Shropshire Star

Griff Rhys Jones talks ahead of Shrewsbury show

Griff Rhys Jones will tour his new stand-up show - which is titled All Over The Place - this Autumn.

Griff Rhys Jones

Ahead of the Shrewsbury show, we speak to the sketch show star, actor and TV presenter...

Tell us about your current show

The show is called “All Over The Place”. We were going to call it “Rambling Again” and I think it’s supposed to be a pun as we play a lot of places, you see. But it is also a bit what it’s like. Stories and things. It’s my third outing. One was about Mel and one about travel. But, I never stuck to the subject. So I’m taking no chances this time.

Can you give us a glimpse of some of the stories you'll be sharing?

It depends. There’s a few about shopping. And I’ve been in New Zealand recently, so that will probably feature. And the second half is largely about my personal humiliation which tends to make audiences laugh immoderately.

How does it feel to be going back out on the road?

Well I have only recently been a ‘one man show stand up’ sort of guy. I had a partner, but he died. Lee Mack told me his family didn’t want him to tour, but mine seems quite keen to get me out of the house.

How different does it feel to be in front of a live audience, having done a lot of recent work on documentary series?

It’s great. I have done twenty years of arts docs and travel stuff and I have just made 10 one-hour shows in NZ and Australia. But TV has twelve executives in a pyramid all of whom seem terrified of losing their jobs. With some justification. They all interfere with every word. This show is unmitigated and I can say what I like. So I do.

Do your audiences still hanker for your work on Not The Nine O'Clock News and Alas Smith And Jones?

I should think so. We wallow in nostalgia together.

Drawing on some of the successes for which your companies have been responsible, do you agree with the idea that we are in a golden age of television?

It’s interesting. TV is always examining its belly button. It’s in the middle of a revolution of selectivity and choice at present but not everybody will be left standing. I am very proud and humbled by the fact that the creators of the greatest current TV Series ”Succession” started in Talkback.

What sort of programmes do you enjoy now, and where do you see things going from here, particularly in TV comedy?

I like box sets and Fleabag just like everybody else. And Comedy will always surprise us. As soon as some format is written about as ‘finished’ it comes back to bite you.

Some of your more recent television work has taken on a nautical theme – will you be taking the opportunity to explore the Severn in Shropshire?

I have actually surfed the Severn bore. But I don’t think it reaches where you are. I canoed past many of you on rivers in the past and looked into your back gardens. I’ll talk about that perhaps. It was a laff.

Griff Rhys Jones: All Over The Place will be at the Theatre Severn in Shrewsbury on Thursday 17 October. For tickets go to or call 01743 281281