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ABC News

Rob Brydon talks lies, impressions and next trip to Australia for his musical comedy show

As a star of stage and screen, he's arguably become best known for two things: impressions and lies. 

But actor, comedian, singer and raconteur Rob Brydon is being utterly sincere when he says his role hosting Would I Lie to You? (WILTY) was far from a matter of destiny.

His first appearance was as a panellist — and it didn't quite go to plan.

"I was booked for two episodes and I pulled out of the second one because I thought I was so bad on the first," he told ABC Radio Adelaide's Stacey Lee and Nikolai Beilharz.

"I said to my agent, 'Tell 'em I'm not well'.

"They must have thought he was so awful he can host it."

Naturally, it wasn't nearly as bad as all that, and there was a salutary lesson.

"As a performer, you can sometimes have a very skewhiffed view of things," he said.

"You'll think, 'This isn't so good, this isn't going well' — but that's not what the audience is seeing."

Brydon is currently preparing to bring his show A Night Of Songs and Laughter to Australia next year, including Adelaide on March 21.

It's a musical memoir of sorts — Brydon's aim is to charm audiences with songs about his early years.

"When they see I'm coming with a band, they probably think they're some old duffers on their last legs. But these guys in the band, they are just stunning — they're so good," he said.

"It's become a nice balanced show — I've heard it described as almost like a variety show."

Impressions to feature alongside stories

As far as sonorous Welshmen are concerned, Brydon may or may not give Tom Jones a run for his money — but it's more as a mimic than as a singer that he has achieved renown.

The Trip series is largely a vehicle for the vocal virtuosity of himself and co-star Steve Coogan, and his upcoming tour will showcase that skill.

"I'll do impressions in it and talking to the audience and telling stories and then the music weaves its way through," he said.

"[There's an] emphasis more on the early days, talking about going to school in old South Wales, not New South Wales, and how I got into performing."

The last time he was here, Brydon was "pleasantly surprised" by the way his sense of humour resonated with Australian audiences.

"A lot of British comics play the Netherlands, they play Europe, they'll go to Dubai, they'll play America — I've never had any interest in that," he said.

"I don't know if you can say this about Aussies generally — but my audience knows my stuff, they know The Trip and they know Would I Lie to You? and they know Gavin and Stacey.

"That common ground that I have with the UK audience, I also had with the Australian audience."

But will he be making a cameo on the Australian version of WILTY?

"That's a nice idea — I hadn't thought of that," he said.

"I'm aware of it but I haven't seen it. But yes, yes, maybe I could."

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