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Laughing in the Face of ‘Failure’…

Leicester comedian Alex Hylton is currently performing his brand new stand-up show ‘I Won’t Let Failure go to My Head.’ It’s an interesting choice of title for a comic who’s notched up some notable successes over the past ten years, including ‘Best Show’ at the 2020 Leicester Comedy Festival. Neither- the-less, it’s a humorous ( if rather self- deprecating) title which has certainly caught our attention. Let’s find out more…

Picture: Alex Hylton

So Alex, tell us about the new show. How did you decide on the title?

“It’s a lighthearted way of looking at where I am in life I guess. On one hand I feel like I’m so lucky that I get to do comedy professionally and full-time, however, I’m also aware that I haven’t got any level of fame, or glamour, or success. I sort of wonder and doubt myself sometimes, especially in the midst of the cost of living crisis and all the boundaries around social mobility…

“I feel like the show is a bit of an anthem for people who might be stuck in the mud, or they can’t progress or get to the next stage of their life given the current climate.

“People have really resonated with it as a concept I think and it’s a great avenue for comedy I guess…”

What can people expect from the show?

“The show’s all about chasing your dreams and there are some great stories! I talk about the rapper Tynchy Strider for quite
a while, and other topics include the cost of living crisis and what’s wrong with ‘Love Island’… I also talk about performing in a sex club (by accident), plus politics and everything in- between!”

What’s the reaction been like so far?

“I’ve had a really positive reaction so far and some lovely reviews. I tried it out at Edinburgh Fringe Festival over the summer and there were no glasses thrown at me or anything like that so it’s all good!”

How long have you been performing comedy?

“I’ve been doing stand-up for ten years this year, which is crazy.

“I started at 18, after moving to Leicester from Stafford.
I always believed that comedy was my calling but had no idea how to get into it. However, I heard about the Leicester Comedy Festival so it seemed like a good place to move to.

“I was an amateur on the open mic circuit for a while. I wasn’t very good, and I used to die on my backside at comedy clubs around the country and slept in my car a lot.

“However, I just kept plugging away and eventually I got a little bit better to a point where people could afford to pay me a little bit of money. That grew into enough money to pay my bills and eventually I was able to cobble together a career in comedy.”

What attracted you to comedy and how do you feel on stage?

“Being on stage is an incredible rush. I like very much the silence as you walk on and that moment of anticipation… Anything can happen, you can talk about anything. You’re not bound by anything other than your own imagination.”

How do you find the Leicester comedy scene?

“I’ve performed in Leicester more than anywhere else and
I love it. I think Leicester audiences are very open minded and up for things and it’s definitely inspired me on stage. I’ve talked about Leicester many times in shows and I’m very proud to be a part of Leicester’s cultural scene in my own small way.

“Leicester is kind of like the melting pot of all the world’s different communities and living here has given me a much wider world view then I think I might have had if I’d stayed in Stafford. So I’m very grateful to Leicester – I think it makes me a more interesting and better performer.”

For Alex’s upcoming performances visit:

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