Stand-up comedian Frank Skinner has admitted that speaking to people about his alcohol problems was easier than trying to talk to them about his Catholic faith.
Skinner, 64, who hosts Absolute Radio’s Saturday breakfast show and poetry podcast, said he had often opened up about his faith during interviews earlier in his career but these particular comments were always cut from the article that followed.
Although he grew up in a Catholic family in the West Midlands, Skinner left the Church when he was 17 before reconnecting with the faith in his 20s after struggling with alcoholism.
However, he recently revealed that he found it easier discussing his drinking problems with people rather than his faith.
“People are much easier with my battle-with-the-booze stories than ‘Here’s some of my prayers’,” he told The Telegraph.
“I think they were delighted to find that those who seem to have everything going for them have got dark demons.
“When I was doing interviews 25 years ago, I would talk about how I read poetry and had two English degrees, and that I was a Catholic, but it never made it into print.”
During his more than 30-year-career as a professional comedian, Skinner also revealed that the number of religious believers he’s met among his peers “would, if assembled, just about fill a Vauxhall Corsa”.
Skinner’s revelations come as he recently released his own prayer book.
Titled A Comedian’s Prayer Book, the publication features his musings on faith; Heaven and hell; his beloved late mother, Doris; and the X-Men.
“Is there a place for comedy in prayer? If there’s a place for comedy in life, there’s a place for comedy in prayer,” said Skinner.
“God is a tough audience as far as audible response is concerned, but I love that I don’t have to explain the references.”
Skinner said that praying to God is the only place he feels he doesn’t need to put on an act.
“When I pray, it is the only conversation I have where I utterly drop my guard about every doubt and fear and idiocy and imperfection. If I didn’t pray, I don’t know where I’d find that unwrapping of myself,” he said.
Picture: Frank Skinner.