What's On

Find the Places

Meet the People

Culture Blog

Christian Russell-Pollock

Play Video Play Video
Christian Russell-Pollock is an award-winning stand-up comedian who moved to Plymouth a little more than five years ago and decided to take up comedy at the same time.

Stand-up is undoubtedly one of the hardest forms of comedy to truly master. It’s intimate, intimidating, and there’s nowhere to hide if it all goes wrong!

One thing’s for sure… you’ve got to have bags of confidence, not to mention pretty thick skin to stand in front of a room full of people and try to make them laugh.

Thick skin is undoubtedly one of the reasons why Christian Russell-Pollock is making such huge waves in the ‘Plymouth Comedy Scene’ and beyond.

Christian is an award-winning stand-up comedian who moved to Plymouth a little more than five years ago and decided to take up comedy at the same time.

As well as gigging nationwide, he performs a lot in Plymouth and is currently the resident MC at both the monthly B-Bar Comedy Night at The Barbican Theatre and the Watershed Comedy Night at Soapbox Children’s Theatre.

Christian says: “My first stand-up performance was at a cafe in Totnes to a room of puzzled poets. I hadn’t realised it was a poetry night and I was the first on!

“Since then, I’ve worked hard at the craft and now get booked to perform at comedy clubs and festivals all over the country. I’ve won a couple of awards and been lucky enough to support some of comedy’s biggest names.

“As cliche as it sounds, the inspiration for my jokes comes from simply living life. I never sit in front of a blank piece of paper and try and write jokes. I find that quite restrictive.

“Instead, when I see or hear something in everyday life that I find funny, I just make a note of it. Later on, I try and mould that into a piece of stand-up and then I take it to a new material night and perform it. If it gets a laugh, keep it. If not, it’s back to the editing room!”

When they’re not on stage, what does a stand-up comedian do when they’re not thinking up jokes?

Well, Christian has been using his ‘spare’ time to set up a new business called Plymouth Comedy Tours – which he says, “provides walking tours with a difference!”

Play Video Play Video

He explains: “Myself and two other comedians take groups of tourists and local residents on a guided tour of the city, telling jokes rather than facts. We set up in June 2020 and since then we have had hundreds of guests and some amazing feedback.

“The two other comics involved are David Arnold and Suzy Bennett. They are both wickedly funny and the three of us present a lighter side to Plymouth.

“We show our guests some of the city’s many quirky places, regale them with stories of Plymouth life and tell them where to get their hands on a decent pasty.  It’s daft, silly, and very funny.

“The tours have proved way more popular than I thought they would. I have been delighted by how well-attended they have been by locals. People really love this city and definitely have a good sense of humour about it.

“My reason for doing pretty much anything is to make people laugh. That’s why I wanted to be a comedian and it’s why I set up the tours.

“However, the tours were also set up to do something else – to show people a different side of the city. My personal feeling is that Plymouth is massively underrated, and these tours highlight that there’s more to the place than meets the eye.

“Obviously, it’s a comedy tour so we are going to take the mickey a bit – well, a lot! – but the overriding theme is one of love for the city and I really think we have succeeded in that.

“Guests from Plymouth are always amazed that they see new things on the streets they walk every day. Our tours take people to areas of the city they might not often go to, and they are always impressed when they see new businesses popping up or areas being regenerated.

“Also, the tourists who come on the tours love learning about the ‘real Plymouth’ and are often surprised to learn that so much is happening here.

“I hope that my work as both a comedian and a comedy tour guide simply gives people a bit of entertainment. All I really want is for people to be able to just stitch off and have a giggle for a couple of hours. I think that’s really important.”

Christian says that it’s always been his dream to be a comedian, but it was moving to Plymouth that acted as the catalyst and allowed that to happen.

He says: “There is a fantastic comedy scene in the city that I don’t think many people know about.

“We have at least 10 venues that put on regular nights. Plus, we have some of the best ‘new material’ nights in the entire South West. It’s a great place for a new comedian and I hope that not only continues but gets better and better.

