Talking George Michael, female crushes and awkward moments with Tiff Stevenson
Tiff Stevenson is a force of nature at the moment, taking over Britain with her political comedy; it’s only a matter of time before she has a surge worldwide. She’s appeared in Russell Howard’s Stand Up Central (Comedy Central), The Apprentice: You’re Fired (BBC Two), Russell Howard’s Good News (BBC Two) and Mock The Week (BBC Two) to name but a few.
As an actor, Tiff’s credits include The Office (BBC Two) and a role on BBC Three’s acclaimed show People Just Do Nothing.
Her new stand-up show ‘Seven’ deals with powerful issues such as mental health, modernity, self-involvement and Donald Trump. But she continues trying to make pain palatable, proving that her comedy comes from looking at the world and it will continue to be both personal and political.
Let’s get straight to it – tell us about Seven?
Seven born from after the Bataclan attacks. I’d been there 6 weeks earlier and was thinking about what to tweet in a bar with Josh Homme from Eagles of Death Metal, and Brody Dalle , before realizing that why did we feel the need to make these things all about us? In the end there were seven tweets, representing the seven deadly sins, so ‘Greed’ would be Donald Trump and ‘Wrath’ would be the treatment of women.
Do you plan to see the sites of Birmingham while you’re here?
Birmingham is a fantastic city, I especially love the independent cinema there The Electric but I’ll probably be stuck in the Grand Central train station. Luckily for me, now it’s a Shopping Centre and has a Yo Sushi so I think I’ll be okay
What’s been the highlight of your tour so far?
I had a brilliant show in Plymouth, the crowd was amazing. The Leeds show was also great, two women from Ireland turned up, I couldn’t believe they’d travelled so far to see me. Fans usually come and say, I’ve seen you on Mock the Week or a saw your stand-up a couple of years ago, which is always nice.
What are your plans after the tour?
After the tour I’ll be working on the new series of ‘People Just Do Nothing.’ That should be released in April. I’ve been working on a pilot episode in America although I’m not sure now much I can say about that and I’ve also been working on a project called White Gold that should be with you soon.
It must have been hard to become such a successful comedian in an industry that seems, at times, like a boys club, but we’ve seen you go toe to toe with some of the best, what’s your secret? By not seeing myself how they see me. At the beginning I just ignored it, but it’s become a lot better now.
Which do you prefer: acting/ tv comedy or stand-up and why?
I love them all. With acting there’s the fact you get to work with great people, some really great comedians too. The problem I had before is that I was spending an awful lot of time waiting to get acting work, but with stand-up you can go out and do it, it’s very productive. So I love them all but which one do I care LESS about? Acting.
Top-five celebrity woman crushes?
Maya Angelou, I suggest everyone checks her out, Stevie Nicks, Meryl Streep, I loved her Golden Globes speech about Trump, Leslie Jones from Ghostbusters, she’s amazing and Wanda Sykes, who’s currently in Black-ish
Who would you most like to collaborate with and why?
Well I’m currently collaborating on a project with Rich Hall, but there are some brilliant women comedians in America at the moment. I’d love to work with an American comic. I’d also love to work with Jim Carrey.
We’re obsessed with your cat bumble, does he travel with you or is he at home?
Bumble doesn’t travel but he’s very territorial and sometimes he’ll leave the house if he hears my voice from down the street after I’ve been away.
What’s the most played song in your collection at the moment?
I’ve just added a fair bit of George Michael to my playlist, as depressing at that answer is, I can remember when I was a kid and the final tour of Wham was happening. I had their cassette tapes and I went to a show and was really into them.
And finally, do you have any stories for us about your most awkward moments or funny stories about performances gone awry?
I once head-butted an audience member, during the Wuthering Heights segment of my show, I flicked my hair at a guy in the audience I’d been flirting with, and we head-butted, and I accidentally gave him a concussion.
Tiff’s show ‘Seven’ comes to Birmingham’s Midlands Arts Centre (mac) on Thursday 26th of January. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit macbirmingham.co.uk/event/tiff-stevenson