It must take a lot to shock Jasper Carrott when it comes to touring, you’d think.

Having kicked off his career more than four decades ago playing rugby club crowds through to becoming the biggest TV comedian of the 1970s and 80s, he must have seen a lot.

But the brummie comedian, 69, joked that his new touring buddies have opened his eyes.

Jasper is on the road with best mate and former ELO drummer Bev Bevan’s band on the Stand Up and Rock Tour, which rolls into Dartford’s Orchard Theatre on May 21 and Bromley’s Churchill Theatre on June 7.

He told News Shopper: “It’s a bit of a shock - musos and roadies - I’ve had my eyes opened wide.

“All those stories you hear are totally true but totally under exaggerated.
“They are far worse than anyone makes them out to be.”

While it has been unusual touring with a man whose credentials also include drumming for Black Sabbath, it has been incredibly successful.

Jasper and Bev have been mates for 60-odd years but came together a couple of years ago for a few local shows in Birmingham that went so well their mix of stand-up comedy and rock music has developed into a full-blown show.

By its very nature, stand-up comedy can be solitary for the performer, especially if you’re a big enough name to sell out shows on your own. So it is no surprise Jasper is enjoying the camaraderie of touring with a band.


The evening entails Jasper opening the show with some jokes before the musicians hit the stage, then Jasper comes back for some more comedy, a few songs of his own, and the band returns.

He said: “I suppose I am enjoying it more because I don’t have the responsibility of the show.
“It gives me more time to enjoy myself.

“Also, I can hang around backstage and pull faces with everybody.”

With both of the acts enjoying their hey day twenty or thirty years ago, their audience has also aged.

Jasper, who admitted this show has reinvigorated him professionally, said: “We’re catering for an audience that is probably not catered for.

“The reaction has been unbelievable and it has caught me a bit by surprise.

“When I was doing the first few shows there was a bit of lighting spill from the stage and I could see the first few rows and I thought ‘bloody hell, who are these old gits?’ It’s me. That’s me, that is.

“Obviously I’m exaggerating a bit.

“We get fantastic standing ovations every night. The joke is we’d get 100 per cent standing ovations every night if 100 per cent of the people could stand.”

The tour has inspired Jasper to write some new material but the proliferation of stand-up comedians has made his job tougher than it used to be.

Jasper said: “The problem I’ve got now is that there are so many stand-ups, trying to find different areas to talk about is very difficult.

“I’ve got a fair bit about being old – Michael McIntyre can’t talk about being 55, so I’ve got that.”

As well as some new material, Jasper has also revisited some of his older work and given it ‘a new coat of paint’ to freshen it up.

Of course, one of the reasons Jasper finds it tough to dig out original material is because he was one of the pioneers of observational stand-up comedy and has inspired a great number of comedians whose acts are strongly reminiscent of his.

Far from feeling the heat of competition, he is proud of his legacy.

He said: “I look at Michael McIntyre and he’s very good.

“It’s what I used to do in the late seventies - obviously it’s brought up to date and I’m not saying I was better or anything.

“What gives me a lot of satisfaction is that feeling that I kicked it off – myself, Billy Connolly and Mike Harding.

“And of course I used to have the TV to myself in many respects because Billy Connolly couldn’t do much TV because of the material.

“There is a big sense of satisfaction that I have done my bit.

“When I meet comics, the respect is very humbling.”

  • Jasper Carrott and the Bev Bevan Band’s Stand Up and Rock show is at The Orchard Theatre, Dartford, on May 21 and The Churchill Theatre, Bromley, on June 7. Go to or