Paul Chowdhry on touring: ‘Rock stars used to do drugs - I get a massive packet of crisps’

Comedian Paul Chowdhry speaks to NationalWorld before he kicks off the extension of his tour - and revealed how he survives life on the road

How do comedians unwind away from the stage? Some stand-ups have been known to play golf (John Robins), for others it might be painting (Vic Reeves) or perhaps it’s the viral puzzle Wordle, judging by several comedians on Twitter recently (looking at you Mark Watson).

Paul Chowdhry unwinds with the help of fried potato chips.

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“I get a massive packet of family sized crisps,” he says.

Despite admitting it’s “not very healthy”, it’s how he chooses to spend his free time after a night of comedy, before refocusing on his next show.

The comedian is talking to NationalWorld ahead of his upcoming extended tour called ‘Family Friendly Comedian’, following a sold-out run last year. It’s set to kick off on Wednesday (2 March).

Paul Chowdhry. Image: Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

And what about the highlight of being on tour as a comedian?

“The best thing about going on tour is the live audiences,” Paul says. “There’s nothing like live performing and being in the moment.

“You can’t recreate this on TV or with an edit, there’s no edit button, there’s no cameras, it’s just live, whatever happens in that room stays in that room - until I go home and tweet it obviously.”

Paul has been touring since the late 1990s, and has appeared on hit TV shows such as Taskmaster, so you’d expect he wouldn’t get nervous.

But even he isn’t completely immune from those butterflies.

“I get nervous just before going on stage,” he admits. “But if I was nervous throughout the tour I think there wouldn’t really be a show. So I kind of do get a little bit nervous before walking on rather than around the tour.”

Back to the crisps method of post-show relaxation:  “After a show I normally get in the car and drive to another venue or back home and buy a packet of crisps, which is not very healthy but a massive packet of crisps.

“Back in the day rock stars used to do drugs and drink - I get a massive packet of family sized crisps.”

Heckling is part and parcel of being a comedian, and Paul heeds the advice of a certain Mancunian band when it comes to heckling: “Oasis said you gotta roll with it, so you got to just take your time, you got to say what you say, don’t let anything get in your way.”

Life on the road as a comedian isn’t without its challenges either.

Travel is the tough bit,” Paul says. “The stages are great but the travelling is the tough part. You’re always on the road so you kind of get motion sickness and when you’re back home you still think you’re driving.”

“I’m used to it,” he continues. “I’ve been doing this since mid ‘98 and this is my fourth major tour, or if you throw the mini-tours in there I’ve been touring up and down the country for years and years. I was on the circuit for years so you get used to it after a while. That’s the life we chose.”

Paul Chowdhry plays the following UK dates:

  • March 2 - Liverpool Philmarhonic Hall, Liverpool
  • March 3 - Nottingham Playhouse, Nottingham
  • March 4 - Anvil, Basingstoke
  • March 5 - Dorking Halls, Dorking
  • March 6 - Richmond Theatre, London
  • March 11 - Halifax Victoria Theatre, Halifax
  • March 12 - The Beck Theatre, Hayes
  • March 18 - Hexagon Reading, Reading
  • March 19 - Princess Hall, Aldershot
  • March 20 - The Queen’s Theatre, Barnstaple
  • March 23 - Storyhouse, Chester
  • March 24 - Parr Hall, Warrington
  • March 25 - Harrogate Theatre, Harrogate
  • March 27 - Symphony Hall, Birmingham
  • March 30 - Cheltenham Town Hall, Cheltenham
  • March 31 - Aylesbury Waterside Theatre, Aylesbury
  • April 2 - Loughborough Town Hall, Loughborough
  • April 7 - Grove Theatre, Dunstable
  • April 8 - New Theatre Peterborough, Peterborough
  • April 9 - The o2 Apollo, Manchester
  • April 16 - Wolverhampton Grand Theatre, Wolverhampton
  • April 17 - City Varieties Music Hall, Leeds
  • April 21 - Hull City Hall, Hull
  • April 22 - Orchard Theatre, Dartford
  • April 23 - Wycombe Swan Theatrel, Wycombe
  • April 27 - Walsall Arena, Walsall
  • April 29 - De Montfort Hall, Leicester
  • May 1 - Hackney Empire, London
  • May 5 - Princes Theatre Clacton-on-Sea, Clacton
  • May 6 - Grand Theatre Swansea, Swansea
  • May 8 - Dudley Town Hall, Dudley
  • May 13 - St George’s Hall, Bradford
  • May 14 - King George’s Hall, Blackburn
  • May 18 - Warwick Arts Centre, Coventry
  • May 19 - Royal & Derngate, Northampton
  • May 21 - Engine Shed, Lincoln
  • May 27 - G Live Guildford, Guilford
  • May 28 - Corn Exchange Bedford, Bedford

You can find tickets to all of these shows Paul is playing on ticketing site Viagogo.

Paul has also launched his own podcast titled The Paul Chowdhry PudCast, where he chats to a number of famous fellow comedians including Russell Howard, Simon Brodkin, Lucy Beaumont and more.

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