I met up with the incredibly pleasant comedian (and former Xtra Factor host) Matt Richardson. We met at The Groucho Club in Soho where we discussed comedy, turtlenecks and Sharon Osborne anecdotes. Matt is a comedian who I have been a fan of for a while now and I was gutted to have missed his last tour when he played in Falmouth where I studied my Fashion Photography degree, and I feel like he could have done with some younger attendee’s to the gig after he informed me that it’s tricky telling wanking jokes to a group of senior citizens.
Needless to say, this lean, mean joking machine who happens to be a babe magnet (and winner of Heat Magazine’s Weird Crush 2014) knows how to deliver the punchlines with style and grace and after a rather lengthy and amusing chat about what animal we would be, and what animal we would do, I thought it was the perfect time to begin my interview.
Harry: If you could be the face of any brand, which would it be and why?
Matt: I would probably be the front of Topman because I wear a lot of Topman stuff. I really like it and a lot of their things are really basic and I like simple clothes, nothing patterned really. If I was the face, it would mean they would probably let me… maybe have some free things. I like Topman which is why I buy it. I mean, what a ‘first-world problem’ to be like “eugh, I still have to buy my own clothes!” But, I do really like Topman and I’m happy to buy it. I also really like Weekend Offender, their stuff is quite good. Maybe I’m not quite cool enough for it, or Farrah, they have some nice bits and I also quite like ASOS. My favourite ever pair of jeans are from ASOS.
Harry: What would be your worst 3 fashion cliches that you could be asked to wear?
Matt: I hate wearing a tie. I struggle with ties and I struggle with smart shoes with jeans. I’m so trainers and jeans, its unbelievable. I have 7 pairs of Nike Blazers. I love trainers, not crap trainers, good trainers. The other thing I hate is bow ties, people have tried to put me in bow ties and they try and play up to this ‘geek chic’ thing with me and I’m not a geek or a nerd. I’m not confident enough to rock a bow tie.
Harry: If you got asked by a stylist for a TV show to wear an outfit, how comfortable would you be wearing it even if you knew you hate it?
Matt: I probably wouldn’t wear it. I had a stylist last year when I was on Xtra Factor and she would get me all of this stuff and I’d say “aw that’s so nice” but she used to over-buy for me so I would avoid wearing it. She’d bring an outfit and I’d take elements that I loved and self-edit to put it with other things that I liked, so I would mix the jackets up or I would tone down the patterns. Occasionally it would be a bit ‘fashiony’ and out there and I would try and make it as normal as possible.
Harry: Is there something you would like to see more people wearing that isn’t normally a trend, if so, what would you say is your ‘must-have’?
Matt: My must-have would probably be a turtleneck. I know they’ve become quite fashionable again, but I got so much abuse on Twitter for wearing one on Xtra Factor that I would like them to become accepted again. If you’re a bit older or someone like Dermot O’Leary, you can wear a turtleneck but I couldn’t because people kept telling me it makes me look old and I’m too young. But it’s cold, and they’re so warm! People are scared to wear them, and I wasn’t until I felt the wrath and hatred on social media. People from my home town were like “you’ve changed since going on TV” and I was like ‘It’s just a turtleneck, I swear?!” I’ve stopped wearing them now so my girlfriend has all of mine turtlenecks and she’s shrunk them so she can wear them… It’s too late to get them back.
Harry: Just from initial viewings, what would you say is your view of people in the fashion industry?
Matt: I think the fashion industry takes itself incredibly seriously. I’m in comedy which is nice and easy but out of TV, music, fashion and film, fashion seems to be the trickiest. It’s the most ruthless, I think its the most thankless if you work in it and when I’ve been to fashion parties and events, I’ve found that people who are really successful, don’t really care and think its quite fun but there are a lot of people scrambling and taking it very seriously, that weird low to middle rung of people resent the fact that I’m nothing to do with fashion but I go to things and for them, that’s a middle finger. But I have loads of friends that work in fashion who are really nice and have a good laugh but I think its pretty ruthless if you work in the industry.
Harry: If you were placed on front row at a fashion show, and then got asked to move for someone more famous to take that seat, what would you say to PR?
Matt: I would criticise them for not planning better to begin with, I wouldn’t move, I would just tell them it was there fault. It’s not my problem, for example, if Samuel L Jackson walked in, I’m not gonna save their arse because they fucked up, I’m going to stay put. If he sits on 2nd row and the PR person loses their job, that’s their issue. Don’t embarrass me, Samuel L Jackson can sit next to me, we can squeeze in together or I could sit on his lap for sure but I definitely wouldn’t move.
Harry: If there was one ‘rock and roll’ thing you could do to get you kicked out of a fashion show, what would you do?
Matt: I got told off at Fashion East because I was sat next to the organiser without knowing who she was, and she got mad because I kept trying to make jokes to the person I was sat with because I was bored before it started and when it was on, because its only on for about 10 minutes and she got really mad because I said “it was like Yo! Sushi for skinny girls” and she didn’t approve. Then turned to me and said “Why don’t we give you a microphone so you can commentate the whole thing” and I told her that it would be very funny. I was dropping some nuggets of gold. I just muck around, I have an awful attention span and that’s probably what I would get kicked out for. What is the most rock and roll thing you could do? Probably start a protest against fur or something. I’m not really big on all the fashion things but I am really grateful to get invited to the shows and parties so I probably wouldn’t risk it. Mostly its just me being a dick, and that’s why I would get kicked out.