Kate McMullin speaks to the man watched by 3,000,000 every day – but the working world might not be aware of his talents, yet
A qualified GP, one of UK’s top quizzers and a comedian, that can’t be right, can it?
It can indeed for Paul Sinha more commonly known as the “Sinnerman” of ITV’s much loved show The Chase.
The British comedian broke the family tradition after hanging up his stethoscope to pursue his comedy dream taking what he said was a “huge leap of faith”
“I’ve always loved comedy and I was and still am a huge fan of stand-up”
“Every time I used to watch a comedian on stage I would have these creeping questions in the back of my head, like ‘could I do this’, or ‘should I try this out’, so June 1995 in a pub in London I watched an amazing first act go on and just thought oh great how am I going to follow that”.
“But I did, and it didn’t actually go too badly, it didn’t go too well mind you but thankfully no one else after me was very good either so I didn’t look too out of place”.
When asked how the ‘chaser’ managed the vast transition from doctor to comedian he agreed it was “a very difficult come down”.
“It was easy to keep my two personas separate because they were such different professions, I obviously wasn’t going to be throwing in jokes whilst doing a medical examination but I did find it quite difficult to get my head around the fact that one day I was on stage in front of an audience and then the next I was back to my mundane job”.
The turning point in Paul’s comedy career came in 1998 and just in time as he said “I was just about to give up”.
“I honestly thought, okay I’ve tried it and it’s not really going anywhere, then I performed at London Comedy Store and it went blindingly well.
After that I was signed by an agent and started to get quite a lot of gigs; I didn’t have the time or dedication that was needed to continue my medicine career, and the truth is I am a much better comedian than I ever was a doctor!”
Nevertheless, Paul continued with another long term passion of his; quizzing. I have always been into quizzing. I remember four or five years ago being on the University Challenge in a ‘Comedians’ team and we got absolutely brutalised; at that point I thought to myself I don’t want this to be the last I need to get better”.
And better he got.
Paul Sinha is now in the top 20 quizzers in the UK with his knowledge being tested every day on the award winning ITV game show The Chase.
He says: “I think The Chase has got it all. It’s got the comedy factor and probably the broadest range of questions I’ve come across in a quiz show, it can go from Jodie Marsh to Einstein in a second.
“You might not think it but the chasers are just as terrified as the contestants and we hate losing no matter how good or nice the contestants are.
“ I am always wanting to better myself but being a comedian and a competing quizzer actually go quite well together because I am able to improve my knowledge by talking to people in the great number of places I have been lucky enough to travel too”.
The comedian has gone far and wide with his comedy career, performing in countries as far away as Thailand, New Zealand and South Africa, but this week he will be coming to Lancashire to perform his stand-up comedy ‘Paul Sinha is a Stand-up Comedian’.
“My stand up is an autobiography about me, my family, my medical career; my life, and it is great to be able to perform in an area I haven’t been too before.
“The unpredictable nature of comedy as a whole gives me incredible gratification, you can either sink or swim, but as long as you are on the ride you have just got to enjoy it, don’t be thinking ‘why does this work’ just be glad that it does!”
Paul Sinha is at Ormskirk Civic Hall tomorrow.
Paul Sinha is a Stand-up Comedian
Friday, November 15
Ormskirk Civic Hall, Southport Road, Ormskirk, L39 1LN
Box Office: 01695 554150