The ScotsCare Podcast - Eleanor Morton

Episode 3

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 Intro Music]

hello I’m Marcus Railton and this is the ScotsCare podcast Scott’s care is the only charity dedicated to helping disadvantaged Scots in London through a

range of support including mental health therapy Financial grants advocacy sheltered housing for older Scots job coaching social events befriending and

support for Children and Families the Charity’s been running for 400 years to help break the cycle of poverty experienced by some Scots in this series

of the Scotts gear podcast I’ll be chatting to celebrities and supporters of the charity that have also forged a life in the capital away from home and

about the ups and downs that can bring on the program today is the comedian writer and actor Eleanor Morton timeout has hailed her as a rising star while

the guardian have called her charmingly Whimsical she’s not afraid of being at the sharp end of Comedy having performed numerous times at the Edinburgh festival

and always to rave reviews her Twitter feed has over a hundred and twenty thousand subscribers with her beautifully subtle comedy videos regularly attracting tens of thousands of views it’s a delight to be able to speak to her today Scott here hi Eleaor, thanks for doing this that’s

all right thanks for having me well it’s great to have you on the podcast it’s a

kind of new thing for us the thing I had was that you’ve moved back to Edinburgh

yeah sort of uh not really the not really what the podcast is about but

yeah I uh I was in London for eight years and I moved back on Monday before

kind of drove that because I do and I shouldn’t say this out loud because I

was born and brought up in Glasgow but I

do love Edinburgh

that’s all right I mean I think it

always struck me as a really weird

rivalry because I think there’s such

different cities that uh you can’t

really compare them but yeah I uh I’d

always wanted to live back in Edinburgh

since I’ve never lived here as an adult

I’ve only lived here as a child and I’ve

uh I just I just really like it I mean

if you like it you get why and also my

my landlady was selling so I kind of had

to move I like the phone you can kind of

walk about it it feels well you can’t

you certainly can’t park but you can

certainly walk about it and it feels

really comfortable yeah yeah it’s uh

it’s it’s a nice compact City and um I’m

lazy so yeah I like uh I like a place I

can walk around in half an hour you know

now let’s let’s get the elephant in the

room out of the way because I know you

I’ve watched a lot of your your stuff

and you do mention the accent you just

don’t yeah why don’t you sound Scottish

it’s uh it’s a number of boring reasons

my parents are both well so yeah my dad

is was brought up in London so my

parents are both broken England by

Scottish families so I’ve kind of got

this unfair thing where I’ve got an

accent that doesn’t really kind of uh

make any sense but

um yeah I mean you you know Edinburgh

you know it’s full of English people

anyway so I think it’s not as if I was

um surrounded by

heavy heavy accents to to make me change

mine but yeah it’s not a it’s not a very

exciting story it’s just uh what happens

with a lot of people I think it kind of

um families move up and down

where do you feel at home because you

know what I was having this conversation

with my friend Debbie the other day and

she’s a fan of Scott and she lives she

lives in London yeah and she said she

goes home she actually she she’s from

Bucky and in Aberdeen and uh she says

when I go home to to Bucky I love it but

I don’t think I could be there anymore

and then when I come back when I come

back to London

I love it but I I don’t feel 100 English

in a Londoner yeah I’m kind of Trapped

in this this kind of Nether world I know

what she means I I think I I did enjoy

living in London but I never felt it’s

such a massive place it’s hard to feel

100 at home there but I think Edinburgh

definitely that’s kind of an easy choice

for me because

um I just really like everything about

Edinburgh well not everything obviously

but um

I think if you’re from Bucky it’s uh

you’re gonna have a really it’s that’s a

real difference London and Bucky are

very different places and also like

maybe different Bucky you just deserve

whatever you get in my opinion

but you know once you’ve lived in London

it’s going to be hard to go back to

somewhere like that and kind of feel

like you’re still with everything that’s

happening you know whereas edinburgh’s

got a bit more going on I think I can

say that’s not controversial if I say

that Edinburgh is a bit more exciting

than Bucky is it I think that’s I think

I don’t think anyone could argue with it

yeah when you said eight years in London

when you first moved was it a culture

shock for you because I I mean I moved

from Glasgow I think I was yeah 28 when

I moved I I’ve been here 20 years and I

still remember one of the first days I

was sitting in a pretty monkey it was

just off uh Wells Street in SoHo and I

bought a copy but this is so long ago

I’d actually I was looking for a flat

and I bought a copy of loot because you

didn’t go online then you actually

looked at a newspaper to find a flat

yeah and I bought a sandwich and

everything just seemed so fast and so

crazy and so expensive and I was up yeah

terrified yeah it was uh I’d not been to

London until the first time I ever went

was when I was 16 and I moved when I was

22 and

I think because I’m from a very small

City it was it was just mad it was I

remember being on the tube and just

being so overwhelmed by like how many

people were there how fast everything

was how everyone kind of you know they

they just they want you to get out of

their way

and then the other stuff was just weird

like I didn’t expect like the the

opening hours really threw me off for a

city that’s meant to be like one of the

major capitals of the world they they

close at like 11 on a Saturday and that

was that was confusing and also like a

couple of shops I’d never seen before

and and also being in in the in the

really fancy bits just never having seen

that much wealth and stuff was kind of

weird like edinburgh’s got fancy bits

but they’re not big enough that you kind

of lose sight of anything you know

whereas in London you can go into like I

don’t know Chelsea or wherever all the

designer shops are and you kind of feel

like this is this is mad this is

completely different yeah

you walk through Knightsbridge and it’s

it’s a different existence altogether

isn’t it yeah and I also will say the

levels of homelessness I think really

uh threw me a bit like I was not ex I’d

never lived anywhere before where there

was that much you know homelessness

um yeah and it was quite yeah that was

quite tricky really difficult to look at

yeah and you know what when I go back I

I grew up in Glasgow as I said and I I

didn’t know you see when I go back to

Glasgow now I yes I see lots of homeless

in Glasgow yeah which I and I don’t know

whether no I’ve not forgotten about it

it just wasn’t there and it’s yeah back

with a vengeance and it’s I think so

yeah yeah it was just just getting used

to everything really was but it you know

it was also a real novelty of being in a

place that you’d seen on TV and uh yeah

I get that famous places that you’ve you

know heard about that you actually get

to go to it was quite exciting because

I’m really into history so it was really

cool to be in a place where all these

things happen that you’d heard about

[Music]

