Chris Ramsey: Interview
Hanging out in your basement with your mates and setting hilarious challenges, it’s what we all love doing as students right? Now Chris Ramsey has taken it to a whole new level with his new show on Comedy Central with guests such as Jimmy Carr and Joey Essex. Setting challenges such as a 5-aside football game in the aisles of the London-Newcastle train, Chris will leave you in stitches for the whole evening.
We got a chance to speak to the man himself and find out why he left uni just 8 weeks before graduation, why he’s a bad housemate and why you’d never catch him wiping his arse on curtains.
Watch the video, or read the full interview below!
Chris, your DVD came out last year and it’s all about growing up right?
Yeah, it’s not even about growing up. It’s about being dragged kicking and screaming into an adult world. You have to be really careful, ‘cause you get 30 something comedians going ‘I’m really old’ but you are aware that there are pensioners in the crowd going ‘shut up’ just ‘shut up’ you are NOT getting old. So it’s not an age thing, it is about when you class yourself as a grown up. It’s this thing that when you are younger you always hear things like ‘you will understand when you are a grown up’ or ‘I’ll tell you when you are a grown up’. It just dawned on us recently and I thought, ‘Am I a grown up’? ‘When are you supposed to be a grown up’? Like how do you know? And it’s weird, when you do show or a DVD the title can sound a bit like it’s going to be a lecture, but it’s not, it is really just me discussing parts of me life and things that have happened to us.
What did you study at University?
I studied film and media and this is honestly true, I packed in the course about eight weeks before the end. When I sat down to tell them, they were like, you are in the third year, you literally have hardly any time left, why are you quitting now? It was just that comedy lit a fire underneath me and I thought I am just going to do that now. I mean I loved being at Uni, but there was no point at Uni when I thought I am working towards something. Film and media is very broad and I didn’t know if I wanted to do in front of the camera, behind the camera… I even toyed with the idea of lecturing, you know that self-serving circle where all the students come back and teach what they have just learnt to new students who then teach. I just never had a clear idea of what I wanted to do, you know I wasn’t studying medicine or I wasn’t doing engineering or something. When I started doing comedy everything narrowed and literally after the first gig I was like THIS is my job, this is what I want to do.
Where did you live?
I didn’t even live away. It’s one of my biggest regrets, in fact it’s my one regret of my time at Uni. It was Sunderland Uni and I live in South Shields. It’s like a five minute drive up the coast road and I really used to enjoy driving to Uni in the morning – ‘cause I got up for lectures, weirdly, ‘cause I didn’t live in halls and me mam was like knocking on me door going, ‘Get up’! I did put a £200 deposit down to live in halls in me second year, but I bottled it and lost the money, it came straight out of my student loan and I was gutted. So yeah, its one of me main regrets, but at the same time I had mates at Edinburgh Uni, I had mates that went to Leeds and I used to regularly go and stay with them, so I sort of got my Uni fix then…but then I could go home and get proper meals from me Mam!
So were you like a secret housemate then?
Yeah, I stayed with people a lot. I mean retrospectively I would have been really annoyed had I been at Uni and me arsehole mate kept coming down and getting drunk and being sick in me toilet and that. So that was me and I was the guy that just showed up and I was like yeah here I am.
Were you a good or bad ‘secret’ housemate?
Yeah I am alright me. I’m quite particular on cleanliness and stuff like that, so I am careful with other people’s stuff – you won’t catch me wiping me arse on your curtains and stuff.. ‘cause I wouldn’t want anyone to do that to me!
So people would just wake up in the morning and the living room would be tidy?
Yeah right it would be really tidy, me stuff would be folded up and I’d be sat there on the couch having a cup of tea. So I was alright, I wasn’t that bad, unless I was hung over in which case I’d be lying there crying!
Is your new baby the worst person you have ever lived with?
Yes he does shit himself quite a lot and when he has a problem he is very vocal about it! I have only been a dad for two weeks, he’s fifteen days old now and it’s amazing. It’s like this feeling that you can’t get enough of this thing … But yeah, when you put it down on paper he is a terrible housemate. He shits himself, he cries, he’s sick – he’s just been sick on the sofa. Yeah, it’s not good!
Is there anything now that you do have a baby that you’ve had to stop doing?
I haven’t built as much Lego, annoyingly since he was born. I’ve got a few sets that I haven’t had chance to build. I’ve got the Simpsons Kwik- E-Mart mart that I need to build, I’ve got the sand crawler – the Star Wars sand crawler and I have got the Big Bang Theory set. It like the little room and sofa and all the characters and I need to build them, I just haven’t had the time. You sort of get 3 hours stints when he’s asleep….so you do get three hours, so I’ll get the Lego back on the go shortly. At the moment though sterilising bottles is me new thing. 3 am in our house and it’s like Breaking Bad, I’ve got a mask on and I’ve got tongs, there’s things going on – I’ve got potions bubbling, microwave bubbling..so yeah sterilising bottles is me new thing. I love it.
At what point did you say to yourself I’m old?
Not old, grown up. I have spoken to people in the crowd who are like 70 who say they are not grown up and I have spoken to 18 year olds who say I am definitely a grown up. It’s a state of mind thing. There’s not really a moment and that’s what I discuss in the show, there is a few different moments and they can be overcome by the fact that if you go in your head that, yes I have got a baby, or yes I have got an accountant or I have got a mortgage, but you know what I’m not a grown up. You are as grown up as you feel. It’s your outlook on life and even though I am talking about grown up things in the show I like to think that people will be able to tell, they will say – he’s definitely not a grown up!
Any advice for our students?
The best advice I can give for students is on the first day you will lower your friend making standards drastically, right. You will borrow a pen off someone on the first day and that prick will follow you round for three years right – so careful who you hitch your wagon to on the first day..play it cool.. maybe a bit aloof until you find what’s going on…don’t spot someone who went to your school or your town and latch to them, ‘cause that’s not what you are there for. You are there to meet new people and stuff like that. Do your washing up, right ‘cause its irritating as anything. Dominoes vouchers – 2for1 – you can’t say no to that and er condoms! There’s nothing worse than having a stingy wee!
Chris Ramsey’s debut DVD: Chris Ramsey Live: All Growed Up is available to buy now. www.chrisramsey.com