Russell Howard: 'I hate seeing my face on TV'

Russell Howard has admitted he doesn’t like to watch his own TV shows because he is too embarrassed by his own facial expressions.

The stand-up comedian’s programmes include the new Russell Howard’s Stand-Up Central as well as Russell Howard’s Good News and Mock The Week, but he revealed he hates sitting down to view them.

He said: “I do watch my gigs back when we’re editing them, and then once it’s done, I kind of leave it. So maybe when I’m 60-odd it’ll be quite fun to dust them off and have a look at them.

Russell Howard

Russell Howard (Joel Ryan/Invision)

“It’s really weird flicking through the channels and it’s you, you’re like, ‘B****y hell’. I would worry about myself if I went, ‘Oh great!’. You know when you listen to the way you sound, like when somebody plays you a message? Imagine that but seeing every gurn and facial tick, you think, ‘Christ, is that what I look like?’. So I’d rather not do that.”

The 35-year-old also said he got a bit nervous about selfies: “People are normally really embarrassed to ask you, I get exactly like that too. I remember meeting the singer David Gray when I was 14 and being too nervous to say hello. If I saw him now, I would absolutely get my phone out.

“My brother is so much more confident than me; he was about 12 at the time, he shook his hand and told this grown man, ‘David, you’re a cracking musician, well done’.

Mock The Week

Russell Howard with Mock The Week co-stars Andy Parsons, Hugh Dennis and Dara O’Briain (Angst Productions/BBC)


“The strangest place I was asked for a selfie was probably at a waterpark in Benidorm. I had a photo of me taken in my trunks, which was pretty weird. I don’t mind, it’s quite nice because people come up and say really kind things, and then say, ‘Oh can I have a photo?’. I would hate ever to become the person who didn’t acknowledge that, and said ‘I don’t do photos’.”

Russell continued that he found fans filming him while he performed a bit strange.

Russell Howard

Russell Howard (Ian West/PA)

He said: “I guess some people do record bits of my gigs on their phone. I don’t really check it, I’m not really fussed. I think it’s a sort of generational thing. I wouldn’t do that, because I’d rather be here [in the] now, but it’s really interesting where a lot of people want to say, ‘I’m at this thing, wish you were here, it’s great’, and you think, ‘Well you’re not really here, just put your phone down for a bit and BE here’.

“I would always turn my phone off when I’m at a gig or the cinema, I’d rather concentrate than try and capture a grainy image. I think it’s better when it lives in the memory.”

Russell Howard's Stand-Up Central begins on Comedy Central on Wednesday 29 April at 10.00pm.

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