“I love being a part of the ‘Plymouth Comedy Scene’ and I want to stick around to see how that grows and develops. Plymouth is a very welcoming place. I’ve made some amazing friends and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”

It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and Christian is quick to acknowledge those who have helped him along the way.

He says “In terms of Plymouth Comedy Tours, I would like to highlight three organisations who have been critical to our success.

“They are Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth Culture and One Plymouth. All three have supported us from word go and continue to do so.

“Lockdown took away all of my income in the space of 48 hours. Luckily, I had put away some savings for an emergency, so I was sorted for the first couple of months.

“However, when it became clear that Covid wasn’t going away overnight, I got myself a job at Tesco.  It was a good experience and I got plenty of material for jokes from it!

“Since then, I set up Plymouth Comedy Tours and that has helped plug the hole caused by the comedy clubs closing. So now, I no longer need to work for Tesco, but I am still very grateful to them for the job!

“My aim with Plymouth Comedy Tours is to make it a mainstay of the Plymouth Tourism scene. I want it to be something that every tourist does when they visit the city as well as being a bucket-list activity for locals as well.”

Christian has some advice to creatives who are emerging from lockdown: “I would say that now is the best time to do stuff,” he says.

“People are craving cultural experiences, whether that’s comedy nights, art exhibitions or theatre shows. So, make the most of this opportunity and be the person to organise them.

“Plymouth already has so much good stuff going for it. For example, of all the places I perform, Plymouth is my absolute favourite. It’s not just that it’s a really easy commute, it’s that the audiences are great here. They are always up for a laugh and turn up for comedy nights in their droves.

“To me, that says Plymouth has a real opportunity to put on new events and projects that its residents will actually attend. The comedy tours have proven to me that people will do stuff that’s a little different, so I hope more and more unique projects happen here.

“I think that’s what the city needs. More unique cultural experiences that not only entertain the locals but draw in more tourists.”

Plymouth obviously acts as huge inspiration for Christian’s jokes, but does he have a favourite place in the city?

“It’s too hard to just give one!” he says. “I think a perfect day in Plymouth would be a swim at the Lido, a trip to The Box, food in the Indoor Market, a Plymouth Comedy Tour (obviously) topped off with a show at The Barbican Theatre. 

“Plus, as a special recommendation if you have children, I would suggest Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Devonport Park.”

He explains: “Myself and two other comedians take groups of tourists and local residents on a guided tour of the city, telling jokes rather than facts. We set up in June 2020 and since then we have had hundreds of guests and some amazing feedback.

“The two other comics involved are David Arnold and Suzy Bennett. They are both wickedly funny and the three of us present a lighter side to Plymouth.

“We show our guests some of the city’s many quirky places, regale them with stories of Plymouth life and tell them where to get their hands on a decent pasty.  It’s daft, silly, and very funny.

“The tours have proved way more popular than I thought they would. I have been delighted by how well-attended they have been by locals. People really love this city and definitely have a good sense of humour about it.

“My reason for doing pretty much anything is to make people laugh. That’s why I wanted to be a comedian and it’s why I set up the tours.

“However, the tours were also set up to do something else – to show people a different side of the city. My personal feeling is that Plymouth is massively underrated, and these tours highlight that there’s more to the place than meets the eye.

“Obviously, it’s a comedy tour so we are going to take the mickey a bit – well, a lot! – but the overriding theme is one of love for the city and I really think we have succeeded in that.

“Guests from Plymouth are always amazed that they see new things on the streets they walk every day. Our tours take people to areas of the city they might not often go to, and they are always impressed when they see new businesses popping up or areas being regenerated.

“Also, the tourists who come on the tours love learning about the ‘real Plymouth’ and are often surprised to learn that so much is happening here.

“I hope that my work as both a comedian and a comedy tour guide simply gives people a bit of entertainment. All I really want is for people to be able to just stitch off and have a giggle for a couple of hours. I think that’s really important.”

