John Bishop has found ‘whole new perspective’ by biking to tour dates

Friday, May 24, 2024

Comedian John Bishop has said he has been given a “whole new perspective” by riding a motorcycle to his tour dates.The Liverpool-born stand-up comic, actor and TV presenter is travelling to his Back At It tour gigs, throughout 2024 and 2025, on a BMW R 1300 GS-TE.

The 57-year-old Doctor Who star said he collected a scooter from France last summer, left to him by his late father-in-law, to drive to Spain and on the way, stopped at a hotel where two men were staying who happened to ride BMW bikes.

“I just thought ‘That looks like the proper way of doing it’,” he told the PA news agency.“So I then took my test – which is something I’ve always wanted to do.“And I thought ‘Well, I can make it part of my tour’, so I can travel on the motorbike and do gigs along the way. So that’s where it came from.”

He added: “I first thought of taking my test when I turned 50 because I had this idea of riding across America but I never got round to it, and then obviously with Covid and everything it got put on the back burner.

“Growing up, my dad said ‘No, you can’t ride a motorbike, you can learn how to drive a car because you can’t fall off a car’. “And I thought ‘Well, that makes a lot of sense’.“But even now I’m 57 my dad still says ‘I don’t like you on that bike’.

“But I’ve always fancied the idea of a motorbike because I’ve always liked cycling.”He continued: “I suppose I’ve got some awareness of being on the road on two wheels but the difference is now every time I look at somebody cycling they don’t look like they’re having as much fun as I am on a motorbike.”

Bishop has just started the Irish leg of his stand-up tour and said he scheduled many of the shows so he could travel along a coastal trail called the Wild Atlantic Way.“When I was putting the Irish leg of the tour together I was looking at famous motorbike rides and there’s the Wild Atlantic Way, which is reputed to be one of the best coastal rides you can do”, he said.

“So I thought I can make that part of the tour. So I’ll travel on the motorbike and do gigs along the way.”Bishop has decided to travel to his UK shows and London work commitments by motorbike as well.“Now it’s become my mode of touring where and when I can,” he said.

“It really helps you focus on the show because you’re not on your phone on the way to the gig.“When I come into London for work, I come on the bike.“I’ve been into London quite a few times, but I have to remember that the bike is not a scooter and remind myself that I can’t be nipping in between cars because the motorbike has got wing mirrors.”

He added: “It gives you a whole new perspective – obviously you’ve got to be aware of the dangers – but the reality is that I’ve discovered a whole new culture that I knew nothing about.

“There’s a whole world that I’m finding out about. It’s a hobby that I would never have even considered had I not been left the scooter, ridden it across Europe and met those fellas with their BMW bikes.”Bishop’s tour includes forthcoming dates across Ireland, England and Scotland. He has further dates across England and Wales in 2025.