John Bishop met his wife at university in Manchester.
Being from Liverpool, he was naturally funny.
They enjoyed being together so much they settled down and started a family.
He got a proper job and became a sales director with a pharmaceutical firm, and they had three sons.
With all the responsibility, John began to take his work seriously, he put in all the time he could.
He worked his way up the corporate ladder, until he had a company car, a good salary, and a pension to look forward to.
He put in so much time at work he didn’t see much of his family.
And when he did he was tired and stressed.
All this meant he and his wife seemed to be constantly arguing.
Eventually she couldn’t take it anymore, and decided to get divorced.
For the sake of the children they tried to keep it as amicable as possible.
They moved into separate houses while the divorce was going through.
And John Bishop had to get back to life as a single bloke.
He started going back out drinking with his mates.
But all he had to talk about was work and the divorce, and that was boring for everyone.
He needed to find something he could do on his own so he’d have something to talk about.
He noticed the local pub had a comedy night on Mondays.
He thought he could go and listen, that way he wouldn’t just be sitting miserable and alone at the bar.
The doorman said it was £4 to get in, but free for anyone willing to go onstage.
So John thought he’d save £4 and have a go.
He’d never been onstage before, and when his turn came he didn’t know what to say.
In his scouse accent, he said “Fucking hell them lights is bright.”
And a few people giggled.
Then he told the only joke he knew.
He said “Them French lorry drivers are on strike again aren’t they. Blocking all the roads and that. Would have been handy if they’d done that in 1940 wouldn’t it?”
And it got more laughs.
But now he’d run out of material.
So he started making jokes about his divorce.
And that got so many laughs, they asked him back next week.
In fact his divorce became a source of popular material.
And more and more people came to listen to him.
One night he started with his usual routine.
He said “Me and the wife have split up. But I don’t miss her. I keep her head in the fridge.”
It got a lot of laughs.
But as he looked round he saw his wife at one of the tables.
He thought, oh no, I’ve done it now, the divorce will get really nasty now she’s heard that.
And after his act was over, he went over to apologise.
But the funny thing was, his wife was laughing.
She told him her friends had told her about his act, and she wanted to see him one last time before she signed the divorce papers.
But now she’d seen him, she couldn’t sign the papers.
He was back to his old self, the man she’d fallen in love with.
He was laughing and having fun and being outrageous.
And she fell in love with him all over again.
And she persuaded him to give up his safe, sensible job and become a professional comedian.
To leave the comfort zone that had been stifling him.
And he took a chance that the sensible, careful John Bishop would never have taken.
And, although it scared him stiff, maybe because it scared him stiff, it worked.
And he became a star with his own hit TV show.
And he was doing sell-out tours to 400,000 people.
And he had one of the best-selling DVDs on Amazon.
All because he was forced to leave his comfort zone and take a chance.
To find out who he really was.
And who he really was, was who he was before he started worrying about security.