Daliso Chaponda shot to fame on Britain’s Got Talent and has gone on to amass over 100 million YouTube views, write and star in his critically acclaimed Radio 4 show Citizen of Nowhere, and appear on The Apprentice: You’re Fired, News Quiz and The Now Show. In his daring new show, Blah Blah Blacklist, Daliso looks at disgraced, blacklisted celebrities and historical figures we’re ashamed we once admired. He spoke with The Fountain about his influences and plans for Edinburgh in August.
TF: You are performing at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, how exciting?
Yes I am. The show is called Blah Blah Blacklist and I’m doing it at the Gilded Balloon.
TF: Blah Blah Blacklist certainly sounds intriguing, what is the premise?
Every few weeks there seems to be some allegation about some beloved celebrity’s criminal behaviour. Simultaneously, social media gaffes have made some people lose careers or have to issue apologies. There are even long dead idols whose legacy is being reassessed such as Martin Luther King and Churchill. My show considers why we idolize people anyway, and what happens when you find out your idol isn’t who you think be. And not just celebrities, I consider revelations we have about our families and friends.
TF: And what drove the project, where did your influences lie?
The show began with lots of arguments I had with friends about some of these figures. For example, I had a close friend threaten to dissolve our friendship if I went to watch Louis CK in Belgium. I went; we’re still friends. I had Malawians send me death threats because of a scandal my father was involved. I’m still alive. I had somebody try and blackmail me…. You have to come to the show to hear what happened next.
As for my influences. I have always been a part observational, part storytelling comedian. I am a bit of a jack of all trades because I loved humourists of variant styles. Joan Rivers, Bill Cosby, Roald Dahl, and Woody Allen probably molded my comedic style most. Yes. Cosby. Usually nowadays, I omit Cosby when I talk about my influences, but as this show is about being horrified by people you used to admire, I’m admitting when I was a kid I listened to every album he had.
TF: Have you been to the Fringe before, is there anything you are keen to see whilst in Edinburgh?
The fringe is the only place you can legitimately overdose on comedy. I plan to intravenously administer as many gags as I can into my body. I’ll be performing my show all month plus appearing on other showcases. Between my shows, I’ll be watching comics I admire, writing lots of jokes, laughing with friends. All comedy. Like a bizarre red nosed cult.
TF: And what are your future plans beyond the Fringe?
This has been a crazy busy comedic year for me. Post Fringe, I will tour Blah Blah Blacklist across the UK and in a few african countries. The second series of my radio series Citizen of Nowhere will begin airing on radio 4 in October so I’m writing that now. Also, I developed a comedy project for the World Museum, which will be displayed for a year. So LOTS!! that’s short term. Long term. Global domination and a few tea parties.
You can see Daliso Chaponda: Blah Blah Blacklist at Gilded Balloon Teviot from 31st July – 26th August (not 14th) at 18:30. For tickets, please visit https://tickets.edfringe.com