Twenty Ten was my busiest year yet, I think. It started with a 60+ date UK tour with Hitler Moustache. It was hard work, but more people came to see me than ever before.
At the same time lots was happening for Collins and Herring.We were asked to sit in for Adam and Joe on 6Music at the end of January for six weeks (though in the end we carried on with the show until the end of the year and beyond) and performed our "100th" podcast live at a packed Leicester Square Theatre on 1st February. We had already done a live gig in Cardiff in January, on a day that we also recorded a CD of exclusive new podcasts, released by Go Faster Stripe as "Collings and Herrin: Earth, Wind and Fire* (*and Water)".
Go Faster Stripe also released the DVD of "Headmaster's Son" in February.
In April I made my first ever appearance on "Have I Got News For You" still sporting my Hitler moustache.
The Lyric Comedy Nights continued throughout the year with memorable performances from the likes of Tim Minchin. Stephen Merchant, David Baddiel, Stewart Lee, Dara O'Briain, Kevin Eldon and many more.
As soon as the tour was over I went on another mini-tour of book shops around the country to promote my new book "How Not To Grow Up" which was published in May and which has been selling well.
As It Occurs To Me failed to place in the Sony Awards but began a second series of 8 shows in May, and there would be an Edinburgh special and three autumn shows to follow. The Edinburgh show was downloaded by a record 47,000 people. A DVD was released of the secret stand up bits from the show by GFS.
There was no rest for the wicked though, as I was also working up my latest Edinburgh show "Christ on a Bike:The Second Coming". I moved Edinburgh venues and performed at the Ballroom at the Assembly Rooms for the whole of the Fringe. We also did 10 live Collings and Herrin podcasts at the GRV.
Straight after Edinburgh I started work on a new radio 4 series "Richard Herring's Objective" which was broadcast in October. There were other radio appearances this year, on shows like "Heresy", "Teenage Diaries", "And the Winner Is", "Don't Write Off the Germans", "So Right, It's Wrong", as well as an enjoyable two weeks sitting in for Dave Gorman on Absolute Radio.
More live Collings and Herrin gigs followed in the autumn in London, Bristol and Cardiff, along with a second Go Faster Stripe release "Collings and Herrin: War and Peace, Crime and Punishment". And there were a few autumn TV appearances including Dave Gorman's "Genius", "The Apprentice- You're Fired", "Mark Watson Kicks Off", "Argumental", "Russell Howard's Good News" and "Celebrity Mastermind". My specialist subject was "Rasputin". I scored 35 points with one pass, but alas Hilary Kay of the Antiques Roadshow managed to get 36, so I failed to win the trophy!
The DVD of Hitler Moustache was released in October via GFS and PIAS and for the first time was also sold in shops.
And because I hadn't packed quite enough in to this 12 months I started the 90+ date "Christ on a Bike" tour at the Leicester Square Theatre on 19th December. The tour continues in 2011.
At the end of December, "The Pod Delusion" podcast declared me their comedian of the year.
2011 was a year that saw the arrival of some new ventures and the departure of some old favourites.The first part of the year was dominated by the Christ on a Bike 94 date tour, which attracted protestors in Glasgow and East Anglia, but which was otherwise positively received and (in most cases) was well attended. Whilst on tour I played snooker against myself in one of the dressing rooms and commentated on it on Twitter - I did not realise where this madness would eventually lead.It was my most successful tour thus far and my slow upwards progress thus continues! The show was recorded for a DVD at the Leicester Square Theatre on 18th May.
The Collins and Herring show on 6Music (as well as the Collings and Herrin podcasts) continued in the early part of the year, but a reshuffle at the station led to me being replaced and ultimately the bad feeling this created also caused the podcast being put on hiatus. We attempted to resurrect it in the autumn, but Andrew’s heart was no longer in it, so after 167+ episodes Collings and Herrin is sadly no more.
I also decided that it was time to knock As It Occurs To Me on the head before it went stale or the writing drove me insane, so the series we recorded in May and June at the Leicester Square Theatre brought the show to a flour covered denouement. The show won the Chortle “Best Internet Show” award in February and gofasterstripe released AIOTM:The Complete Cumpkin with all the shows and lots of extras in the summer. Thanks to Emma, Dan, Christian and Ben for all their hard work and to everyone who downloaded it.
During this time I also began work on the pilot script of a comedy drama called “Gorgeous” for the BBC. It revolved around the lives of people working in caves in a fictional gorge in Somerset. The first draft was delivered in May and the powers that be liked it enough to ask me to write a second draft which I completed in November. We are awaiting further news.