Christian says that it’s always been his dream to be a comedian, but it was moving to Plymouth that acted as the catalyst and allowed that to happen.

He says: “There is a fantastic comedy scene in the city that I don’t think many people know about.

“We have at least 10 venues that put on regular nights. Plus, we have some of the best ‘new material’ nights in the entire South West. It’s a great place for a new comedian and I hope that not only continues but gets better and better.

“I love being a part of the ‘Plymouth Comedy Scene’ and I want to stick around to see how that grows and develops. Plymouth is a very welcoming place. I’ve made some amazing friends and now I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.”

It’s been a long journey to get to this point, and Christian is quick to acknowledge those who have helped him along the way.

He says “In terms of Plymouth Comedy Tours, I would like to highlight three organisations who have been critical to our success.

“They are Plymouth City Centre Company, Plymouth Culture and One Plymouth. All three have supported us from word go and continue to do so.

“Lockdown took away all of my income in the space of 48 hours. Luckily, I had put away some savings for an emergency, so I was sorted for the first couple of months.

“However, when it became clear that Covid wasn’t going away overnight, I got myself a job at Tesco.  It was a good experience and I got plenty of material for jokes from it!

“Since then, I set up Plymouth Comedy Tours and that has helped plug the hole caused by the comedy clubs closing. So now, I no longer need to work for Tesco, but I am still very grateful to them for the job!

“My aim with Plymouth Comedy Tours is to make it a mainstay of the Plymouth Tourism scene. I want it to be something that every tourist does when they visit the city as well as being a bucket-list activity for locals as well.”

Christian has some advice to creatives who are emerging from lockdown: “I would say that now is the best time to do stuff,” he says.

“People are craving cultural experiences, whether that’s comedy nights, art exhibitions or theatre shows. So, make the most of this opportunity and be the person to organise them.

“Plymouth already has so much good stuff going for it. For example, of all the places I perform, Plymouth is my absolute favourite. It’s not just that it’s a really easy commute, it’s that the audiences are great here. They are always up for a laugh and turn up for comedy nights in their droves.

“To me, that says Plymouth has a real opportunity to put on new events and projects that its residents will actually attend. The comedy tours have proven to me that people will do stuff that’s a little different, so I hope more and more unique projects happen here.

“I think that’s what the city needs. More unique cultural experiences that not only entertain the locals but draw in more tourists.”

Plymouth obviously acts as huge inspiration for Christian’s jokes, but does he have a favourite place in the city?

“It’s too hard to just give one!” he says. “I think a perfect day in Plymouth would be a swim at the Lido, a trip to The Box, food in the Indoor Market, a Plymouth Comedy Tour (obviously) topped off with a show at The Barbican Theatre. 

“Plus, as a special recommendation if you have children, I would suggest Soapbox Children’s Theatre in Devonport Park.”

read more...

Untitled design (29)
In this, the first of a two part podcast, Mike tells us about his journey and how he uses his unique negotiating skills to provide spaces and materials to bring change to unloved and overlooked spaces in the city.
Untitled design (27)
Made in Plymouth’s Community Reporter, Linda Bell, interviews Richard Deacon. This is part one of her look into the life and works of one of the city’s most influential sculptors.
Untitled design (60)
Plymouth’s undisputed Queen of Fashion bares all to Plymouth Community Reporter Janice Gordon, including celebrity clients, bug bears and why she is still in business when so many contemporaries have folded. 
Untitled design (53)
Plymouth based Jay Stone is a full-time videographer and drone operator working with businesses and people all across the UK. Made in Plymouth Reporter, Kosi Chukwudi, went along to meet him and find out more about where he finds his inspiration.

Could you help Made in Plymouth?

Do you want to shout about the brilliant things you see in Plymouth?

Made in Plymouth wants you to share your stories.

We’re looking for paid Freelance Writers and Content Creators to contribute ideas and content to our platforms!