Saturday 24 March 2018

Comic Jon Culshaw felt ‘under surveillance’ over Scaramucci Twitter follow

The master of mimicry is a dab hand at Donald Trump impressions.

Jon Culshaw (Ian West/PA)
Jon Culshaw (Ian West/PA)

By Lucy Mapstone, Press Association Deputy Entertainment Editor

Comedian Jon Culshaw has joked that he felt “under surveillance” when he discovered that Anthony Scaramucci, the short-lived White House communications director, followed him on Twitter.

The Dead Ringers star has also said the speedy changes within the Trump administration impacts his roster of impressions and that he had to stop learning how to impersonate Scaramucci, whose stint in the White House lasted less than two weeks.

Culshaw – who will showcase his wide range of comical impersonations of celebrities, politicians and sports stars on a new, unscripted comedy tour in September – said he was preparing to get to grips with Scaramucci’s mannerisms when he made his “startling” social media discovery.

Jon Culshaw (Ian West/PA)

Culshaw told the Press Association: “I downloaded a couple of interviews but hadn’t really studied them – he sort of looked like an action figure. He looked like some sort of Ken or Barbie type creature.

“I was studying him and just having a little initial glance to see what sort of exaggerations you can make with his character, but then that was it, and he was gone. He vanished just as quickly as he’d appeared in these unpredictable times.

“I dialled him up on Twitter, and there was his name, the picture, the blue tick – Scaramucci – and then that grey block saying ‘follows you’.

“So I felt a bit under surveillance. Along with 167,000 others, but nonetheless – a little bit startling.”

Culshaw, who admitted that the US president is one of his favourite people to mimic, said that perhaps Scaramucci spotted some of his Trump impersonations on Good Morning Britain.

“Maybe he’s checking that I don’t go misbehaving too much, that I’m showing him respect all the time,” he added.

Talking about his other potential political impressions, Culshaw said: “Sean Spicer – he had a slight bit of helium in his voice – just as you get that ready and he disappears, and the sort of political Spongebob character that he sounds like, that has been and gone.”

Culshaw said that Mr Trump is the most popular impression that people request of him, and that the current political landscape makes his job exciting.

He said: “The Trump administration… it is certainly a situation where reality outperforms comedy.

“I think all of us are watching and keeping track with that, so it’s just new material arriving day after day after day. It’s quite exciting.”

Culshaw, whose TV credits include satirical shows Spitting Image and Newzoids, will soon tour the country for his The Great British Take Off show alongside the creator of BBC Radio 4’s Dead Ringers, Bill Dare.

A show with a difference, he told of his nerves about letting the audience lead the way in choosing the characters he performs on-stage.

“The Great British Take Off is very spontaneous, unscripted, the audience leads where the show goes, and leads which characters and stories we tell, so it’s really down to them and Bill Dare,” he said.

“It can be a bit nerve-wracking to wonder where the audience will lead it, but the excitement lies in that unpredictability; it makes you pace around a bit more before the show starts and I like it that way.”

Jon Culshaw’s The Great British Take Off tour begins on September 2.

Press Association

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