Interview: Joe Pasquale
COMEDIAN Joe Pasquale might be bringing his cheeky new “one night stand” show to the Blackpool stage in two days’ time, but there's still the small matter of writing it.
“I’m looking forward to coming to Blackpool but the strange thing is, I haven’t worked out exactly what I'm going to do yet,” laughed Joe.
“There’ll be a bit of magic, a bit of music, some ventriloquism and I’ll be doing a sort of tribute to Nostradamus — but I’ll be making some predictions of my own.
“I do have a few things planned in my head, but between those things I could do anything really. I’ve got the attention span of a 10-year-old so I enjoy improvisation and audience interaction. The show changes every night. If it didn’t I’d get bored. I enjoy thinking on my feet.
“I’ve always said I could never go out on stage and do the same set night after night. Some performers do that for 10 years, but I wouldn’t last a week. If this thing ever turned into a job I'd quit.”
And he reckons his show will be suitable for the whole family.
“I do family stuff, it's not rude,” he said. “It's a show you can take the kids to. There's nothing you wouldn't see on telly after 7pm. I think it's always important for people to have escapism, and probably in the current climate it's more important than ever."
Joe, who hails from Essex, is most famous for hosting the revived version of game show The Price is Right, as well as being crowned King of the Jungle on the reality TV show I'm a Celebrity . . .
Get Met Out Of Here!
After winning the hearts of the nation on I'm A Celebrity by conquering his fear of heights, Joe reckons he's become a much braver person.
“Something happened to me there in that jungle,” he said. “I don't know what it was, but I emerged a lot braver than when I went in.
“I've always been scared of heights and the very first thing they did was to throw me out of a plane. Then a couple of days later I was hanging out of a helicopter. I thought, if I can do this, I can do anything.”
Returning to the UK Joe took up flying and, after eight months training, got his pilot’s licence. Joe now flies his own plane, a 40-year-old PA28 Piper Warrior.
And his new-found desire to walk on the wild side has also opened up some amazing career opportunities.
He recently took part in TV series The Prisoner: X, which saw celebrity presenters unceremoniously placed in the world’s harshest prisons.
Joe’s home from home was San Rafael prison in Costa Rica.
“San Rafael was an open prison,” recalled Joe.
“That might sound like a soft option but believe me it wasn’t.
"Whereas the other celebrities were mainly kept segregated from the inmates, I was mixing with the prison population the whole time.
"So there I was, speaking not a word of Spanish and surrounded by around 900 of the toughest criminals, 800 of them armed.”
Instead of keeping his head down, Joe did what only Joe would do — he challenged the prison’s boxing champion to a fight.
“The man was a giant — and undefeated in 44 matches. No wonder they nicknamed me ‘Gringo Loco’.
"We went through with it and he very kindly decided not to kill me.”
Life in the fast lane also recently found Joe hiking up an active volcano in Guatemala, where he toasted marshmallows over the lava flows with the local kids Far from deciding enough’s enough, Joe Pasquale relished such challenges.
“It’s like getting a second chance at life,” he said. “For me, the more dangerous things are, the better I like it.”
l See Joe Pasquale at Blackpool Grand Theatre on Sunday, July 26. For tickets call 01253 290190 or visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk