“I’ll go anywhere, mate.” Simon Brodkin told the Bedford Independent this week ahead of his appearance at the Bedford Corn Exchange next Friday (27 October) as part of his ‘Screwed Up’ tour.
One of the hardest-working comedians, Simon seems to be constantly on tour and Bedford is just one of over a hundred dates in his latest tour.
Downplaying the feat, Simon jokes, “I’m for hire. Birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and funerals, they can sometimes be tricky, but you’ve just got to work your way into the crowd, and find the funny moments.”
Simon is no stranger to Bedford. He’s performed here several times already, most notably as part of Bedfringe’s sterling annual line-up, but this time he’s on his own and doing it for himself.
This show, Simon’s second as himself, is far more personal than his debut, and sees him explore his Russian ancestry, his recent ADHD diagnosis, and his relationship to fame.
He’s well known for having made headlines all over the world with his notorious stunts while simultaneously being rejected by I’m A Celebrity for not being famous enough.
“This tour is particularly special for me because it is out of character,” he tells us. ” It’s away from the stunts, out of the handcuffs and I’m in the audience’s hands, really.
“I always want to make sure I hit all the funny notes. That is the priority, you know, I’m not a long storyteller or really into bringing up big, big emotions. I just want to make people laugh.
“And that’s, for me, probably one of the hardest and biggest challenges. Forget getting around the Secret Service to try and humiliate the American president with some swastika golf balls.
“Try standing up in Bedford and opening up and being funny. That’s the big challenge.”
And Simon’s not afraid of stepping up and facing those challenges.
Having recently been diagnosed with ADHD, Simon has been careful not to jump on a celebrity trend while also discovering more about himself that is helping to shape his comedy.
“I know every celebrity jumps on things like an ADHD diagnosis. But you know what? Whatever the story and whatever the label, it felt like a moment for me, where everything sort of made sense in terms of how I saw the world, and how I behaved.
“I got pleasure from getting arrested for the pranks, and this [diagnoses] has helped me untangle this brain of mine and now I realise exactly why I am the way I am.
“That’s why the title of the show’s called screwed up because there’s sort of been a reckoning over the last year and a half and I think I understand myself now.
“But, the audience isn’t interested in that unless I’m being funny about it. So, I’m not going out there and giving a TED talk, but it has allowed me to do is have the confidence to talk about everything [happening in the world] from my point of view.”
In Screwed Up Simon rips into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin, Prince Andrew and Jesus. Nothing is off limits, including his own mental health, his family, his five arrests and how he once found himself at an underground sex party.
Earlier this year the Daily Telegraph dubbed him as “the world’s most famous blagger” after breaking records on TikTok. He’s currently the most-viewed British comedian ever on the platform, gaining over 40 million views with his most-watched video.
Across official social media channels, this same video has been hugely popular with 73 million total views to date.
@simonbrodkin 🌎 Why I don’t want to be cryogenically frozen 🎙️Come see me live (& alive) simonbrodkin.com #standup #comedian #comedy #heatwave #climatechange ♬ original sound – Simon Brodkin 🎤🚌
Star of Britain’s Greatest Hoaxer (Channel 4) Simon hit global headlines multiple times for his high-profile stunts, including handing Theresa May a P45 during her speech at the Conservative Party Conference and showering disgraced FIFA president Sepp Blatter with bank notes.
Simon is also well-known as his character Lee Nelson, who enjoyed three hugely successful BBC series and numerous sell-out tours across the UK including at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Simon’s first show as himself, 100% Simon Brodkin, which premiered at the 2019 Edinburgh Fringe, was a hit with audiences, enjoying a sell-out run, and was selected by The Evening Standard as one of the ‘Best Comedy Shows at the Edinburgh Fringe’.
The Guardian called it one of the ‘Shows We Recommend’ and it later went on an extended UK tour, with over 50 extra dates added to meet phenomenal demand for tickets.
You can get tickets for Simon Brodkin ‘Screwed Up’ at Bedford Corn Exchange on 27 October here.