Viewers of topical TV show Mock The Week will be familiar with the name Tiff Stevenson. A familiar face on the show Tiff is currently touring around the UK with her latest live show “Bombshell”. She brings the show to Leeds City Varieties in a couple of weeks so we had a quick chat to Tiff to find out about the show and more importantly what name she would give to the Royal baby.
1. Hi Tiff, thanks for your time, how’s the tour going?
It’s going really well. It’s called Bombshell and it’s a political show – there is stuff in there about Grenfall, Syria, the current Government. The reaction from the crowd has been really good and I have had some really nice messages from people who’ve been to the show. The thing about a show that is political is that things are always changing so I’m always trying to add current stuff into the show as they happen.
2. Given how quickly politics changes, how do you keep your show current?
What I like to do is read the papers in a morning to see what is happening and then work things into the show. It keeps you on your toes. In fact, I did a routine once about something and someone came upto me after the show and said they didn’t agree with me. It had only come out in the news that day so I was still ironing out the routine.
What you’ve also got to remember is that not everybody is up to date with what is happening or interested in politics. Some people aren’t aware of a story like the one that is happening about Denis Rodman being a go-between for Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un. Some people want to come to show just for a laugh so you have to get the balance right which, again, keeps you on your toes.
3. How do you pass the time when you’re not on stage?
Well, I harrass my cat. Although the vet has just told me he is overweight. Imagine that, my cat has been fat-shamed. I started doing online yoga videos when I was in the States, it’s really transformational. I also like reading and my plan is to try and do more of that. I have Bruce Dickinson’s book here and also Bruce Springsteen. I like information packed books but I also like Dickens books and other Victorian novels although I do tend to pick up a book and not finish it. I have one here I started last Christmas!”
4. What was it that made you want to take up stand up comedy?
Well, it was seeing people like Joan Rivers who could be really funny without the act being character-based.
5. Who would you say was your biggest inspiration?
Joan Rivers was the first woman I saw who could be really funny. She was a massive inspiration. I also love Victoria Wood and Lily Savage, Paul O’ Grady’s character.
6. When you started out did promoters / other comics treat you differently because you are female?
Yeah, I’d say it’s improved but not enough. When I started Old Rope people like Jason Rouse were really supportive of what I did but there were gigs where you’d turn up and you’d get less time than a magician. There are still very few female comedians out there who have been successful – the likes of Sara Pascoe, Zoe Lyons, Roisin Conaty. It’s very frustrating but you’ve just got to keep fighting.
7. What about heckling? Or has that died out now with people braver to sit behind Twitter?
Ha, yeah, it still happens but people are a lot braver when they’re sat at their keyboard behind a computer screen. I think what happens is that the bigger you get and you’re on TV then you get a lot, and I don’t mean this in a bad way, but fairweather fans so when you go out on doing bigger shows, people have paid their money to see you. Obviously there are people who go to see someone like Frankie Boyle just to give him shit but, like i said, when you’re touring your own show, people are generally there to see you.
8. Okay, curveball question now, if you could put together your ideal partner what qualities would they have?
Well, I’d have to say, hmm, they’d have to be like my partner. He’s tall, Scottish, smart, creative and, most importantly, he doesn’t try to steal my spotlight so I’d say he’s my perfect partner.
9. And, as we chat, the new Royal baby has been born and people all over are trying to guess his name. What are your thoughts on this?
“Well, I heard a story that people were putting a lot of money on Kevin as it had really good odds then a guy from somewhere like Chorley went in and placed a massive bet. Obviously he looked like he had some information on the subject so bookies started cutting the odds. So, personally, I’m going to say my choice would be Prince Kevin.
10. Well Tiff, thanks for your time, what are your plans for the rest of the year?
I’ve got a few festivals like Cornbury and Stone Free which I’m looking forward to doing because festivals are always fun even though it is work. I’m not even really sure who is playing except that Buckcherry are playing at Stone Free. Other than that I’m writing some scripts and hopefully I’ll be going back to Australia later in the year.”
Tiff plays City Varieties in Leeds on May 12, to get more information on her upcoming tour dates check out Tiff’s Official Website.i