Alexander James Jeffrey “Alex” Horne is a British comedian. He is the host of “The Horne Section”, a live music variety show which has been broadcast on BBC Radio 4, we caught up with them for a quick chat.
What can we expect from your new show?
Horne Section shows are a mixture of highly-tuned musicianship and stupid stunts. We’ve been around for nearly a decade now so we have what are officially called Greatest Hits, as well as a whole lot of Other Good Stuff, along side a bunch of New Things That May Or May Not Work. In short, there’ll be music, dancing, insults, jokes and mistakes.
Is music a big influence when creating your shows?
Absolutely. I’ve grown up with these musicians and will always be frustrated that I’m not one. These shows are a chance for me to finally have a part to play in a band, to feel like a musician, even though I will never be one. What’s more, I’m nominally in charge of these ridiculously talented people, so I have all the power. I am a conductor who is clueless about music, like a child in charge of a truck. It’s brilliant fun.
Tell us about your first ever show as The Horne Section.
We’d booked ourselves eight nights in Edinburgh at my first fringe since becoming a father. We were on at midnight and had convinced Tim Key and a few other brilliant comics to come and play with the band. We didn’t know if it would work. By half one that morning we realised we had something that just might be special. Everyone had a good time; the comics, the musicians, me – even the audience. I got home just as my wife and child were getting up and my euphoric bubble was burst.
How do London audiences differ to other towns?
I suppose they have less of a recognisable identity because they are so disparate. In Hull most audience members tend to be from Hull. In London about half will be from the Southern Hemisphere. But by the same token, a London audience is united by its cosmopolitanism and the variety in audience can make these gigs the sparkiest and most festival-like (neither of which are very good words, sorry).
Do you have a favourite place to go when in London?
I don’t have a single favourite place but here are my top five: The Pineapple Pub in Kentish Town, The British Library, the Sainsburys in Kensal Green, the pasta restaurant at the bottom of Dean Street and any of the old school bowling alleys.
What’s the worst heckle you have ever received?
Back in 2000 I was a new comic on at Up The Creek in Greenwich. Within thirty seconds I was struggling. “Just give me a minute”, I begged. “60, 59, 58…” they shouted back as one.
… And what’s your best heckler put down?
On that occasion I had nothing. I just laughed, waited and left. Nowadays I have a band behind me so can hopefully turn any audience contribution into some sort of moment. It’s a numbers thing really; there are now six of us and we’ve all got microphones so we should win.
Describe your show in 5 words.
Comedian makes musicians muck about.
The Horne Section embark on a nationwide tour from 8th Sept to 30th May 2018, for tickets and further info please visit thehornesection.com