Scott’s care

working to make London life better for

Scots and their children

well can I talk about your career and

how you actually made this was there a

kind of defining moment when you said to

your mum and dad I’m going to be a

comedian and they went oh no don’t do

that because it’s not it’s not an easy

career choice to make no it’s uh it’s

definitely not but they have I think my

parents are pretty pretty nice they were

kind of like I think they were aware

that if they didn’t sort of support

whatever I was doing I would do it

anyway so they might as well be nice

about it but um no I think when I was

like 14 15 I always wanted to be a

performer and then I kind of got into

comedy uh stand up people like Dylan

Moran and Bill Bailey were quite big at

that time

um yeah and I just felt like it would

really be something I wanted to try and

I do remember the first time I told my

mum I think she was a bit like uh okay

like I don’t think she pictured that

something I’d be

any good at or something I would enjoy

doing I think she thought it was quite a

scary thing to do so I think it’s a

terrifying thing to do yeah a lot of

people do see what do you know what I

heard I was listening to a comedian and

it was it was Gilbert Gottfried who

passed away recently yeah he was talking

about material that you do and I wonder

I thought oh I get to ask Eleanor this

yeah he was talking about you do

material and you go in and he goes and

you kill and it’s brilliant and it does

so well and then you go and then you do

the same jokes on a different venue the

night after and you just die of yeah

have you ever had that yeah I mean I

mean not not constantly but but enough

to know uh I think all comedians do they

have you know you might not like kill it

one night and die the next but you

definitely get different levels of

reaction and it’s it’s kind of about

like how much Faith you have in your

material you know if it always dies you

should probably stop doing it but um

if it’s not funny don’t do it yeah if

it’s uh if it generally does well you’re

probably you’re you know the audience

are probably the ones who are in the

wrong headspace that night there’s so

many different reasons you can die you

can die because you’re not funny but you

can die because like the room is a bit

weird uh or the audience are too drunk

or uh just you know lots of or you know

they’re just you’re not what they were

expecting yeah so yeah you’ve really

just gotta go in and hope for the best I

suppose do you think it’s good is it

getting tougher you know I read on

social media a lot about walk comedy and

things you can say and things you can’t

see are you when you write new material

are you aware of oh maybe I or how far

can I push the envelope I suppose

suppose I’ve never really you know I

never the thing is I think comedy the

important thing is it should be funny

more than anything else and um if if you

if you’re just there to shock people or

upset them I think yeah you get a

reaction but you’ve not you’ve not

really done your job so I I think I just

like I like what’s funny or what I think

it’s funny and um I you know I’m not

really a edgy comedian so it’s not like

I’ve ever had to kind of go oh I hope I

hope this is uh uh no one’s gonna get

upset by this but I think you can say

the thing is you can make a joke about

anything you want absolutely anything

you want it all depends on how good you

are at making jokes and how you frame it

and I think I think there’s a

misconception that we can’t say anything

I don’t think that’s true I think I

think it’s more that it’s more that you

know you’ve got the freedom of speech to

say whatever you want and the audience

have this freedom of speech to maybe not

enjoy it um

so so no I I don’t I don’t find it

trickier but

um you know I think I think we’re

rethinking How We Do comedy and and what

what it means to who who the subjects

are and things like that and I think

that’s good I think it’s good to talk

about that kind of stuff because you

know it’s always changing it’s it’s it’s

a it’s a media it’s the medium that

dates the the fastest so yes you’re

always going to make sure you’re kind of

trying something new I remember you

mentioned Dylan Moran I remember seeing

Dylan Moran at the Edinburgh Festival in

the 90s and I think it was one of my

kind of first experiences of going to

see proper live snow

and I thought it was brilliant I thought

I thought he is he’s the best thing I’ve

ever seen but I think he is quite a dark

sense of fear and yeah and then and then

and onto that I was talking to someone

the other day who is a TV director for

big live shows and he had this theory

