craig2When the Star Observer gave camp-as-a-row-of-kilts Scots comedian Craig Hill a call, we found the ever-amiable funnyman was busy playing tour guide in his native Glasgow.

“My friends from Sydney have just moved to Scotland – they’re questioning why they’ve done it given we’ve just had the coldest March in 20 years – and I’m showing them around and trying to convince them they haven’t made a huge mistake,” he chuckled.

While his friends may be moving away from our shores, Hill can’t get enough of all things Aussie. His upcoming Melbourne and Sydney comedy festival shows mark his second Australian trip this year, following a run of gigs in Adelaide during summer. Surprisingly, he said he wasn’t dreading making the long haul return flight for the second time in as many months.

“I don’t mind sitting on a plane – I think you should just appreciate the fact you have the time to watch movies and drink wine. That’s a luxury in life nowadays – film, magazine and wine-time with no-one telling you off!”

Hill said he also took time during flights to work on his material, but admitted much of that work usually went out the window when confronted with a living, breathing audience.

“My shows are very off the cuff and spontaneous. I don’t know who I’m going to find, but I’m always determined to find brilliant characters. It makes for a very unique night when the audience can tell, ‘My god, he’s made this up on the spot,’” he said.

So who are these ‘brilliant characters’ Hill’s on the lookout for? How does he select who in the audience is going to be subjected to his withering quips (which he’s keen to point out are all in good fun)?

“It’s the ones who are quite willing to challenge a comedian. The ones who think they’re funny – the ballsy ones with the biggest mouths. They’re the most fun, because it becomes a bit of a game in a very sweet, spirited way.”

He’ll have no shortage of those types in Australia – if there’s one thing the people of this country know how to do, it’s heckle.

“You guys certainly have a confidence that the Brits don’t have,” he said.

“But the thing I love about Australian audiences is they don’t have their arms crossed in a ‘prove you’re funny’ kind of manner. They really will you to do well – they’re already excited about seeing you before you’ve even started. That’s all you can hope for, really.”

While his performances may be off the cuff, there’s at least one guarantee with each new Craig Hill stand-up show: his trademark kilts will get ever more impressive. He promised he’d be packing a doozy down under.

“To my shame, it’s my sluttiest one so far. Red PVC, which in a hot country is perhaps not the best idea – I’ll be drip-dry. I think I’ll need a cloth backstage for my special area… and it is special.”

INFO: Craig Hill plays Melbourne’s Spiegeltent, April 16-21 (tickets through comedyfestival.com.au), and Sydney’s Comedy Store, April 26 (tickets through Ticketek).

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