STAND-UP ZOE LYONS The Stand, Glasgow, Mon 26 Nov; The Stand, Edinburgh, Tue 27 Nov

Sixteen years in and Zoe Lyons’ stand-up career has been a slow-burner. Winner of the Comedian’s Comedian Award in 2017, her acclaimed current show, Entry Level Human, notched her first Edinburgh Fringe total sell-out. ‘I’m going to sound a bit philosophical and awfully like a wanker,’ she reflects. ‘But life is a journey and my career has been enjoyable. Comedians are a competitive, self-centred bunch and we obviously like it when success comes along. But I’m happy with this gradual build. I reckon I’ve got another 20 years in the tank.’ Lyons recently competed in Celebrity MasterChef. Her potatoes in wine were ‘quite a hit, two barrel- loads’ worth’, but a ‘two soups’ homage to Victoria Wood resulted in her elimination. ‘Gregg [Wallace] actually said he couldn’t eat it, which I’ve never heard on MasterChef before.’ Her burgeoning profile has also seen her front a marketing campaign for holiday operator Tui with fellow comic Mark Watson, involving an odd-couple jolly to Jamaica. ‘It was great fun watching him on a zipline. I think he lost a knacker.’ Having experienced an itinerant upbringing, Lyons long ago settled in Brighton and has written a self-starring sitcom about the city. Meanwhile, in Entry Level Human’s memorable portrayal of a drunken fly, there’s a nod to her adolescence in Glasgow. ‘He wasn’t Scottish originally but somehow it’s just funnier than him being from the home counties.’ (Jay Richardson)

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MY COMEDY HERO ADAM ROWE The Stand, Glasgow, Wed 28 Nov

The two who made me want to do stand-up in the first place are Jason Manford and Kevin Bridges. They were the ones I most identified with. I was a young lad from a council estate in Liverpool, and they were two lads, one from Manchester, one from Glasgow, talking about being from a rough background in similar cities. What they were talking about just resonated with me and every joke seemed relatable. They were the two comics that made think I could do this as well. But then the more I’ve got into comedy and travelled with it, you meet other comedians and find out who they’re into. So the stand-up I watch has become a lot more Americanised and I’d say my comedy hero now is Bill Burr. I watch one of his specials maybe every fortnight. I can put it on as background noise if I’m doing admin and emails and stuff. The more I watch him and listen to him in interviews, the more I appreciate how much effort goes in to what he does.

It would be so easy to watch a Bill Burr special and go ‘he’s just another angry white man’ but there are so many layers to what he does. What I like is that he’ll normally say something that 90% of people will disagree with and then he’ll do five minutes of stand-up not necessarily making you agree with him, but making you see his point of view. He’s a master of that. (As told to Brian Donaldson)

1 Nov 2018–31 Jan 2019 THE LIST 89 1 Nov 2018–31 Jan 2019 THE LIST 89