Russell Howard on his new travel series, live gigs and getting drunk with Sam Neill

Virgin Radio

25 May 2021, 11:44

The globe trotting comedian talked about his latest tour, getting squiffy with Sam Neill in his vineyard and fans making him feel like he was in The Beatles. Russell joined the Chris Evans Breakfast Show with Sky to talk about his epic experience across the world. 

He told Chris: “We had these shows in New Zealand and Australia that were already on sale and in order to do them we had to stay in a hotel for two weeks, so we were really lucky travelling around doing 30 shows. We hung out with Sam Neill and Tim Minchin, we did some sheep shearing, some yaoi hunting, it was so incredible.

"I felt so lucky to be able to wander around a place that was COVID free and do gigs that weren’t socially distanced. It was really, really brilliant and what we tried to do is film as many shows and have as much fun and present a really uplifting, hopefully joyous travel show that celebrates the beauty of people."

On the weirdness of socially-distanced freedom, he said: “You realise how freaked out you become by other people approaching you... I could hug people at the gigs. People were coming up to me and hugging me. It was so weird and exciting. I've never left the hotel like that. I felt like I was in The Beatles.

“And then you do these shows and the people in New Zealand and Australia realise that you've been sat in a hotel room on your own for two weeks so they're so appreciative of you. 

“I’m sure musicians and actors are the same. It's that thing where it doesn't matter. I sat in a room on my own for a fortnight just to experience what it's like to do my job again because I adore it. It’s almost like this quest to get back to your happy place."

On hanging out with Sam Neill, he said: “When you travel, I bet musicians are the same, you have these lovely little stories that you can chat about but they're not funny when you come back home, but if you can prove that you've hung out with Sam Neill on his vineyard and spent a good half an hour massaging his pig then that is funny because you can show the evidence. 

“He’s a wonderful human being, he's so lovely. We hung out with him at his vineyard, we pressed lavender, we got drunk. He's one of these people that when you hang out with him he’s like the village elder, the stories he tells… he was such great company.”  

Russell Howard Stands Up to The World starts 31st May at 9pm on Sky One.