RUSSELL Kane is a changed man.

For his new tour, you may encounter someone with a new look, fresh perspectives and a different approach to his comedy.

“I’ve been married and had a baby. I’ve changed my hair, I’ve changed my look, I’ve thrown all my eyeliner in the bin,” he explains.

“I literally went to my wardrobe one day and got all my ridiculous clothes and took them to the Sue Ryder shop for some other man having a midlife crisis then bought the four exact same suits in different colours from Topman.

"Then I got my hair as flat as it can go and I thought, ‘that’s it: this is me now’.”

In fact, Russell can pinpoint the exact moment when he needed to alter his outlook.

It started with somebody at the door...“I’m always looking for the moment that can make me look ridiculous in a way that is compelling.

"I was in the middle of spray-tanning myself upstairs in these tiny pants when the doorbell went. I went downstairs in my dressing gown and this window cleaner was touting for work.

"He leaned in and said, ‘I’m really sorry to disturb you: is your mum or dad in at all?’ Initially you might have thought this was a compliment, but it’s really not.

"He could be talking about how I’m putting myself across so I thought: ‘clothes in the bin’.”

In the world of stand-up, acts are continually expected to evolve and grow and turn over a significant amount of material every one or two years.

For some this burden might prove too much, but for Russell Kane this is a challenge he relishes.

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Inevitably, his new fatherhood status will have to be addressed but as ever with Russell, he’ll work hard to avoid easy clichés and tired stereotypes as he tackles a subject that has been raised on many a stage by several generations of comedians.


“It’s so hack to talk about having babies that I need to find another way in,” he says.

“It’s like walking into Pret at 5pm and there’s one boiled egg left: that’s what’s left to say about childbirth.

"But when you’re coming at it from a male point of view, you need to find a way in. I’ve never heard a man talk about caesarean section, so that might be the way to go.”

If you’ve seen Russell on stage, you’ll know there is a physicality to his act which matches the blizzard of ideas and words. So, how does he wind down after a show?

“Nothing exotic, just a glass of red wine,” he reveals. “I would like to get to bed earlier, but I need a good movie or, if I’m feeling particularly tired, something like Towie or Take Me Out; something that lobotomises me.

"I’m always reading good stuff, but now and again you need a burger because you can’t live on quinoa all the time. So I need something mega mainstream to bring me down.”

As well as getting ready for his new touring show, The Fast and the Curious, Russell has been once again busy with telly commitments which in recent years has included his BBC series, Stupid Man, Smart Phone, for which he jetted off to various inhospitable parts of the world (the Arctic Circle, North Africa and Costa Rica among them) to see if he could survive purely with the aid of a constantly fully-charged mobile device with a permanent Wi-Fi connection.

This is another example of a man who constantly wants to stretch himself, both physically and intellectually, whether it’s going on to Radio 4’s Saturday Review alongside AS Byatt to discuss the new Julian Barnes novel or writing his own next literary work.

In 2012, two years after he won the Edinburgh Comedy Award, Russell published The Humorist, the tale of a tormented comedy critic who discovers the secret blueprint for humour, and he is continually working away on future literary projects.

Russell also has ambitions to tap into the online market with his stand-up.

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He says: “I’ve not really seen other stand-ups doing it. I’ve seen some using their social media and doing bits of sketches but I haven’t seen many take the risk of doing stand-up down the barrel of a camera, posting it and seeing what happens.

"I did a thing recently, which I called The Kaneing, where I looked at a celebrity news story and put it on my Facebook wall. I was worried it might seem a bit embarrassing and desperate, but it got 64,000 views overnight.”


The popularity of Russell Kane is in little doubt, but he’s keen to make the most of his time at the top of the British stand-up tree.

His sense of gratitude for the job he’s doing is palpable and he confesses that touring the country and making people laugh is something he will never tire of.

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“I love it,” he adds. “If I ever have a bad day and feel miserable, I think about the things my family have done for a living.

"The fact that I can walk into a hotel, lie on the bed, watch a sci-fi movie, go and do an hour’s work on stage is incredible.”

Russell Kane: The Fast and The Curious is at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester, next Thursday, February 14. For tickets call the box office on 01206 573948.