Tom Allen: Touring with Sarah Millican, Live at the Apollo and being upstaged by a pigeon…
Over the last year, Tom Allen’s comedy career has gone from strength to strength. The sharply dressed, well-spoken, disparagingly camp son of working class Bromley has recently supported Sarah Millican on tour alongside his numerous television and radio appearances. Becoming a familiar face on TV, Tom has recently starred on 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown, Live at the Apollo, and The Great British Bake Off’s Extra Slice, and is now embarking on his debut solo comedy tour with a nearly-sold-out stop at the Neeld on Saturday 7th October.
We asked him a few questions about his favourite comedy moments, TV highlights and his “tour bus”…
We have heard that you have supported Sarah Millican on tour- what was it like?
Fabulous! I learned so much from watching Sarah. She works so hard. Every second of the show is perfected and she cares so much about the whole experience of the audience. Sarah has always been so generous to me with advice and encouragement – at the shows she would always go on first at the very top to introduce me and so I always felt very comfortable on stage. Sometimes it felt quite daunting when there were 3000 people there who weren’t there to see me but luckily Sarah’s audiences are very much like her – lovely!
We have been seeing you on TV a lot- what has been your favourite TV moment to date?
Probably doing Live at the Apollo. My family and some of my friends were there and it was such a great fun gig to do. Because the show has such a great history it felt like a real milestone, especially having been a stand up for ten years at that point, to be asked to do it. But I’ve been lucky and had lots of really fun experiences and worked with people I’ve always wanted to work with.
What’s the funniest thing that’s ever happened at one of your shows?
Well when I was supporting Sarah in Blackpool a pigeon walked onto the stage and the audience went mad for it. All it had to do was walk downstage and it got a round of applause! I’ve done a lot of different gigs in my time but I’ve never been upstaged by a pigeon!!
What do you consider a “tour bus essential” when you’re on the road?
I love that you think I have a ‘tour bus’. I’ve actually just learned to drive so I’ve been enjoying being able to drive myself. An essential has been my satnav which a lot of the time I hate because it tries to send me down one way streets. Also I really value the calm voice in my head which stops me getting stressed when people throw road rage at me for not knowing what I’m doing on a roundabout!
The last remaining tickets for Tom Allen’s show on Saturday 7th Otcober can be found here.