■ The comedian and chat show host, 44, on game show legends, why his husband has a cushy life and Rob Lowe topless
Your new programme, Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow, reimagines old game shows. Which were you most excited about recreating?
I watched a lot of old stuff and Bullseye is so slow! It’s basically fat people throwing darts! I loved Play Your Cards Right. But Epic Gameshow is like it’s on steroids. They’re all massive, camp and genetically modified — it must have cost a fortune. The prize money is way up there. You’re not talking Tipping Point here.
Which host did you enjoy channelling the most?
Jim Bowen. I felt like I really got his energy! I didn’t want to let anyone down because I know how fond people are of them. I grew up on Bruce Forsyth saying ‘Higher! Lower!’ and I had to stop myself because I sounded like I was taking the p*** out of him. You can’t help it! He was my first guest on Chatty Man and he called, saying, ‘I had a ball, you have a real hit on your hands.’ Then Des O’Connor was the first telly I did — Today With Des And Mel.
And now you’re working with Melanie Sykes on the radio.
I know people moan because we laugh too much but we genuinely do laugh. You hear some couples on the radio and you know they flipping hate each other and when the adverts are on they’re spitting at each other.
You’re on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK with Graham Norton…
We allegedly hate each other! I’ve known him for years and we have a scream. Everyone was being a Debbie Downer, saying the UK one is going to be so rubbish compared to the American one, and it went crazy. I couldn’t wait for people to see it because we were blown away by how good they were. It’s the most secretive show I’ve ever done. My husband, Paul, pretends to be my stylist and brings a rail so he can come along.
So Paul has a laugh getting to join you on your shows…
I want to come back as him in my next life. He has such a cushy life. He gets all the perks without having to do any work. I got with him after the Friday Night Project and you get invited to all these awards and have no one to go with. So it’s lovely when he came along and we’ve been together for 12 years now. We’re self-isolating, both of us.
How does Paul feel about becoming subject material?
Well, he rolls his eyes and moans but I say, ‘Look, if you want a new pair of shoes or kitchen, the money has to come from somewhere. Lap it up!’ I have my little notebook, which I write silly little things in, and when it gets to a certain length I go, ‘I’m going on tour again!’ Before lockdown, I’d been testing the material at 50-seaters. I’d rather die on my arse at Aylesbury Town Hall than the London Palladium. My theme is me and what I’ve been up to, including when Adele married me and Paul, him being a farmer and everything. It’s all very anecdotal and a laugh. Now, thanks to coronavirus, I’ll have to be a hologram like Whitney.
Does Adele mind you talking about your wedding day?
Well, I’m hoping to do a gig in LA, which she says she’s going to come along to, so I might have to tone it down because I do do an impression of her. She comes to see all the shows and the last one I did at Soho Theatre, when she started laughing I could see people saying, ‘That’s Adele laughing!’ I was like, ‘No,’ [clicking my fingers], ‘tonight’s my night!’
How did you meet her?
At the Brits. My Paul just went, ‘Oh, we love you Adele!’ And she said, ‘Oh, I love Alan,’ and then we became friends and she became this huge superstar. But typical Adele, she’s still friends with everyone. She hasn’t changed.
Who would your 16-year-old self be most excited about who you’ve met?
On Friday Night Project we had Rob Lowe on and I’ve always fancied him. When the sound man put his sound thing on, Rob lifted his shirt up and, oh my God, he had a f***ing six-pack! For the sketches, they had to stick a wig on and blow a swanee whistle, and he said, ‘But my motivation, why would he do that?’ I said: ‘Rob, just put the wig on and do the accent!’
Is doing stand-up when you feel most at home?
Well, this is me, as a Gemini — I’m at home watching the telly and my life’s s***. Why am I just sitting watching telly? Then, when I’m out and about, I wish I was sat at home watching telly! Or is everyone like that?
I’d like to do a bit of acting. I have no range so not Heathcliff or Macbeth.
Who would you star with?
My mates, Gok Wan, Judge Rinder and Adele. Adele would sing the theme tune. Gok does pantos so he can act and Rinder can do the contracts when people sue for the lack of entertainment. I’m loving this already.
■ Alan Carr’s Epic Gameshow is on ITV1 at 7.30pm on Saturday