Festival Diary: Kevin Bridges suggests Lewis Capaldi try his hand at acting

The audience demographic at the book festival shifted dramatically with subsequent nights of back-to-back comedy then music headliners at the Central Hall.

Kevin Bridges has suggested Lewis Capaldi try his hand at acting. Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
Kevin Bridges has suggested Lewis Capaldi try his hand at acting. Picture: Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

The Q&As sections of events can often be the most entertaining, thanks to the curveballs which emerged from the shadows.

Kevin Bridges has only just published his debut novel but was challenged by an American fan to name which actors he had in mind when Hollywood comes calling for a big-screen adaptation of his novel The Black Dog.

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Bridges suggested James McAvoy for one of the roles, with the caveat that he would “need to get a tan” to play the Scots-Italian character James, and turned to the musical world for inspiration for another role.

Jarvis Cocker teases another Pulp reunion on his Instagram post.
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He said: “I think Lewis Capaldi would be a great actor.

"He is an all-rounder. He has a great voice, obviously, but he is funny and there is something there. I’ve met him a good few times, he’s a good guy, but I don’t know if he’d ever consider acting.

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"He is a human – I like that about him. He is not a wee robot.”

Bridges was brought down to earth by the next questioner, who hailed him as his “second-favourite comedian” after Chic Murray.

He told him: “You’ve got a long way to go to beat him.”

Bridges admitted to feeling somehow out of the place at the book festival, to the extent that he struggles to pronounce the word author.

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Bridges recalled how he had been adopting a “Leamington Spa” accent since being told by an English promoter: “If I can’t understand you over the phone what chance have my audience got?”

“I would just put on an English accent to get booked into comedy clubs. I would show up, do my spot and it would go alright, but the club would always wonder when the guy from Leamington Spar would turn up.

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“I’ve owned that accent as a practical device in everyday life. The Scottish accent can be quite tough.”

There was no opportunity to quiz the comic – or see him on the big screen at the art school courtyard, where is among the acts to have been red-flagged if they are deemed likely to swear or cause offence to anyone enjoying a quiet cuppa.

Jarvis Cocker wielded a laser pen at his event, to help illustrate the terric collection of objects recovered from a loft space which inspired his book Good Pop, Bad Pop, but also cheekily threatened to deploy it on anyone asking a question he didn’t like.

That did little to deter one audience member, who blamed his absent wife for his question: “How many Common People have you actually slept with?”

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Cocker’s fans listened intently as he recounted the conversation with a fellow student at Saint Martins art school in London, who told him of her desire to move to Hackney to “live with the common people.”

He said: “It pointed up this perception of what that kind of life is like. It’s one thing to live it and have no choice, but to do it as something to dip into, rather like you’re a crudités dipping yourself into taramasalata or hummus is not the same thing.

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“To me, there is no such thing as a common person – so the answer is zero.”

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