Quiz king Paul Sinha, star of ITV’s The Chase, is looking forward to getting close up to the audience at his latest North Wales gig.
The award-winning comedian – who revels in the nickname of The Sinnerman on the hit TV game show – loves to walk around a theatre before his comedy set to meet people and get inspiration for his show.
The former doctor, who quit medicine to become a full-time stand-up comedian, says he can’t wait to get back to Theatr Colwyn and North Wales.
As a long-time regular performer at the Edinburgh Festival he has become the darling of audiences and critics alike, and it is where he performed the show that he’ll be bringing to Colwyn Bay for one night only on Friday, November 3, as part of a UK tour.
“I’ve appeared at Theatr Colwyn a couple of times over the past few years. I always enjoy coming back to that lovely Victorian building and I’m looking forward to being there again,” he said.
“Last year I brought my show Postcards from the Z List and the audience thoroughly enjoyed it.
“Before I start a show I like to walk around the audience to get a feel for what they’re like and at Theatr Colwyn you get a real buzz going around the room, which I’m able to feed from.
“The audiences in Colwyn Bay always go along for a really good night out to start the weekend. And if I were to describe what they’re like, I’d say unpretentious.”
Due to the hectic nature of his touring schedule Paul regretted the fact he hasn’t so far had much time to explore the delights of the seaside town outside the theatre.
He recalled: “When I was in Colwyn Bay with the show last year I didn’t get to take a look around until about 5am before heading off to a quiz league competition in London, so hopefully I’ll get to have a better look this time.
“But I love Wales and I love the coast and as a Londoner I don’t get to see enough of the sea.”
Paul explained that the show he’s bringing to Colwyn Bay in a couple of months’ time is called Shout Out to My Ex, which is a follow up to his last Colwyn Bay show, Postcards from the Z List, which described how he became a Z List celebrity and everything that came with it. One of the stories in the show was that after 23 years of being single he found himself a boyfriend and was enjoying middle aged happiness.
Paul adds: “However, as the title of the new show, Shout Out to My Ex, would suggest I discovered my happiness was more flimsy than I’d imagined. There’s a fair bit of darkness but it’s played relentlessly for laughs.”
Although best known to an early evening TV audience of millions as one of the five Chasers who use their dazzling brainpower to thwart contestants’ hopes of a cash prize, Paul also shines as a star of Radio 4 favourites the News Quiz, the Now Show and Just a Minute plus Fighting Talk on Radio 5 Live.
As a professional quizzer his credentials are equally impressive. He attained the coveted grandmaster title in 2014 and reached a career-high UK ranking of seven the following year.
As a stand-up funnyman of formidable status his reputation also continues to grow.
In 2014 he was voted Best Club Comedian in the annual Chortle Awards and was a 2016 Rose d’Or winner, for his Radio 4 comedy show, Paul Sinha’s History Revision.
Paul has been part of The Chase, recently crowned Best Daytime Programme, since 2011. He said: “The thing about the show is that all the Chasers are obsessive quizzers and it’s like a dream for us to have the chance to show off in front of a TV audience of millions.
“We’re genuinely devastated when we lose to the contestants but we have to accept that it’s the exact opposite for them and they’re delighted to beat us. That’s what makes it such an interesting quiz.
“We Chasers all get on famously because we all know each other from the days when we were in quiz competitions before going into the show. There’s not a hint of tension between us, although there is a healthy rivalry.
“We don’t often appear on the show together except when we do the celebrity specials during which I’ve met a lot of my heroes.
“As a massive sports fan, my personal highlights from these shows were playing against legends like footballing great Sir Geoff Hurst, broadcaster Henry Blofeld and Olympic gold medallist Linford Christie.
“I love doing The Chase and I want it to go on and on, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed for that.”
Paul will be taking a break from his comedy tour to go back to his pure quizzing roots when he jets off to Zagreb in Croatia later in November to take part in the European Quizzing Championships, which will see top exponents of the art of trivia from across the continent pitting their wits against each other.
“I do it every year and I wouldn’t miss it,” he says.
Then it’s back to the UK to resume the stand-up tour. Last year he drew plenty of hisses and boos as the baddie Abanazar in the panto Aladdin in York. But this year he won’t be making a similar return to the stage.
“I love panto – but just not every year,” he confides.
So he’ll just have to content himself with making people laugh and, of course, making even more appearances as the acerbic assassin in the white suit, who delights in dashing the hopes of contestants each teatime on The Chase.
Anna Openshaw, project manager for Colwyn BID, a business regeneration group tasked with boosting trade in Colwyn Bay, Rhos on Sea, Old Colwyn and Mochdre, says she delighted to see a nationally-renowned award-winning comedian performing at Theatr Colwyn.
She said: “Paul Sinha is such a well-known face, from The Chase and with a great reputation as a stand-up comedian. I am delighted that this is the third time he has visited Colwyn Bay, as he also performs in much larger venues elsewhere in the UK.
“Theatr Colwyn has great deal to offer the town and area – and by bringing in such shows as this to the town it’s helping raise awareness of just what a gem the theatre is in Colwyn Bay’s crown.”
To book at Theatr Colwyn, call 01492 577888 or visit theatrcolwyn.co.uk