Interview: Tom Ward on Anthem, ‘One couple conceived the night of coming to see me’

by Jim Keaveney

Tom Ward. Photo: Matt Crockett

Bursting on to the comedy scene back in 2013 in the finals of BBC Radio New Comedy Awards, the NATYs and the Leicester Square New Comedian of the year, Tom Ward went on to be named Best Newcomer at the 2017 Chortle Awards.

He now performs at comedy clubs all over the UK and has supported Jack Whitehall, Joe Lycett, Jason Manford and Sindhu Vee on tour, as well as recently supporting Ricky Gervais at London’s Leicester Square Theatre.

All four of his solo stand-up shows have garnered an array of glowing reviews at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and seen him featured in ‘Best jokes from the fringe’ lists in The Guardian, The i, The Scotsman and more.

Most recently, Ward received a standing ovation on his debut performance on BBC Two’s Live at The Apollo and ITV2’s The Stand Up Sketch Show. His other TV credits include BBC Worldwide’s Live from The BBC, Comedy Central’s Roast Battle, Stand up Central, and Live from The Comedy Store. He presented the LAD Bible series In My Personal Space, interviewing celebs such as Kyle Walker, Lady Leeshurr and Jamie Laing and can he can be heard on the latest series of Channel 5’s Ice Road Truckers and every series of UKTV’s Abandoned Engineering.

As he takes his show Anthem on the road following a critically acclaimed run at Edinburgh Festival, we caught up with Ward to find out about the show and his new series for Channel 4 Digital.

Tom Ward. Photo: Matt Crockett

Q&A with Tom Ward

What can you tell us about your show, Anthem?

It’s all about the juicy stuff like living in a house share, love, climate change, music, gender / sexuality and mental health.

This is your first UK – how has the experience been so far?

Decent. Some huge highs, but then also Leicester. It’s a very different thing being the person on the ticket, people are up for it and I don’t feel like I have to explain myself so much ‘cos they already know me a bit.

You’ve recently made your debut appearance on BBC’s Live at the Apollo and had an acclaimed run at the Edinburgh Fringe – what were those experiences like?

Edinburgh was my smoothest run yet, though that’s not saying much as every other year has been a varying degree of psychiatric episode (other comedians will testify to their own, I’m sure). Got some nice reviews and didn’t have one melt down. Result.

Apollo remains the greatest night of my life. Like watching a film where a Hollywood film depicts someone having an incredible gig, only it was me. Surreal.

You’re also releasing Funraisers, a new six part series for Channel 4 digital – what can we expect from the series?

Me in my element as the manager of a charity shop, sending celebrities out and about to complete cringe-inducing public tasks using shite from my ‘wonder emporium’.

Finally, how would you describe Anthem to someone considering buying a ticket for the final shows of the tour? 

An hour that is so sexy one couple in Edinburgh say they actually conceived the night of coming to see me. Either that or she was ovulating and her app happened to notify her that night. Either way they wanted me to know it was after my show.

Tom Ward: Anthem comes to the Hazlitt Theatre Maidstone on 12th May and The Moth Club London on 22nd May