‘Trump, Brexit, indyref2? I feel someone has just given me three boxsets for Christmas’: Rory Bremner is relishing the political climate

(John Phillips/Getty Images)
(John Phillips/Getty Images)

EVEN by the frantic, feverish standards of modern-day politics, it’s been a momentous week.

From Nicola Sturgeon’s announcement of a second independence referendum to Theresa May’s Brexit bill being signed by the Queen, it’s been breathlessly groundbreaking.

And Rory Bremner, for one, couldn’t be happier.

The Scots comedian’s current tour is called Party Political and it sees the former Bremner, Bird and Fortune star delving into the world which fascinates him so much.

So, he frankly can’t help but smile as he contemplates a political landscape full of turmoil, uncertainty and larger than life characters.

“The world’s just gone mad,” Rory, 56, told The Sunday Post.

“A few years ago I thought I knew a fair bit about politics. But after the first indyref, then Corbyn and Brexit and Trump I now realise I know absolutely nothing.

“With Corbyn, Trump and Brexit I feel like someone has given me three boxsets for Christmas.

“It’s surreal and such an exciting time to be on tour as we all try to come to terms with what’s happening.

“Politics has come back big time.”

The new independence referendum (if it happens) is also very much on Rory’s radar. He is, he confesses, naturally someone comfortable in a union, both within the UK and in Europe.

“I like belonging to a larger whole but it doesn’t compromise my sense of nationhood or patriotism.

“I can completely understand the frustration about the way things are going nationally, including the total uselessness of the Labour Party.

“The last indyref vote was 55/45 and that’s a pretty fair description of how I feel myself.” There is no bigger, or more controversial, figure on the world stage than Donald Trump.

And it’s little surprise that the American President is very much in Rory’s firing line.

“I’m a bit divided, because as an impressionist you always welcome the big characters.

“But Donald Trump makes even George W. Bush look like the voice of sanity and reason.

“The more I read about him, the more amazed I am that he got anywhere near a nomination, never mind the presidency.

“So many of the claims he makes are so obviously false, like having the greatest crowd at his inauguration or the most electoral college seats.

“We’re in a world now where people say you couldn’t make it up, but Trump does make it up.

“They’ve given the job of the most important politician in the world to someone who has no political experience at all.

“He’s such a maverick that I really do think America has a rogue president.

“I don’t want somebody who’s angry and vain running the world.”

(L-R) Rory Bremner talks to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a reception and dinner.(Steve Parsons - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
(L-R) Rory Bremner talks to Prince William, Duke of Cambridge during a reception and dinner.(Steve Parsons – WPA Pool/Getty Images)

There’s rapid-fire chat and blink-of-an-eye character switches during the stage show that’s been garnering high praise.

But on a more serious note, he confides he needs to stay off his ADHD medication to keep on top of his stage show.

But admits he will have to take it again as he continues to deal with his recently-diagnosed condition.

He only found out about it during tests for a new TV documentary on ADHD due to be screened in a couple of months.

Getting the news, he admits, “wasn’t my happiest 24 hours” and says pills and political satire just don’t mix.

“I took medication for the programme but when you’re on stage then adrenaline kicks in,” explains Rory, whose career has seen him pick up BAFTAs as well as Royal Television Society and British Comedy Award gongs.

“You’re juggling four or five balls in the air, but the Ritalin medication makes you concentrate on just one or two things at a time.

“That slows you down on stage but I still have the medication and I will take it again when I’m preparing for things.

“It’s quite sophisticated these days and you can just dial it up and down as you need it.

“It passes through the system in a matter of hours. I know people who are on it and they are very much in control.”

Rory admits ADHD can actually prove to be a blessing, not a curse, for a comic and impressionist.

“I had always suspected that I had it,” he confides. “Mine is mild and I’ve learned how to manage it and turn it to my advantage.

“I’m in a job where it’s an asset. It’s one where being uninhibited and having your brain shoot off at tangents is not a bad thing.

“During the diagnosis period, where you’re admitting to the many failings of managing your life and taking responsibility, I found ADHD really owned me.

“Usually, though I manage to run the show.”

For many others, however, Rory is aware that it’s constantly deeply difficult and troubling.

“Families with someone with ADHD live in a world of frustration and despair.

“It’s very easy for children to be excluded and misunderstood and written off.

“They need help, because ADHD is under-diagnosed.

“Our documentary shows scans of the brain of a typical nine-year-old which is naturally developing.

“But when you look at the brain of a nine-year-old with ADHD, half the pieces are missing. It’s as if they haven’t turned up.

“It’s heartbreaking that you have that scientific proof yet people still talk about naughty children and bad parents.”

Tour details can be found online at lakinmccarthy.com

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