Once the tour was over I began work on my new show, “What is Love, Anyway?” previewing it extensively throughout June and July. It premiered at the Edinburgh Fringe at the Underbelly’s Cow Barn selling well and mostly getting excellent reviews. It was my 32nd show at my 20th Edinburgh Fringe. The press and public began referring to me as “The King of Edinburgh”, a title I neither sought nor approved of. I also did a daily podcast show, “Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast” at the Stand each afternoon, with guests including Adam Buxton, Isy Suttie, Sarah Millican, Al Murray and the most extraordinary of all Rumpel. This was a lot of fun and amazingly topped the iTunes chart for over a fortnight.
Just in case I didn’t have enough to do during the Fringe I also wrote and recorded a one off special of Radio 4’s Richard Herring’s Objective about the “See You Jimmy Tartan Hat”. The show returned for a second series in the autumn in which I covered the golliwog, the Page 3 girl, the old school tie and my own personal favourite, the wheelchair (with a brilliant guest appearance by Francesca Martinez). This also led inadvertently to a showdown with some of the more cretinous of Ricky Gervais’ fans on Twitter (which might provide inspiration for a future Edinburgh show). Objective got a lot of positive feedback and seems to have gone down markedly better than the first series. Hopefully there will be more in 2012.
To keep up the podcast count I had also started recording Warming Up as a daily podcast via soundcloud. The blog, which also became available on Kindle for the first time, has continued in written form and I celebrated nine years of continuous daily blogging in November.
The Christ on a Bike DVD was released at the end of October and a few weeks later was followed by a bumper DVD of the first series of Fist of Fun, which had been bought by Chris Evans (not that one) of gofasterstripe.com after the BBC refused to release it themselves. It was a hefty financial commitment to do so, but the gamble seems to be paying off as we have sold enough copies by the end of the year to cover the expense. It’s got loads of extras and commentaries and you can freeze frame a picture of the 1990s Lee and Herring in the nude.
The Lyric Hammersmith monthly Sunday night gigs continued and other enjoyable performances included Laugh or the Polar Bear Gets It at the Hammersmith Apollo in November and Robin Ince’s Nine Lessons and Carols for Godless Children at the Bloomsbury in December.
I made a second appearance on Have I Got News For You in May as well as appearing in a pilot of the TV version of Banter, “Rule of Three” in October. I also recorded a few radio quiz shows and interviews.
There was a mini What is Love Anyway? tour in the autumn including 5 nights at the Soho Theatre, but the tour will continue in 2012.
Most excitingly of all in December the first Me1 vs Me2 Snooker Podcast, in which I play myself at snooker and commentate on it was released on the British Comedy Guide and iTunes. It briefly reached the top of the iTunes chart and has not divided opinion as much as I had expected and hoped. But I will continue doing it until you are all ground down or I go properly insane (if that hasn’t happened yet).
Not content with touring the country with What is Love, Anyway? from January to May, I decided to make things really stressful by having my house renovated, temporarily moving to Harpenden and (spoiler alert for those of you who haven't read "How Not To Grow Up" yet) getting married to Catherine. Of course we had a massive Ferrero Rocher pyramid cake.
Our wedding was on Easter Saturday, April 7th, we then had two nights honeymoon in Paris, before I returned to my tour, appearing in Andover on the 11th. Not quite as glamorous.
What is Love, Anyway? was filmed for DVD on 30th March and released by go faster stripe in August.
I started writing a weekly column for the Metro in February.
In March I won the Chortle Internet award for the second consecutive year.
Unfortunately Gorgeous was not picked up by BBC TV, but later in the year I wrote a radio version of the script, which is under consideration for Radio 4.
In May I was commissioned to write a pilot sitcom episode based on my 1993 Edinburgh show Ra-Ra Rasputin. Initial feedback was positive and I was asked to write a second draft which I finished at the end of the year.
I also made my second (and third) appearances on Radio 4's Just a Minute.
April saw the last of my Lyric Hammersmith comedy nights. Radio 4 also decided they did not want any more episodes of my series Objective, which was a shame.
From May-June I recorded the first episodes of my new podcast Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcasts with guests including Tim Minchin, Charlie Brooker, Stewart Lee and Armando Iannucci. These proved popular and I returned with a second series in October – December with more high profile guests such as David Mitchell and Adam Buxton. The show was chosen as Time Out's second favourite live gig of the year and spawned a lot of jokes about putting a Shrek in things.
In July I recorded episodes of Dave's One Night Stand and Sky Atlantic's Set List.
From June I started previews for the 2012 Edinburgh show Talking Cock :The Second Coming. This was staged at the Udderbelly in Edinburgh throughout August and then went on a small tour throughout the autumn, including three nights at the Purcell Room on London's South Bank. The main tour of the show will take place in 2013. Go Faster Stripe also republished the book version which is available from their website.
