Xander Armstrong and Ben Miller have been performing together since 1994, making time for their own projects along the way but always returning to their double-act. Their popularity has grown over the years and they are now on tour again for the first time since 2001 with the live version of their BBC One TV show.
The comedy-duo rely on a relationship described as ‘brotherly’ by Xander, and more like ‘a marriage’ according to Ben and the show features favourite characters – including the hapless airmen - as well as some funky new-and-improved creations such as two Geordie chefs, “They’re sort of like the Hairy Bikers, they’re cooking in the wild but they end up checking into a boutique hotel, or dropping into their mum’s to get something to eat.” As Xander says, “Our duties as comedians in 2010 is to make sure we go as far as we can, but I think our humour is considered, we steer clear of being gratuitously offensive and we’ll save things for when we really mean it. If you overuse the currency, it becomes dull.”
The comedy will also be slightly more physical this time around, "We love the slapstick so we’ve done more physical stuff. We’ve got a song number which we’re filming next Friday, about farmers’ markets…But I want to keep it slightly under wraps because it’s going to be a big number.” Ben and Xander are both great acting talents and started to work on their skills at university with the now infamous Cambridge Footlights. Xander has also been a very popular host on Have I Got News For You – having guest-hosted more than any other celebrity – and he has also appeared on BBC One’s Who Do You Think You Are? and Doctor Who. His hosting and all-round acting abilities have assured his success as an excellent awards host and after dinner speaker.
So if you are in London this week and lucky enough to see them perform live enjoy! Otherwise, put your feet up, switch the TV on, and check them out this Saturday at 9.30pm on BBC One.
Copyright Speakers Corner 2016