Pointless TV quiz star goes back to his musical roots

Pointless quiz shiow host Alexander Armstrong, who is appearing at Sheffield City Hall
Pointless quiz shiow host Alexander Armstrong, who is appearing at Sheffield City Hall

Pointless quiz host Alexander Armstrong is revisiting some happy memories of Sheffield when he appears to sing at the City Hall this month.

The comedian and TV presenter said: “Two of the happiest weeks of my 20s were spent in Sheffield. We filmed Armstrong and Miller series two there, back in the days when we were on Channel 4.

“The location guy was the same guy as in The Full Monty.

“We filmed for a week all over the city centre and did a lot of filming in the Peaks.”

Alexander added: “I have enormous affection for the city and we were really made welcome. The people are so likeable, you really notice that from the minute you arrive.”

Alexander’s CD A Year of Songs has hit the top of the classical music charts. He is a baritone who went to Trinity College, Cambridge on a choral scholarship.

He said: “I’m going back to my choral roots for this show. Quite a lot of chat and comedy as well inevitably between songs.

“Ostensibly it’s to tour the album but there is quite a lot of other stuff as well.

“It’s a lovely evening. I’ve done it with my quartet and I’ve never enjoyed anything quite as much.

“It’s very fulfilling and nice to be on stage as yourself. Even if you do comedy as yourself, it’s still something you’ve played.”

He said his band is “most amazing”, adding: “Part of what I love about these shows is sharing a stage with them. My face breaks into a broad smile every couple of minutes.”

Alexander said he kept up his singing lessons throughout his comedy career.

He said: “It’s always been there on the back burner. If I’d gone into singing, I never would be able to do comedy.”

After initial comedy success with Ben Miller at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1996, the pair got their own show.

Later, Alexander was asked to be a guest host on Have I Got News For You, which led to an offer to host Countdown.

He said: “I thought very seriously about it. Countdown is such a revered format, so there’s not any space in it to make your own. I didn’t think I would be allowed to change it one jot, so I backed out.”

Eventually he was asked to present Pointless with old university friend Richard Osman.

Alexander said: “I’ve met an awful lot of funny people. He’s appropriately heads and shoulders above everyone else.

“He’s enormously good value and a lovely mate to spend time with. The show just very slowly but certainly took off.

“It’s lovely that we get to do something that we enjoy so much.”

Alexander plays the City Hall on Monday, January 18. Box office: 0114 2789789, www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or from www.ticketmaster.com