Funnyman Paul quit GP career for the Chase to comedy success

COMEDIAN Paul Sinha is broadcast into the homes of thousands as a Chaser on tea-time ITV quiz The Chase.

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Paul Sinha was at Glasgow's Stand Comedy Club last night
Paul Sinha was at Glasgow's Stand Comedy Club last night

He pits his knowledge and wits against contestants on the show, presented by Bradley Walsh, in a bid to hamper their efforts to win thousands in prize money.

What many game show fans don't realise is that Paul is an established stand-up comedian.

And even fewer will be aware that he is a qualified GP, having practiced medicine for more than seven years before deciding to focus on comedy.

Paul's colourful life forms the basis of his stand-up routine and he has brought his story to Glasgow to perform at The Stand tonight.

He studied medicine in London before becoming a GP, but said his first love has always been comedy.

By the time he left medicine, he had already had successful runs at the Edinburgh Festival, includ-ing award nominations.

He said: "The decision to jump from being a GP to focusing on comedy was a risk but it was a calculated one.

"I was doing stand up at nights and working as a GP during the day. The change of tone was hard for me. I would go from the excitement of entertaining 300 or 400 fans to the sometimes mundane routine of being a GP."

The nature of Paul's stand up is "exaggerated real life" but he admits that he limits the jokes about his doctor days.

"There is some material but nothing too specific about patients," he said. "That wouldn't be nice for them.

"Also, there was always the risk that they would end up sounding like 'doctor, doctor' jokes."

Paul's next jump, into quiz shows, came after an experience on a University Challenge spin off. He said: "Instead of universities we were put into teams based on our professions, so my team were all comedians.

"We got battered but I was struck by how condescending the other contestants were towards us.

"I thought 'I am going to show them' and started looking into the quizzes and discovered a whole sub-culture of tournaments."

Then came a chance to join The Chase in 2011, giving him a new audience.

"You never know when something is going to happen that will change your life," he reflects.

We decided to put his knowledge of the city to the test and try our best to beat The Chaser.

Paul - who admitted that not a day passes that doesn't see him stationed in front of a computer trying to build his general knowledge - was initially sceptical but decided to give it a go.

Me: "What is a 'Glasgow kiss'?"

Paul: "It's a head butt isn't it?" One-nil to the Chaser.

Me: "There is a building in Glasgow Green built in the style of Doge's Palace in Venice - what is it?"

Paul: "I will take a guess and Kelvingrove Art Gallery?

Me: "No, the former Templeton's Carpet Factory." One all.

Me: "What would a woman do in a 'Steamie'?"

Paul: "I am going to take a guess and say eat a meal?"

Two-one to us.

Last question: "What is Glasgow's underground system known as?"

"Ah that's the Clockwork Orange," Paul said confidently. Two all.

"That was okay," he added. "I have learned something new today."

l Paul Sinha is at the Stand tonight at 7pm. Visit http://www.thestand.co.uk

linzi.watson@eveningtimes.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment

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