 1500m champion, world record holder, and represented Great Britain in two Olympic Games.

5) Bobby lives in Surrey with his three daughters Brittany, Tierney and Marnie and in his rare moments away from the world of show business likes nothing better than a game of golf, a spot of fishing, or a glass of Chardonnay in front of the telly.

In this interview, The Fan Carpet‘s Marc Jason Ali had the honour of talking to Comedy legend Bobby Davro who is currently touring the UK, he tells us about his early life, his impressions and his This Is Your Life inspired sequence…




You’re about to embark on your new tour, how excited are you to get back to your roots as it where?

I’ve never given up my roots (laughs) I do it all the time, it’s just that I haven’t toured and touring is difficult for me because I’m not on television anymore doing what doing what I’ve done for 35 years and you see me staying indoors and making cakes and digging gardens, baking and cooking and going up in the attic, it’s one of those things that is frustrating for a comedian of my generation because I’ve always worked as a stand up comic, I’ve always worked as an entertainer, and never stopped working I’ve been very very fortunate that I continually work, it’s just television side of things has dried up a bit in that area and that’s why it’s difficult to sell tickets on a tour.


We obviously remember your appearances on television; do you have any memorable moments from your time on screen?

Yeah, I loved Live at Her Majesty’s, that started back in 1985 I think it was something like that, and that was a big turning point for me and I went on to do my own television series Copycats that was a big show and then we did On the Box and TV Weekly and Bobby Davro Show, all sorts and that period of my life was fantastic, very creative and then we moved into other areas and then later they let new people in, which is the way it should be, and then I crop  up again few years later in shows like EastEnders, I loved doing EastEnders  and things like Big Brother like we did last year, so I tend to get offered more reality shows, but I would like to be a performer, I’m still very valid, (do all the old impressions and then do the modern ones ?), all the Keith Lemons, the Paddy McGunniess’s, Alan Carrs, Michael McIntyre’s, all the modern stuff, it frustrates me a bit that they can’t put me on TV anymore, but that’s Life.


Yeah. Speaking of your comedy stylings, how do you feel it fits in with the modern age?

Very very valid point. Most comedians now are conversational, but not a lot of material like you know how you go down the supermarket and your trolley wheels aren’t working, it tends to be observational. Whereas mine tends to be more one line joke types, although not ‘did you hear the one about’ type, it’s one line jokes, I talk about things with a sort of proper beginning, middle and end, and jokes you know what I mean. So it’s much easier to understand and get me. It’s like a nice cup of tea. The old people love what we do, they love coming along and seeing someone that’s seen as an icon now, a comedy legend. They’re surprised when they see my show and they love jokes, funny is funny and I do a lot of audience participation so that really works.


Excellent. Speaking of jokes, is there a joke that you love that you wish you had written?

Yeah loads of jokes that I love, what ones to do, there was a simple one like: I watched Doctor Who through Dalek bread, I mean it’s a joke, comedy isn’t about being offensive, it’s about being slightly edgy, slightly dangerous and I am slightly dangerous like this show I’m doing on tour, it’s for over 16s, it’s not fit for young families or for kids, or for young kids. If you want true belly laughs coming out, have a laugh with me, I reckon I’ve dragged people across the stage, get them up singing, dancing, all sorts and then there’s all the one line gags that I use, and of course questions and stuff and singing and stuff and in this tour we’ve taken out video and AV stuff so it’s a whole package. I love it!


Brilliant, sounds like fun. You’re known as an impressionist, do you have any new impressions for the tour or are there any favourites that you’re bringing back?

Yeah I do a whole routine called Still Alive at the Apollo with Michael McIntyre, where I did Michael McIntyre, John Bishop, Sarah Millican, Jo Brand, Alan Carr and Jimmy Carr, Billy Connolly, I do modern impressions like Brian Cox, Dr Brian Cox.


Are you bringing any of your favourite’s back that you did before?

Yeah I still do the Sinatra’s for the older people you know Frank Sinatra, I do Elton John and I do Stevie Wonder, people like that, it’s all vocal impressions, a lot of joke impressions of old.

I do a nice bit at the end of the show which is called ‘This Is Your Life’, it’s like This is Your Life in the 1980s TV Show and I get the book and I show them pictures and it’s the story of my life really, and I sing Wonderful World.




Brilliant. Are there any comedy shows that you watch presently?

I like the Michael McIntyre one, the new one and I like Live at the Apollo, I don’t watch a lot of the big panel show, but 8 out of 10 Cats I quite like.


Would you ever want to be on those?

Yeah I’d love to be on them, I was on Buzzcocks and I was on Celebrity Juice been on that one, I like being on those shows.


They say that lots of comics are quite serious or have a darker side in real life, do you?

No not really, I have me down days but I’m pretty up most of the time. Pretty buzzy.


Is there anything you wouldn’t go near as far as material, where comedy is concerned?

Anything that’s sick, I don’t like sick humour, everyone tells it like it is like ‘oh did you hear the one about the terribly disaster on Monday night’, you get texts through telling jokes about it’, I don’t do that, I try not to be purposefully offensive, but it’s not actually me that’s being offensive, you choose to be offended, that’s the way it is, you can find offence in everything; make a joke about being fat or being thin etc., so I stay away, I’ve been accused of all those things that every comedian that performs gets accused of every once in a while, it’s not my intention to go and offend, you choose to be offended, that’s the way it works for me.


As a child where you known as the class clown?

Yes, teacher’s pet, keep me in a cage at the bottom of the classroom.

Right ok (laughs) brilliant. Obviously you mentioned that you do a whole This is Your Life sequence as part of your tour, does that cover your early life as well as everything else?

Yeah it covers my whole life, my family and my girlfriend and the people I’ve met, I’ve met so many famous people, so it’s nice, piece to finish the show.


Nice. Finally, do you see a return for yourself on TV?

Well as I said before, I’m always going to be about here and there, as long as I’ve got enthusiasm for it I’ll keep going till the day I don’t want to do it anymore, and I’ll stop but I’m still very keen to perform.

I’m performing, I have a good reputation to perform so I’m very lucky, I just need to get people to know what I’m doing again, that’s not easy, if they give you the chance to perform on TV.


Are you active on social media?

A bit now, I do Twitter but I don’t do Facebook.




Bobby Davro Tours TONIGHT in EASTLEIGH at the Concorde Club call the BOX OFFICE on 02380 613989 and on SUN 19th in KETTERING at the Lighthouse Theatre call the BOX OFFICE on 01536 414141 and SUNDAY 26th in Chesterfield at the Winding Wheel


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