Lockdown Laughs Toby Hadoke. Toby has been a stand-up comedian for over 20 years, and has had the great honour of being the resident compere at the multi-award winning XS Malarkey comedy club in Manchester since 1997. We got the chance to chat to him about life in lockdown.

1. How have you been keeping occupied during lockdown ?

Oh the usual, saying “bloody hell, is it Friday again already?”, vowing to get more done tomorrow, fretting that I spend too much time of social media and checking on Twitter and Facebook if my friends feel the same…. I’ve been gigging online and so smartly dressed from the waist up only. Oh and realising just how constant housework is when people are in the house all the time. It’s non bloody stop.

2. Have you taken up any new hobbies or brushed up on any rusty skills ?

Well, in the past week or so I’ve been writing a bit. It’s only taken me three months but I seem to have got some kind of system. I’ve also put up a couple of shelves.

3. What about DIY horror stories or lockdown haircut disasters, any stories you want to tell us?

The garden has been a challenge. We’ve lovingly nurtured some things that have turned out to be weeds. I tried growing Dahlias and they started well but I nearly drowned a couple which and, having just saved them, saw them totally gobbled by slugs within a week. Haircut wise, I was beginning to look like a mad professor/startled owl so I just shaved it all off. I have experimented with facial hair though. I think I rocked the Texan-Ex-Con-Car-Mechanic-Handlebar-Moustache look.

4. What is the one food you could happily eat every day during lockdown ?

Actually, I just had poached egg on toast (with all the butter in the world). I will never tire of that simple pleasure (pimp it with more melted butter which you’ve combined with hot paprika and lemon juice and drizzle it on top and ooh, what an extra treat).

5. If you could be a fly on the wall of someone’s house during who would you pick and why ?

Oh dear. I’m not sure I’d like that (though I’m very nosey with people’s Zoom backgrounds so maybe I’m kidding myself). I find Trump depressing but a window behind the scenes would probably be fascinating. And terrifying.

6. If could go undetected in the house of one of your friends, what would you do to really annoy them during ?

Oh heck. I don’t want to annoy anyone. Some comedians like bring pesky – and upsetting the apple cart is what got them into the business. Me, I just want to be loved! I know, awful.

I suppose… I have lots of Doctor Who fan friends. They are easy to annoy, I’d just put a few of their DVDs in the wrong (ie not chronological) order. They’d be murderous within a week.

7. If you could have spent twenty-four hours locked down in your favourite store which store would it be and what would you do to pass the time ?

I love the idea that you think I might have a favourite store. Favourite store? No idea. I suppose I can do my browsing online anyway. There’s loads of fun, bespoke stuff designed for people with arcane interests on Red Bubble. So I can happily spend time looking through Sapphire and Steel T-Shirts and Quatermass face masks without having to leave the house. And I have to look not buy because the drawback with all this bespoke stuff is that it’s quite pricey.

8. One man escaped dressed as a shrub during lockdown, what would you dress as to avoid detection if that was you ?

I think you could get quite far on my street in a wheelie bin. Blue or brown though, I’m too big for the black ones now. And only in day time – there’d be a danger of being set on fire at night!

9. Lockdown with Toby Hadoke, sum it up in a few sentences ?

Late nights, late morning, pyjamas till midday at least. Good food some days, junk food on others. Far too many episodes of subtitled crime dramas. Crumbs on the sofa. Oh, and a cute dog, whose cheering presence must not be underestimated.

10. What was the one thing you missed most about normal life during lockdown ?

Having a excuse for not doing all the things I haven’t done. Because I still haven’t done them.

You can find out more of what Toby is up to at www.tobyhadoke.com




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