In Edinburgh I also reprised Richard Herring's Edinburgh Fringe Podcast at The Stand with guest including Sarah Millican, Mick Foley and Janet Ellis.
We moved back into our renovated home in September, which also meant that Me1 Vs Me2 Snooker could return to the Shepherd's Bush Trapezoid. The 27th audio frame was recorded at the end of the year and one videoed frame appears as an extra on the What is Love, Anyway? DVD.
In November my blog Warming Up celebrated its tenth birthday, ten years of consecutive entries without a day's break. Ridiculous. I continued to record the entries as a podcast. In December I released the second collection of the blog "The Box Lady and Other Pesticles" on Kindle and go faster stripe published it as an old-time paper book.
Fist of Fun series 2 was also released on DVD by go faster stripe. Thanks to Chris Evans (not that one) for all his work in getting this series released. It was picked by the BFI website as one of its DVDs of the year.
As usual the first half of the year was dominated by my tour. Talking Cock: The Second Coming ran from late February until early June, with the DVD being recorded at the Bloomsbury Theatre on April 13th. I also produced a podcast to accompany the tour.
I did manage to fit in a few other things in those months including appearances on Dara O Briain’s School of Hard Sums on Dave, Charlie Brooker’s Weekly Wipe on BBC2 and four episodes of Radio 4’s Just A Minute as well as Wordaholics for the same station
I wrote a pilot script for the BBC called Ra-Ra-Rasputin, which combined the history of pre-revolutionary Russia with the music of Boney M (based on the Edinburgh show I did in the early 90s). I thought it was the best TV script I’d ever written, but the BBC passed on the project, but there’s still an outside chance that someone else might want to do it.
In March I won the Chortle Internet Award for the third year running for RHLSTP and the Fist of Fun series 2 box set won best DVD. In May RHLSTP also won the prestigious Bronze (three times better than gold) Sony Award for best comedy, the first time an internet show has been nominated in this category.
Richard Herring’s Leicester Square Theatre Podcast returned in May and this time the series was also filmed and offered as a paid download on Go Faster Stripe. There were some amazing guests in series 3, most notably Stephen Fry, whose astonishing interview made headlines all over the world as he revealed that he had attempted suicide in 2012. Other interviewees in this and the fourth series in the autumn included Russell Brand, Simon Pegg and Stephen Merchant.
In June I hosted a quiz show called Bad Language made by BBC Scotland and Northern Ireland.
In June I started work on my tenth consecutive stand-up show, We’re All Going To Die! which premiered at the Pleasance Beyond in Edinburgh. Instead of paying for lamp post adverts I spent the money on a Best of DVD called 10 which included my favourite routines from my previous 9 shows. The show itself got probably the best reviews I’ve ever had in Edinburgh and was well attended and it was a much happier Fringe for me than in 2012. I also did a third and final series of Richard Herring’s Edinburgh Fringe Podcast with guests including Ian Lavendar, Jason Manford and Sarah Millican. Over fifty people gathered to see the first ever live frame of Me1 Vs Me2 Snooker which made over £100 for charity! The podcast also continued sporadically throughout the year and another frame was filmed as an extra for the Talking Cock DVD.
There were a few WAGTD! Tour gigs in the autumn and I had an enjoyable run at the Leicester Square Theatre in October as well as starting up a podcast based on the show.
In September I went to Armenia with David Baddiel to take part in a show for Dave called, Spending Dave’s Money, (the channel’s, not Baddiel’s) where we were challenged to spend £8000 in a 24-hour period. It was a surreal experience, but it felt much better to spend money on others than it did on ourselves.
In November I joined forces with Go Faster Stripe to
film the first episode in an over-ambitious project called Richard Herring’s Meaning of Life, a monthly stand-up show in which
I discuss the big questions in life, which will be put up on the internet.
Hopefully it can compete with TV shows in the same way as my audio output has
competed with radio. If all goes well there will be six episodes in the series which will come out in 2014.
I also appeared on Radio 4’s Museum of Curiosity.
In December I filmed an episode of Pointless Celebrities which will be on BBC1 in the Spring of 2014. The episode of Set List that I filmed in July 2012 finally aired on Sky Atlantic. I also filmed a small part in an independent film called Rock Band Vs Vampires.
Four of my stand-up shows: The Headmaster’s Son, What is Love, Anyway? Hitler Moustache and Christ on a Bike became available on Netflix.
I completed a pilot script for Channel 4 provisionally entitled Chedwood about a strange and lawless tourist resort on the West Country. But we will have to wait until next year to find out if they are interested in making this. If this history section of the website teaches us anything, it is that that won’t get made.
