SEAN HUGHES

 

Sean Hughes, recently seen as Love Rat, Pat, the two-timing lover of Eileen Grimshaw, in Coronation Street, and Mod, the hapless side kick of Peter Davison in The Last Detective, is leaving the tv drama studios. He is back on the live circuit, doing what he loves to do: ‘stand up’, and he couldn’t be happier. 

Born John Hughes into a London working class Catholic family, in 1965, the family consisting of four year old Sean, his parents and two brothers – returned to Ireland, to live in Firhouse, Dublin. He moved schools frequently which made it difficult to make real friends. A natural show-off, he confesses to being rude and backchatting the teachers but that didn’t save him from being bullied. Describing most of his childhood as ‘unbearable, he adds ‘My parents thought I was the thick one’. 
They didn’t really encourage him to have any ambition in life so early jobs included part-time in a supermarket – until one summer, working in London, a teenage Sean discovered the Comedy Store.

Sean Hughes had found himself.

That was all a long time ago. Today, he is beaming with excitement about returning to stand-up, embarking on his first nationwide tour in nearly a decade and is relishing the prospect. 

Sean can’t wait to feel the creative juices flowing through his veins again with his new show, “The Right Side of Wrong”. “I’ve been away for a while speaking other people’s words, and to my disappointment got passed over for Maria, missed out on Joseph and clearly wasn’t a contender for Britain’s Got Talent,” deadpans the 41-year-old comic. “Now I’m gagging to be on the loose again and let rip.”

Sean, the youngest ever winner of the Perrier Award at the Edinburgh Festival in 1990, is an effortlessly funny man - both on and off stage. He is one of the most distinctive and darkly explosive exponents of the art of stand-up. His no-holds-barred, quick-fire, off-the-cuff wit ensures that each performance is an exhilarating, one-off experience for the audience. 

Over the years, critics have queued up to lavish praise on him.
The Standard reported “high-calibre comedy as it should be.” The Daily Telegraph, meanwhile, dubbed Sean “one of the best stand-ups of his generation.” 
As if that wasn’t enough, he was recently voted Number 40 in Channel 4’s poll of the World’s 100 Greatest Comedians. 

He also starred in the critically-acclaimed sitcom, Sean’s Show, the film adaptation of Spike Milligan’s Puckoon, and then opposite Sienna Miller in the West End production of As You Like It, still he insists that nothing matches the buzz of live comedy. 

“Stand-up gives me an enormous thrill,” he enthuses. “I never get nervous - it feels very natural to me. I’m not playing a character on stage - I’m just being myself. It’s pointless to get people in to write your stand-up show for you - then it’s just an office job. It has to be your voice on stage.

“I love the spontaneity of performing live - when I go on stage, so many different thoughts come bursting out of me that it takes me ten minutes just to say hello. I really like the fact that on the night, anything might happen. Every single performance is totally different.”

Sean carries on by outlining what he will be covering in “The Right Side of Wrong”. Local issues will loom large. “My rider consists of a cheese sandwich and all the local papers. I get ten minutes out of that at the top of the show. It’s not Einstein, but if you look at a local paper from a sideways angle, you can get so much out of it.”

He will also be treating audiences to a string of amusing anecdotes from his recent, very well-received appearance on Coronation Street. “I did Corrie for my mum,” Sean smiles. “She’s always adored the show, so when they asked me, I immediately said, ‘yes, and I don’t care what the lines are like!’ There was a scene where Eileen was going to get pregnant, but they cut it. I’m very glad they did because every time the baby appeared, my mum would have been saying, ‘that’s my grandchild!’

This interview appeared in full in the Irish Post – Oct 27, 2007

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