For this week’s edition of Author of the Week, we are joined by the writer & comedian John Bishop, to explore his book ‘How To Grow Old’ which is now available in paperback. This book is not so much a self help book, but more so, a hilarious ‘how to guide’ on all things ageing, inspired by John’s life. Divided into chapters such as ‘how to dress’, ‘how to holiday’ & ‘how to stay relevant’; John shares his witty take on hitting the middle aged bracket. In this talk we tackle all the burning questions: is Glastonbury better on TV, can you wear sensible shoes & what happens if you have a hairy back but a penchant for wife beater singlets?
We hope you enjoy this laugh out loud funny conversation with John Bishop as much as we did.
- “The healthiest I’ve ever been, mentally & physically”: John’s positive take on lockdown. Like experiencing an early retirement.
- John’s experience being a vegetarian for many years & his on-stage ritual – no meat, no kebabs & no drinks before the show.
- John the reluctant writer: “I’ll never write another personal book again”.
- The tedious process of writing a book when you can only type with three fingers, like he has a “speech impediment”.
- The transition into becoming into a man in his fifties & the moment on tour that made him consider writing a book about growing old.
- John’s creative process in creating comedy & books: it’s all about lest & learn. Visiting smaller venues, performing for small 10-15min segments to fine tune your act & evolve as you go.
- The subtle difference between a smaller comedy venue versus a large one. Workshopping your performance – it’s like formulating jokes when you’re in a conversation rather than a speech.
- Being naked & having sex when you’re getting old.
- Communicating to a single reader in a book versus communicating to an audience on stage.
- The pleasure of napping, the pleasure of going to the loo & the hatred of Mondays. “Nobody laughs on a Monday”, especially when people ‘accidentally’ buy tickets to a comedy gig on a Monday & the feeling of regret when they realise their mistake.
- How to dress as a man over 50: John on his Ozwald Boateng purple suit with turquoise lining & why he couldn’t continue to wear it as a middle aged man.
- “It was more than a suit – it was a statement. I’m in showbiz now.” – John on his purple suit.
- John on the Tiger King hairy shoulder culture with wife beater singlets. The lack of personal care sends a message out; insinuiting that you’re “a goat” of a man.
- John on comfortable shoes: “Anyone that’s over 50 that’s wearing something that’s not comfortable is probably kidding themselves.”
- The exact moment when John knew he had gotten old: his pediatrist announced he had bunions. His response? He didn’t cry. He got innersoles.
- Do women age better than men? John answers the age old question.
- Men on growing a little belly: “today I am a fat man” says a men after one slice of pizza.
- Why Glastonbury is better now you’re old & it’s on the television.
- The whole new language of the next generation: Anime, Snapchat & the online world.
- The “pinch” moments that have happened to John in his career all from taking one giant leap of faith.
PLUS: John answers questions from The Great Big Book Club community.