Interview: Danny Baker brings new tour to the area

For many about to start a second tour across the UK, it is a case of half jotted notes on bits of paper flung up on walls and carpets and musings jabbed onto phones and tablets.
Danny BakerDanny Baker
Danny Baker

But broadcaster Danny Baker isn’t one of them. We speak to him two weeks before he begins the tour, which includes dates in Milton Keynes, Coventry, Dunstable, Leicester and Northampton, and there is not a single word written down.

Danny said: “Even my wife said to me before I started the last tour said, are you going to plan what you are going to say.

“But I’ve never been one of those people. If I am talking and something pops into my head which is entertaining, or a different story, it’ll be one that I want to tell and the audiences will go along with it and laugh.”

With this, it is rather difficult to ask what his new show is actually about as it is safe to say that even Danny himself isn’t entirely certain.

He said: “I have told people that this is a show about the fact that I didn’t want to go out on tour.

“But there was such demand and the audiences loved it, I found myself drawn to doing it again.

“The nice thing is that there are places that the first tour didn’t go to like Northampton and so a lot of the stories that I told on the first tour, some people will have not heard.

“But it is not a case of repeating the same things but if the audience wants to hear about something then I’ll tell them.”

The fact that he doesn’t plan anything for the shows is not a new thing for Danny.

He said: “I don’t even get nervous at all. I am incredibly lucky in that I am treated very well by the BBC who allow me to come in five minutes before I go on air and trust me to deliver the goods.”

He also says that this approach does have some positives and negatives.

Danny said: “Because nothing is written down or rehearsed, it does mean that every show will be different. So the one for Northampton will be slightly different to another venue on the tour.

“It is unique for everyone who comes to see that show in Northampton.

“But I have such a good time telling the stories that they do tend to turn into three-and-a-half hour shows. I’ve been offered the chance to put the show on to DVD but have been told they would need to be an hour-and-a-half and I lack the discipline to do it.

“Given that dear old Ken Dodd has now gone, I’m one of the few out there trying to keep marathon shows going, like a raconteur on turbo charge or Peter Ustinov with the power of a locomotive.”

Despite saying that he wants nothing more than to relax (the tour breaks so that he can watch the World Cup), he seems to be incredibly organised.

For many interviewees that we chat to, the world of theatre is in such flux that it can be difficult to plan.

But Danny’s plan will be working alongside writer Jeff Pope on the second series of the comedy Cradle to Grave which was first broadcast almost three years ago.

“The last series ended and I hadn’t even left school. So I’ll be at least growing up in the next series. We’ll spend the next few months on the tour writing the scripts .

“It will still be another year before the show is on the air I imagine.

“It will cover the time when I went to go and work on the NME and all of the people I went on to meet.”

Danny Baker – Good Time Charlie’s Back can be seen at Milton Keynes Theatre on Friday May 4. Tickets for this date can be booked by clicking here.

The following night he will be at Warwick Arts Centre and the details are here. He then goes to the Grove Theatre in Dunstable on Friday May 11 (details here) before going to the De Montfort Hall in Leicester on Wednesday May 16 (details here). He goes to Northampton's Royal & Derngate on Saturday May 26. Click here for further details of this date.