Quickfire questions with Arthur Smith

National treasure, Arthur Smith pays tribute to the late, great Leonard Cohen with a two-night run of his hit show in ffresh at the centre 17-18 June. As Smith and the Smithereens lead you through the life and times of Cohen, expect laughter and tears in equal measure.

To someone who doesn’t know your work, how would you describe what you do?

I am a stand-up comic and writer with a squashy nose who is known as grumpy but loves to laugh. I have written West End plays, I do strange things on the One Show on TV and often on Radio 4.

What should people expect from your performance?

Unfolding stories, illustrated by some of Leonard Cohen’s greatest songs, much laughter, surprises, poetry and a ridiculous finish. Also the delightful singing and effortless glamour of the Smithereens.

Who has had the biggest impact on your career?

Probably my father who was a policeman with a great sense of humour and my mother who loved the theatre and has a taste for words.

What’s been the highlight of your career so far?

The first time I got big laughs as a stand up in a pub in Hackney in 1980.

What’s your most embarrassing moment as a performer?

The night I sang the Moldovan national anthem naked on Balham High Road.

What’s your most memorable moment on tour?

When a butterfly fluttered onto the stage and refused to leave. We did the whole of the second half together.

What does Wales/Cardiff mean to you?

I have been to Cardiff lots of times and always seem to have a memorable night out even if I never really know where I am.

What should we look out for from you in the coming months?

I am starting working for Donald Trump in the White House in the Fake news department.