Tim Minchin on his sold-out Comedy Proms: converting audiences one joke at a time.

The Proms is a grand tradition: a 116-year-old annual series of classical music concerts; a quintessentially English institution aimed at bringing music to the masses.

I am an idiot: a 35-year-old hack musician, unable to sight-read or even play the same thing twice; an emphatically Australian artist who aims to mock the grand institutions of the masses.

Grand tradition and idiot will be combined this Saturday night, on the occasion of the first-ever  BBC Comedy Prom.

I have managed in recent years to stumble upon a lovely and fun career by getting onstage and saying whatever I like in whatever form I enjoy. And what I like to say is often “motherfucker” and “pope” and “cancer” and “cheese” (among many more esoteric appellations), and the form I enjoy is often disco or funk or beat poetry or shouting. So you can understand why I am quietly shocked that people choose to buy tickets and watch me at all.

But more surprising has been my slow a-/de-scent into the very bosom of my adopted home’s apparently conservative establishment. In the last year, I have written for...

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