INTERVIEW: Paddy McGuinness on heading to Sunderland and why he’d never get a date on Take Me Out

Paddy McGuinness
Paddy McGuinness
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Paddy McGuinness is returning to his stand-up roots. Katy Wheeler speaks to him about bringing the daddy of all shows to Sunderland.

He won’t be taking you to the isle of Fernando’s, but Paddy McGuinness is promising to give Sunderland a date to remember.

Sunderland's Elisha Nicholson on Take Me Out

Sunderland's Elisha Nicholson on Take Me Out

For the first time in four years, he’s limbering up to tour the country in his own stand-up show, which will be hitting Sunderland Empire in January.

Titled Daddy McGuinness, the 50-date tour will see the host of ITV’s Take Me Out tickle audiences with his tales of parenthood.

“The tour’s called Daddy McGuinness and I’ve never toured as a parent before,” said Paddy, who is dad to 18-month-old twins Leo and Penelope. “Usually when you’re coming up with new material, things come to you and you leave a memo, and write stuff down, and then come back to it.

“But you never stop when you’re a parent. It’s not just about that, but that’s the main spine of the show. It’s not funny, it’s stressful being a parent, but I’ve turned that into comedy.

It would never work the other way round, with a panel of guys and one girl, they’d all just leave their light on thinking ‘she’s breathing, I’ll go on a date with her

Paddy McGuinness on Take Me Out

“Everyone says it’s the best thing in the world being a parent, but they’re only saying that to get you in the club, then once you’re in it, that’s it. There’s no getting out of it.”

Paddy has made his name on TV, appearing in Phoenix Nights and Max and Paddy’s Road to Nowhere, before striking Saturday night telly gold with dating show Take Me Out.

But he says touring gives him the chance to take his comedy further.

“When you’re touring you can say things that you can’t say on telly. It’s not just the kids I talk about, I talk about things to do with my TV work.”

He added: “With regards to Sunderland, over the years I’ve played different venues, but I always make sure I play at least one in Newcastle, Sunderland or Middlesbrough. I’ve not played Sunderland in a long time, but they’re a fantastic audience. They’re like audiences in Glasgow, they’ve worked hard all week and they want to come out and have a laugh. They won’t just sit there stroking their chin, thinking ‘that’s clever, but I’m not going to laugh.’

“When I saw the tour list, Sunderland was one of the venues I was most looking forward to. It’s great that it’s a theatre, you can really see the whites of their eyes, unlike in an arena.”

Paddy recently hit the stage in Manchester for Phoenix Nights Live, which saw the cast of the hit Channel 4 show reunited for the first time in 15 years.

Paddy, who played bouncer Paddy O’Shea, said: “We did 15/16 nights at Manchester Arena. They were all sold out and you walk out there in front of 15,000 / 16,000 people, you look around and there are people dressed like your character. The fact that it hasn’t been on telly for so long but that people remember it so fondly is flattering and overwhelming.”

Today, Paddy is most known for Take Me Out, the ITV show which sees 30 women trying to impress one man in the hopes of being whisked off to the fictional island of Fernando’s.

Since the show first aired in 2010, it’s proved a hit with viewers with Paddy’s one-liners becoming catchphrases.

“When I wrote the pilot, I was writing things like ‘let the sausage see the roll’ and ‘no likey, no lighty’ and I didn’t think they would become catchphrases,” he explained. “I was just wanting to give it a fun language, as well as format points for me, which is telly stuff.

“It was for a Channel 4 show, but it didn’t get commissioned so I never thought anything more about it, then a year later I was contacted to say that ITV wanted to do it.”

More that 70 episodes later, how does he keep coming up with lines?

“I write with a fella called Les Keen and we’ll be sitting in the dressing room and I’ll say ‘let the nut see the bolt’, then Les gets his laptop out and says ‘no, Paddy, you did that in series 2’.” he explained.

“So now we do themes. Last series we did boybands, like let the Take see the That, and we’ve done takeaways, like let the chicken see the jalfrezi.”

This series saw beauty therapist Elisha Nicholson, 21, from Red House appear for the entire run.

“Elisha was a firecracker, I’m rather selfish when we have girls like that who are good fun and the public catch on to. When they get a date I think ‘we’ve lost a gem there’ because they were a good laugh to talk to.”

But Paddy says he doesn’t think he’d do very well as the single man out to get a date.

“I’d be rubbish, I have no party pieces, I’d just walk out and go ‘you alright, I’m from Bolton.’

He added: “Nothing surprises me with Take Me Out, I’ve seen everything. Although the reasons girls turn their lights off is always interesting. One girl said she did it because the guy had a slightly unusual bend in his knee, I guess girls notice more details than guys.

“It would never work the other way round, with a panel of guys and one girl, they’d all just leave their light on thinking ‘she’s breathing, I’ll go on a date with her.”

•Daddy McGuinness is at Sunderland Empire on January 31, 2016. Tickets are available from Tel. 0844 871 3022.