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Harry Hill is one of the UK’s most beloved comedians. He has brought laughter to our homes through TV shows such as ITV’s Alien Fun Capsule, TV Burp and the voice of You’ve Been Framed. Now he’s sharing his comic knowledge with the younger generation to encourage them to get into comedy.
After the success of his children’s book, Matt Millz, Harry launched a tour of ‘kidz’ with a sequel to the series, Matt Millz Stands Up. “Kids always ask me how to get into comedy, so I began the Matt Millz series to answer some of their questions. I was doing a book tour for the latest novel and found it quite limiting, so I thought I’d do a tour and a signing after the show, as I talk about how to become funny. It’s also easier to demonstrate physical comedy.”
Despite his natural talent, Harry’s career didn’t begin in comedy, but in medicine as a doctor. “I struggled with the long hours as a doctor, and I think if I’d had more encouragement as a child to take up comedy then I wouldn’t have spent five years at medical school. But becoming a comedian didn’t seem as achievable back then.”
Comedy was a big part of Harry’s childhood. “I loved comedy growing up as it connected me with the outside world, as I lived in a rural part of Kent. I would memorise jokes I’d heard on TV and repeat them to everyone at school.”
“Comedy definitely improved my confidence. I would tell everyone the jokes I’d heard, even though I think my Mum would have described me as a very shy child.”
“Comedy, and the confidence found in making someone laugh is really useful. We all have to get up and do a speech at some point in our lives, whether that’s at work, a wedding, or on stage. I know I’m biased but I think comedy is incredibly important.”
“The one thing I hope that kids took from my tour and the book is that they should have fun. I’ve always thought if you really want to do something, then you can do it. Reach for the stars.” However, Harry’s greatest piece of advice is relatively simple.
“Keep going. We all have bad gigs, not every joke will be received well, but the difference between a comedian and someone who is just “funny” is how to deal with failure. You just keep going.”
Matt Millz Stands Up! is published by Faber & Faber