Russell Kane: 'I use nasty remarks on Twitter as heckle-putdown practice'


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The Independent Online

I took up comedy as a dare Six years ago, I was a dilettante knocking out advertising copy, and one of the guys in the agency said, "You're funny, why don't you try stand-up?" I'd never thought about stand-up before, it played no part in my life, but I found a comedy club round the corner, phoned and went and did a spot two weeks later. Little did I know that inside this self-doubting shell, there's this little narcissistic monster.

I don't believe there is any psychotherapeutic benefit in doing a gig because it's not a proper cognitive process. When you're doing an act, it's a bit glib to think, "I'm fixing myself." It's more of a literal catharsis for me, just getting the creative energy out.

I use nasty remarks on Twitter as heckle-putdown practice I'll tend to say something back, maybe start a fight on purpose for a bit of training, then just block them at the end.

I'm sure I've upset people but my aim when talking to the I'm a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here contestants [on its ITV2 spin-off] after they're evicted is to be mockingly playful rather than spiteful. A lot of comedians wouldn't take that sort of job, as they'd feel it declaws them, but it's my sense of humour, picking apart the fake displays or the camp's class systems.

I'll never be more than a parody of real dancers But I got fit [from dancing Beyoncé's "Crazy in Love" routine in last year's Just Dance for Comic Relief]. No one looked twice at me in school, so now no one is going to stop me getting my kit off once just to see what it's like. [Kane posed nude for Cosmopolitan.]

We're all under this illusion that we've grown up when we haven't. There's no doubt in my mind that I'll get to 40 and think: you absolute child.

I have a tendency to be too complex in the way I express myself and I don't want to sound like those comedians who've swallowed a dictionary. So I use Hemingway, Murakami and Ishiguro to get shots of simple, powerful language with depth of thought. And now and then I fall off the wagon and read a couple of Trollopes.

Russell Kane, 31, is on a nationwide tour with his new show Manscaping (for dates, see The DVD of his Edinburgh award-winning Smokescreens & Castles show is out on 7 November. 'I'm a Celebrity' returns to ITV next month