Gold. It’s a funny old thing. The gaudy yellow jezebel has the power to get under the skin and send you a little mad; it’s been immortalised by Spandau Ballet in song, a Bond villain even had a gun made out of it (with matching bullets no less); and the desire for it has sent people tunnelling into bank vaults from the cellar of the premises next door.
Comedian Lucy Porter, however – like myself – isn’t always a fan. “It’s funny, a lot of people have said to me, ‘thank god, someone speaking my mind!’
“When I was a teenager, you were either an indie kid or a goth, or anyone who wasn’t completely mainstream [if you didn’t wear gold]. It had a dip in popularity, I think, but it does seem to be back.”
Throughout her life Porter has only owned one piece of gold – a bangle that once belonged to her fearsome Irish Catholic granny. This, those bizarre cash-for-gold ads and a trip to the ostentatious excess of Dubai got her thinking about gold and so her Edinburgh show last year, Fool’s Gold, explored notions about the precious metal and experimented with a little alchemy (and why not?).
However, by the time Porter’s tour started at the beginning of this year, certain aspects of the show had to be rewritten; for one thing she was looking at owning a piece of gold (other than Nan’s bangle). “I got married in between… it was really weird because I did only own that one piece of gold from Nan and now I’ve got the gold wedding band that I never wanted. It is explicitly talked about in the show, (that I’m) not being bothered about getting married.”
But, most importantly, how does it fit with the rest of your jewellery? There’s nothing worse than the odd bit of gold among silver. Eugh…
“It’s white gold. Argos do a very reasonable one!” she laughs. “Even the one bit of gold that you’re meant to have, I couldn’t actually have when it came to it; couldn’t bear to.”
Though that said, at the time of chatting she hadn’t actually got that either.
“What I actually have on is the brass sizing. We went into the wedding ring shop and because the whole wedding was so last minute, when we said we’re getting married next week, she went mental. She was like, ‘we can’t possibly do it in a week!’
“It takes apparently four weeks to order them and make them so she gave
us the brass display things.
“We haven’t actually bothered to go and collect the rings yet, so we’re both just wearing bits of brass. I might keep that going throughout the whole tour so that I’m never actually wearing real gold.”
Getting married was bound to change the tack of Porter’s latest show, but over the years Porter’s single life had thrown up plenty of amusing – and completely true – tales of her dating exploits. In fact, one show was entirely devoted to them.
“It was all of my dating disasters, loads of things that people kept saying. ‘Oh well, that couldn’t be true, that story that you made up about that’ – and it was true! In a way thank God people didn’t spot it, but they were the most honest show I’d done.
“I mean all that has to go, it’s all going to be material about how blissfully happy and in love I am.
“What can we do? It’s quite good in a way, I’ve been ploughing a similar furrow for a while and I think changing your life does inevitably change your comedy.”
Anyway enough about successes in the love department what about that Celebrity Mastermind triumph? “Oh yes… I’m glad that you brought it up because I was going to have to crowbar it in somehow,” chortles Porter about her win answering questions on comedian Steve Martin.
“Me and Mark Watson (fellow comic) were really kind of swotty about it. We’d both tried very hard.
“I think we were both so desperate to win that it was always going to get a bit ugly. We’ve spoken since, we’re fine now but it was nice because it was really close.
“Some of my friends watched it and said it was genuinely quite tense and up to the last minute… a lot of people have said my questions were easier…”
Ah well, they would say that, they’re probably just jealous. There’s no doubt it’s a gold star for Porter (and that’ll be the third gold thing in her flat too).
Lucy Porter is at The Lowry on April 29, 2010.