'People like me will always complain': Nish Kumar on being a political comedian

Virgin Radio

30 May 2023, 13:20

Nish Kumar and Graham Norton

Credit: Virgin Radio UK

Nish Kumar joined the Graham Norton Show with Waitrose to talk about being a political comedian and his new podcast with Coco Khan, Pod Save the UK.

Throughout his career, Nish has focused his stand up on current affairs and politics and has even been the host of two satirical series, The Mash Report for BBC Two and Hold the Front Page for Sky.

Now, he’s back with a new weekly political podcast, Pod Save the UK, which he co-hosts with journalist Coco Khan.

Speaking about why he decided to get involved in the project, Nish explained: “I think when I was growing up there was always a sense that people were very disengaged with politics. For better or worse, the last decade has forced a kind of engagement and people are definitely interested in politics and hearing about various perspectives on politics.”

He continued: “I think the news is like your food consumption- it should be taken as part of a balanced diet. So, it’s really important there are organisations like Reuters and the much maligned and much criticised British Broadcasting Corporation, which in spite of a lot of things that are written about it, makes a huge effort around impartiality.

“I think it is important that you have those that are devoted to impartial news reporting, but then I also think it’s nice to get more of a point of view with a perspective-driven podcast.”

Nish has been doing stand-up for about 15 years, after starting at university and, interestingly, his career as a political comedian has only ever been under a Conservative government.

When asked if he ever dreads the day there’s a Labour government to take the mick out of, Nish admitted: “I think, to be honest with you, I’ve always done political comedy under a conservative government, but I grew up largely under a Labour government. When I was 11 years old, Blair won the election so I was used to watching political comedy under a labour government.”

He added: “People like me will always find a reason to complain.”

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