ABOUT

"I’m never ever going to give up showbiz. Showbiz will have to give me up first." 

"At school, I was the joker in the pack" 

Tucker, was the class joker at school, but it was only after a career as a plasterer and another as a Blue Coat for Pontins that he found his feet on the comedy stage.

Paul, known as Tucker since a boy simply because he shares the same surname as Tucker Jenkins from Grange Hill, has been a staple of the comedy scene for the past two decades. He travels the world over with his gags, observational humour and wry take on the world. In his own words: ‘I’ve been everywhere being funny.’

He’s played at Wembley Arena and The Royal Albert Hall, been on tour with Barry Manilow, Bradley Walsh, The Stylistics, had Basil Brush as companion, worked on the world-famous Cromer Pier Summer Show, For the past six years, he’s also been performing at Warner with a pleasing – and belly-laughing – mix of improv, observational humour, jokes, visual gags and a few songs here and there. Tucker’s theory is that there are two types of comedians. The first says funny things. The second says things funny. He falls into the second camp. However, it took him a long time to realise it.

"At school, I was the joker in the pack" 

Growing up, he wanted to be Brian Conley – big shoes to fill. Instead, he followed his father into the rather different building trade. ‘At school, I was the joker in the pack and I enjoyed drama, but it wasn’t really my thing,’ he says. ‘I had no ambitions to be on stage. In my mind, I was set to be a plasterer. ’Seven years later, though, life threw him a curveball when one unassuming night he chanced upon karaoke in a little pub in Romford. He performed the classic Elvis song, Burning Love, and blew the pub, and himself, away.

This was his epiphany, or so he believed. ‘I thought I was the world’s greatest singer and started doing karaoke in every pub that would have me.’ A year or so later he auditioned to be a Blue Coat at Pontins, got the gig, and took on his second apprenticeship as an entertainer. ‘I went in really hoping to be a singer, but found out within the first two weeks that actually I wasn’t even the best vocalist on the team.’

However, he had the ability – had always had it – to make people laugh. To be successful, he finally realised he had to start over as a comedian. His natural fit. Finally.

 

Now into his 21st year of making people laugh, Tucker has a solo show but has also created his own variety show with Saturday night star billing. At Warner, it’s a two-hour extravaganza, with a tribute artist, comic, live music, plus magic.  

"I’m never ever going to give up showbiz. Showbiz will have to give me up first." 

He links the acts, pulling them all together. ‘When I walk on stage I become a larger version of myself. I’m inspired by everything that’s around me and touch on subjects everyone can relate to.’ He talks about his three little girls, his wife and Eastbourne home, work, his Essex-based childhood. Nothing is off limits as he explains how important it is to ‘feel the room’. ‘Comedy to me is not about a big arena. A comic is only as good as the rooms he’s in. What I love about coming to a Warner hotel is that there’s a real stage with sound and lights, and it’s intimate. Also, the audience is of an age that remembers how to be an audience. They get me. I get them.

This feeling is something he’s reluctant to let go. Even though Tucker now also manages 18 artists, the call of a life touring and living out of a suitcase is strong enough for him to dramatically declare as a parting shot: ‘I’m never ever going to give up showbiz. Showbiz will have to give me up first.’