With a background in primary school teaching and a successful career in stand-up comedy, Gavin is now regarded as one of the most talented speakers in the UK, regularly delivering keynote speeches at conferences and exhibitions around the world. In 2012 Gavin won ‘Young Entrepreneur of the Year’. His first book, Co Written with Andy Cope, SHINE Rediscovering Your Energy, Happiness and Purpose launches in March.
1. Was it the comedy that naturally led you into all the speaking gigs?
I originally trained as a primary school teacher and it was while I was still teaching that I got the opportunity to begin delivering workshops and talks in schools around the UK. Over time the audience grew and the client based crossed over into the world business. My experiences on stage as a comedian definitely helped but really it was a combination of the two.
2. Which is the most memorable talk you have given and why?
It’s hard to pinpoint one specific talk. I guess it comes down to the audience reaction in the moment. Probably the first talk I gave just after losing my Dad. I hadn’t planned on mentioning it but it all came out, the audience came with me and it just clicked.
3. Where do you get content ideas from?
I read a lot but mostly it’s real life experiences. I’m a people watcher and of course I have young kids who are just a fountain of inspiration.
4. As such a positive person, how do you deal with the critics?
I’m not for everyone. But nowadays I am absolutely comfortable with that. Everyone has an opinion, if you don’t like the stuff I say or write that’s OK but there’s no need to be a d**k about it. I can also be quite negative at times, my job is perfect as it reminds me to focus on the positives more.
5. How did the book come about?
Andy Cope is one of my heroes. I am a big fan of his writing. The first time I read Art of Being Brilliant I was so annoyed because it was the book I should’ve written. But instead of over thinking it I began to read more of Andy’s stuff, always learning and eventually our paths crossed at an event in St Andrews. We hit it off, kept in touch and wrote a book! We are immensely proud of SHINE, we really hope people love it as much as we do.
And just for fun…
6. How do you chill out when you are not working?
Loads of family time. And over the last three years I have discovered the joys of running.
7. What is your favourite song to sing at karaoke or in the shower?
There’s too many but Crazy Crazy Nights by KISS is up there!
8. What was the last film you watched?
Ace Ventura 2 with my son.
9. What is your all time favourite meal? (OK you are allowed two if this is too hard)
A proper good homemade burger smothered in blue cheese.
An enormous plate of seafood/shellfish
10. Who is your favourite fellow comedian?
My all time heroes are Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer. And Rik Mayall. But Scotland has a phenomenal comedy scene these days. I wish more people would go out and support live comedy.