It was a year in which I perhaps took on a little more than I should have, nearly broke myself, but ended up stronger, fitter and having done my part in creating a human being. Typical, the first time I have sex, I got someone pregnant. Our first child is due in February 2015
The year started with the plan to lose 25kg by 2015 and thus demonstrate that my supposed BMI target weight of 72kg was ridiculous. Hitting a low of 79.4kg in August (after seven weeks of personal training for a Men's Health feature) I ended the year at 83.8kg, which was still a significant improvement and I was feeling a whole lot healthier. In October I ran the Royal Parks Half Marathon a full 50 minutes faster than I had managed last year with a lifetime personal best of 1 hour 47 minutes and 9 seconds.
The We're All Going To Die tour ran from January through to May, when we recorded the DVD (released in November) at the Bloomsbury Theatre. I mainly only visited the theatres that I do well at this year, so it felt like it was a smash hit, with most shows selling out.
At the same time I was putting together my overambitious internet stand up and sketch show, the Meaning of Life, recording an episode a month from January through to May and releasing them as and when they were ready. Thanks to Chris Evans, not that one, and the team for all their hard work on this and to Chay Hawes for the brilliant animations. You can see the shows for free on Youtube or listen on the British Comedy Guide or iTunes, or buy longer versions of the show at gofasterstripe.
The show cost a fair amount to put together so I came up with the idea of funding my web-based comedy via "I Paid A Pound" badges, which people could buy as a one off or monthly donation. Subscribers got access to a secret channel with additional RHLSTP interviews and other content and entry into a monthly draw where they could win amazing and terrible prizes.
I got in two more series of the Leicester Square Theatre Podcast between February and March and September and November, with guests including Adam Buxton, Greg Davies, Harry Shearer, Steve Coogan, Sarah Millican and Stewart Lee. These were available on audio or video, with the videos going free in the autumn (also available in both formats on iTunes). The show once again won the Chortle Internet Award. I put the Slytherin notebook up for sale in December and it sold for an incredible £1320.
I also presented a weekly show on Fubar radio between February and May, alongside Lou Sanders, but left after my contract was up, partly because I had too much other stuff on. Plus I had my most enjoyable appearances yet on Radio 4's Just A Minute.
I wrote an episode for series 2 of Man Down and was very excited to be writing words that would one day come out of my childhood hero Rik Mayall's mouth. Tragically (and not just because of my script never being made) Rik died in June. I am not sure if they managed to keep any of my stuff in the final series.
My disastrous appearance on Pointless Celebrities was shown in the summer (I was knocked out in the first round) though I recorded another show in November (broadcast on December 27th) in which I did better on (I could not have done worse), got a Pointless answer, but got knocked out in the second round after an exciting lockdown. The show I did in Armenia with David Baddiel was broadcast on Dave and called "24 Hours To Go Broke". I also made an appearance on Alan Davies' "As Yet Untitled" on Dave.
For this year's Edinburgh Fringe I wrote a stand up show "Lord of the Dance Settee" and a play "I Killed Rasputin" about Felix Yusupov, who helped assassinate the mad monk (or did he?). Both shows premiered at the massive George Square Theatre. Although I got great reviews for the stand up show, neither projects sold as well as I had hoped and for the first time in a few years I lost money at the Fringe and rather a lot of it. The dynamic of the Fringe is changing and the free Fringe at one end plus TV names at the other mean that the acts in the middle are a bit squeezed. It is time for the King of Edinburgh to bow out for a while. I was very proud of the play and the fantastic cast, but sadly it did not get good enough reviews for it to be taken on anywhere else. The critics felt that it didn't know if it was meant to be funny or serious, but it did know. It was meant to be both. You can read the script here. I was glad to have finally got this idea out after many years of thinking about it and I got to visit Rasputin's flat and the Yusupov Palace where he died in St Petersburg in April.
Lord of the Dance Settee started a long tour in October, culminating with a 6 day run at the Leicester Square Theatre in December. There are lots more dates in 2015. Despite competition from 109 other comedians on tour I seemed to be selling a few tickets for this.
I took things a bit easier from September onwards. Channel 4 passed on the Chedwood script, but commissioned me to write another pilot about a UKIP style politician becoming Prime Minister. I decided not to do it in the end. Full explanation here. But the channel are keen for me to write something else.
Me1 Vs Me2 Snooker, Warming Up (I have now blogged over a quarter of my life) and my Metro column continued throughout the year. I wrote my 100th Metro column in January and had racked up 145 by the end of the year.
It was a year of risks, a year of success and failure, of financial gambles that didn't pay off. But next year is a new start in a lot of ways, not least as I become a dad, so I am glad I took these chances when I could.