that the more intense your job is you

tend to have a darker sense of humor

like nurses or firemen oh yeah or

definitely or sometimes Comedians and do

you think that kind of lends itself to a

dark sense of humor yeah I actually I

think I have a really dark sense of

humor I I don’t think I’m like a an

offensive or edgy comedian but I think I

have a very I enjoy I think because I’m

quite I think also you’ve got a dark

sense of humor I’m quite an anxious

person you know I’m quite scared of the

world and I think humor is a is a way of

me

tackling that so I like to kind of try

and turn anything you can into I think

it’s just you know it’s the way it’s a

coping mechanism it’s like as human

beings there is a point where you have

to laugh at stuff because otherwise you

kind of go a bit mad and um I totally

think that you know I have friends who

are uh doctors and I’ve friends who have

kind of jobs like that and yeah they

they absolutely have really dark sense

of humor because because you have to

otherwise you know it would just it

would be such a you couldn’t do the job

I don’t think yeah and I think that’s

sometimes what makes really good

comedians great comedians is that they

can see the darks which seems kind of

ironic that they can see the dark side

of life but that’s what makes it funny

yeah I think there’s a kind of you know

there’s a kind of collective

feeling when we can all laugh at

something that we’re all also struggling

with maybe really helps like

people deal with that kind of stuff like

during I don’t know

I’m just trying to think during the

second world war you know there was lots

of

making fun of of the enemy and stuff and

that was that was because people were

also really scared and they didn’t want

to think about you know how much how

scary everything was so

yeah it makes sense and I think today we

we live in this you know I’ve got three

children and I kind of worry about my

children growing up in this this Society

where everything you know you have an

insta life and what you see on Facebook

yeah absolutely reflect uh and it

reflect reality and everybody’s perfect

and all photos of Photoshopped and it

kind of what I liked about a lot of the

stuff I watched about yours is you you

tap into the insecurities of life and I

think I think that’s what the audience

really reacted kind of went oh yeah it’s

okay to fail or to not be perfect yeah I

think so I think the thing about comedy

is it can’t be too polished or perfect

because it’s just not as fun you know

the the nicer it looks the less funny it

is and I think um

I do think there’s I I’m so glad I’m not

a teenager today I mean being a teenager

like 15 years ago was hard but I can’t

imagine the I don’t know how old your

kids are but like you know the social

media that they are exposed to

um and just this kind of pressure to be

the best at everything and and you know

the best version of yourself is is crazy

so yeah there’s a real there’s a I guess

you get to play around with that with

comedy because you’re

holding up a mirror to to that kind of

stuff and saying hey it’s actually it’s

not perfect and it’s kind of funny isn’t

it that it’s not and it’s okay to be not

perfect and yeah I think one of the

things you did

is you were you were talking about

trying stuff and not sticking at it that

really touched a nerve with me yeah I’d

I want to be one of these people because

I you know we’re a member of a gym which

you know I just don’t go to and when I

when I do go I go once and then I go

three months later and I still see the

same people and they’re doing the same

thing and they look fantastic and yeah I

and you know when it’s I want to stick

at stuff and can’t and I love the stuff

that you were talking about about that

kind of smugness of people that do yoga

and that just I love that well I think

there’s uh there’s a trend just now that

um it’s called that girl and it’s sort

of a millennial Trend where 20-something

girls kind of post their whole perfect

lives on on social media you know their

breakfasts and their meditations and

their workouts and everything and it’s

um it’s just mad that we’ve uh yeah

we’re totally expecting people people I

think people do have a sense of

achievement about those things not that

it’s bad but you know it’s it’s also

funny because we get so competitive

about everything and it’s it’s uh just

because uh

someone else is really good at the gym

doesn’t mean doesn’t really have any

reflection on any of us but we how have

this Obsession as a society where we’re

all kind of trying to outdo each other

and then obviously failing or lying to

ourselves about it because uh because

it’s hard isn’t it these days because

