In a new series, ardent Press Packer Christopher Cantrill reveals what makes the up and coming stars of London's comedy circuit tick with unprecedented access to their lives. This time we look at BBC New Comedy Awards finalist Sunil Patel and probe into how he writes material as well as seeing the highs and lows of being an upper lower tier stand up comedian in London.
We've all heard the stories; naked moonlit calls to customer service departments, consistently arguing about the infringement of his copyright and always falling in love with Twitter sexbots. However, when I finally meet with Sunil Patel at Costa Coffee near Finsbury Park he walks and talks like a regular human being, albeit one who's been raised in the bosom of home counties privilege.
I ask him which comedians he admires and the response is a long, drawn out pause with an accompanying roll of the eyes. After what feels like an eternity he takes out his iPhone 5c and looking at himself in the inactive glass, declares that audiences should be paying "good nut to see me because I'm never, ever off". For the first time I feel that I'm meeting the bad apple who's talked about on the 1997 themed on-line discussion forums that digitally represent the comedy circuit.
Patel describes his comedy as feeling like you're "dragging a sharp blade through a tensed muscle" but before I get a chance to really think about what that means he's airing all the grime from under the fingernails of London's comedy circuit. Apparently, a fellow comedian, Daryl Perry can be summarised as "a set of great teeth plugged into someone who probably would have been a Nazi if geography and time would have allowed so". A quick Google search reveals that more often than not, promoters will use Perry's photo for the poster rather than Patel's.
With the interview concluded, where next? Northampton, there's a Student Union there in need of an education in hilarity. There's no pay involved, just some great exposure, valuable stage time and some chicks who are, hopefully, D.T.F. He leaves me with a bill, unpaid.