Everyone needs a shed in their lives, says comedian Andy Parsons who was sitting in his as we spoke.
“Everyone needs some space somewhere. I even share my shed with my wife.”
And no, that’s not defeating the point of it: “I don’t think sheds are just a male preserve,” says Andy who is on the road with his I’ve Got A Shed tour.
Dates coming up include G Live, Guildford, Thursday, April 11 (tickets on 0844 7701 797 ), followed by The Kings Theatre, Southsea, Saturday, April 13 (tickets on 02392 828282).
“My wife and I have got a small child so we go to the shed to escape. The baby monitor just about reaches,” Andy jokes.
“But we have got a TV in the shed. There is an armchair, and there is also an exercise bike so that if you see someone coming you can jump out of the armchair onto the exercise bike.”
So, we’re talking a fairly upmarket shed, then?
“Yes,” Andy confesses. “There might be a saw somewhere, but I am not much into DIY. When we bought the house, the shed was already there, and it is great.
“I do quite a lot of writing from my shed,” says Andy, whose credits include Mock The Week (BBC 2) and numerous spots on Live At The Apollo (BBC 1).
Andy has also appeared on QI (BBC2), The Politics Show (BBC1), Newsnight (BBC2), The World’s Most Dangerous Roads (BBC2), Comedy World Cup (Channel 4), Saturday Live (ITV) and Channel 4’s Comedy Gala At The O2.
“So I write there, but you have got to get out, obviously. The answers to all the world’s questions are not in the shed. It would have to be a pretty big shed if they were!”
But it’s certainly a place to get the creative juices flowing before honing them first in previews and then on the tour itself.
“Over the years, I think you get closer to the cross-over between what you find funny and what everyone else finds funny.
“You find something funny, and you just put it out there, and over the course of the nine months of the tour, it will be honed by the cold light of the public. You do a few previews to make sure that you are not completely barking up all the wrong trees.”
Inevitably there will be a few routines you are convinced are terrific but which completely fall flat – and that in itself can be funny: “But after a while, that’s a joke that starts to pale!”
But as Andy says, over the years, comedy is a world that has massively opened up: “When I first started, people thought it was an idiot’s thing to do, to try to make a living in comedy.
“I trained as a lawyer, but had no interest in it. I did six months as a legal clerk and got offered redundancy and took it with open arms.
“By then, I was starting to write for BBC radio. They were starting to give me a few commissions.”
And the three-months redundancy pay was the cushion he needed: “I made sure I worked hard enough not to have to go back to the law!”
He’s now pondering a show on the course his life might have taken if he had stayed in the legal profession.
Lord Chief Justice Parsons has got a ring to it, he admits: “And I could certainly use a wig! But maybe not one quite like that!”