Bernie Keith - On The Mic

Bernie Keith: Life Without Sat Nav is a sand-up show about how life isn’t how Bernie thought it would be at 54. We wanted to know more…

Hi Bernie, tell me about your Edinburgh show.

I’ve been doing radio for 30 years and started doing stand-up 2 years ago, which made me think about how I never thought I would have the courage to do it. And that lead to thinking how my whole life is very different from how I’d imagined it: single at 54, gay, not really fitting in, not understanding a world of skinny jeans, gurus in phone stores and swiping to the right to get a date.

What does Edinburgh mean to you?

The Festival: dreams, freedom, re-invention. The city: adventure, history, re-invention

Who inspires you and why?

Frankie Howerd, Billy Connolly and Larry Dean all set the bar unbelievably high in comedy. And my friend Rev Richard Coles who’s the cleverest, wisest man I know and has walked a not entirely dissimilar path.

Describe your best or worst experience on stage

Sitching on the Christmas lights in the rain with Pudsey the Children in Need bear sliding off the wet stage into the crowd as his head flew off, a deaf Brian Blessed screaming in my ear that he couldn’t remember where he was and a drunk Mayor of Northampton asking if there was a free bar. All with “I Wish It Could Be Christmas Everyday” playing in the background.

Describe your best or worst review:

one reviewer said “I’ve had more fun jumping on a plug.” I took this to be a negative reaction.

If you weren’t a performer, what would you be?

I once rang a farm and was confused for the artificial inseminator. She said I had ‘the right manner’, so why not?!

What was the last book you read:

Captain Fantastic, Elton John’s Stellar Trip Through The ‘70s by Tom Doyle

How annoyed are you that Broadway Baby has stolen the name of your New York musical based on your life as Richard Coles’ tap-dancing sex slave for their own website?


Imagine that the BBC have asked you to produce a primetime show. What would it be and who else would be involved?

I’d have Chris Evans, Jeremy Vine and Huw Edwards competing against Claudia Winkleman, Vanessa Feltz and Clare Balding to pull large wooden bricks from a tower without it tumbling. I’d call it The BBC’s Jenga Pay Gap.

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