The comedian has been finding inventive ways to bring his show to audiences during the crisis

The Bristol-born comedian Mark Watson gained a reputation early in his career for marathon standup performances – he staged his first 24-hour gig in 2004, extending it to 36 hours a couple of years later. His stamina has served him well during lockdown. At the start of May, Watson – who is 40 and lives in east London with his partner, the comedy producer Lianne Coop, and his two children – staged a virtual 24-hour standup show for charity. Then he organised the drive-in event series Mark Watson’s Carpool Comedy Club, hosting 24 performances over 12 nights in July and August. “It was fairly gruelling,” he admits when we speak a couple of days after the final show, “but we’re very pleased with how it went.”

There’s more to Watson than endurance. A master of brainy, self-deprecating standup, he was nominated for the Perrier best newcomer award in 2005 and has been a fixture on the UK circuit ever since, making frequent forays around the world. He has also written seven novels, the latest of which, Contacts, will be published in October, with a memoir, Eight Deaths, on the way early next year.

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