Daniel Baker contributed to this report.
The line-up of Lincoln’s Comedy Festival is “good quality” this year, according to comedian Chris Turner.
He’ll be performing a double-show as part of the festival at the Engine Shed on October 7th, including an hour-long performance.
He’s previously performed at the Drill Hall, and says: “I enjoy the crowds there. Lincoln shows are generally always well put together and well attended too.”
He says he got into comedy after joining an improv troupe while studying archaeology and anthropology at university.
“I enjoyed getting the laughs on stage. I did a stand-up gig, enjoyed it and stuck with it.
“About a year and a half into doing comedy, after my third paid gig, I thought ‘I can make money by making people laugh.’”
“Two years in [at university], I had the intention of being a comedian”
He was still at uni when he reached the final of the BBC New Comedy Award, an experience which he says gave him “validation”.
He didn’t win, but feels it benefited him in a big way: “The main thing I got out of it was the little video clip they did of the heat which they put on YouTube. It raised my profile”.
He added that the heat, judged partly by Rhod Gilbert, was his personal highlight of the competition. “The gig itself was tremendous,” he recalled.
Despite his success two years ago, he admits he found it difficult to manage the competition alongside his degree.
“I didn’t juggle it very well,” he says, “I slightly abandoned my degree to work harder on comedy. It was a careful balancing act.
“The semi-final [of the 2011 Comedy Award] was on the evening of my last exam,” he continued, explaining how he went straight from the exam to the show.
Turner combines making jokes with freestyle rapping in his shows. His love for hip-hop and listening to Eminem inspired him: “I’ve been into hip-hop since I was 12. I didn’t realise rap was written. I started making up my own raps, I thought it was made up on the spot,” he says.
While his early stand-up evolved around jokes, the Oxford graduate learnt how to rap at university and was told to try it in his own routines.
“Last time I was in Lincoln, there were a couple of girls enthusiastic about rap who were shouting out words,” he continued, adding that he would be including rap in his hour-long show.
Turner revealed he will be unveiling two more raps which he recorded onto tapes when he was 16, but explained: “You don’t have to enjoy hip-hop [to enjoy rap in the shows]”
He says the Lincoln audience will hear a couple of brand new stories he’s never before told and he’s feeling pretty optimistic about the gig: “Hopefully my show will be good,” he continued.
Chris Turner will be performing his show ‘Pretty Fly’ as part of the Lincoln Comedy Festival 2013 and tickets cost between £3 and £5.