James Ross headshot

James Ross

Leftfield stand-up James Ross joins us on Friday 18th March as one of our very special guests in Off the Cuff & Friends, and we can’t wait! We’ll even be dropping him right in the deep end and getting him involved in our improv set. Find out a bit more about the contrary, moustachioed man himself in this little Q&A (questions provided by Cuffer Lizzy)

When and how did you become a stand-up comedian?

I started off doing improv at uni, then kept going with it when I moved to London, setting up my own group, Fat Kitten Improv, along the way. I also did a Victorian-themed improv comedy double act, Jingo & Butterfield’s Tales of the Empire, and as a spin-off from that did some solo scripted work with the same character, then gradually transitioned into doing solo non-character stand-up.

What in society inspires your socialist and “Leftside” feelings?

The Iraq war, I think, galvanised a lot of people of my generation. Just the rank stupidity and injustice of it. After that it’s a lot easier to see the faultlines of exploitation in the rest of society – the people running things don’t really know what they’re doing, they’re as clueless as anyone else.

What aspirations have you got for your comedy career?

About two years ago I realised I never want to do comedy full time. I had this realisation five and half hours in to a seven hour round trip to do ten minutes to fifty people for about thirty quid, minus my share of petrol money. The hours are long and anti-social, the industry has a lot of deeply terrible people in it, and you’ll always be torn between doing the things you find funny and the things a pissed up Saturday night club crowd are going to find funny. If you want to destroy your love for a thing, make sure your financial survival depends on you doing it joylessly even when you don’t want to. I want to be able to do the material I think is important, be able to pick and choose my gigs, and get invited to do the really fun and interesting ones. That’ll do it.

What writers/comedians/actors inspire you?

Stewart Lee. He is the comedian’s comedian for a reason.

Please describe the average day in the life of James Ross

The people who write the FT’s How To Spend It supplement summarise my life so much better than I ever could.

Off the Cuff & Friends is on Friday 18th March, 8pm, at Otherplace at The Basement.