everything’s online and everything’s

yeah visible well yeah yeah it used to

be like if you failed at your diet or

whatever no one needed to know but now

it’s kind of like if you’ve been

tracking it program your progress on

Instagram or whatever then everyone

there’s there’s so much more

incentive it’s pressure to be perfect

and that’s really scary I think what I

loved that you said I actually laughed

out louder was that you talk about

achieving the same level of smugness

through yoga by just carrying the rolled

up mat around

the phrase you used was was a burrito of

privilege that is genius thank you yeah

I like the uh well I used to live in in

London the last place I lived in was in

Lavender Hill which was a very Yummy

Mummy place and I just felt a bit just

going out in my normal clothes to go to

the shops was just felt like um

depressing because everyone is very kind

of upper middle class yummy mummies

they’ve all got their workout gear on

you know lots of professionals and it uh

just you know I could I stopped jogging

because uh I just felt like uh I was

doing it wrong because I um wasn’t as as

perfect as these people so yeah uh yeah

I get that when I turn up to pick up my

kids it’s like everybody looks like

they’ve just ram-rated Sweaty Betty yeah

exactly exactly the kids turned out and

you know and they still got like

porridge in her hair for the morning

yeah it’s uh I mean that’s the thing

about London as well it’s it’s got you

know places like that that you don’t

that you get in Scotland but again not

on the same scale so yeah and what I

also like that you were talking about is

just the ability to be stronger in

yourself and and still and having having

principles like you you did this piece

about the meeting the racist women on

the train oh yeah that’s right you

really wanted to say that’s not right

you can’t you can’t say these things I

don’t believe in that you’re completely

out of order but you ended up not really

seeing these things at all you know not

agreeing with her of course but yeah but

not having the guts to or being too

polite do you think is that what we are

yeah and I also think I also think in

your head you always you always imagine

what you’d be like in a situation like

that

and um you know you never live up to

your own expectations because often

people aren’t

you know she wasn’t trying to be um

antagonistic or aggressive uh she was

she thought I was going to agree with

her so yeah I think I think you can just

be caught off guard and also there is

like a definitely a politeness there

where in in Britain in general I think

we’re all a bit awkward about everything

yeah to the point where we kind of you

know we’d rather uh sneak away so I

don’t know I mean maybe if I met her

again it would be different but I doubt

that will happen well this this is it

yeah was it the French have a phrase for

that they call it the spirit of the

stairs the spirit that was it oh yes yes

yeah yeah it’s the smart thing you

thought of after you’ve left exactly

yeah and we all have this idea of

ourselves as oh I’d say that or I’d do

that but actually most the time you

wouldn’t you’d run away you know what I

and I don’t I don’t know what kind of

person that makes you if you do say

these things I I used to work with a guy

and he was very good at saying no you

would say Alan do you do you want to do

you want to do this or I’ll link it and

you go no I’ll tell you right I’m not

going to do that and you’ll be like Alan

are you coming for a coffee no I don’t

want to come for a coffee

and let me tell you it would tell you

really still so be phenomenally blunt

and there was part of me that kind of

envied it but yeah and there was another

part where a lot of people just didn’t

like him because I think to a certain

extent you have to be polite in society

don’t you yeah you do you well and and

again especially in in Britain we’re

very um overly polite and uh yeah I

think I think we especially get a bit

freaked out when people are very uh

blunt like that even though it probably

saves everyone a lot of time and effort

you know if people just say exactly what

they think

um because I know quite a few um people

from uh not to generalize about

Europeans but most of the Europeans I’ve

ever met are very a much clearer you

know they’re much less into uh sort of

pussy-fussing around things and um I

kind of like it I think because I

personally am bad at yeah at

confrontational or being I’m trying to

get better at you know saying no and

being good at that but yeah I definitely

admire people who because the thing is

like if people don’t like him because he

does that he probably doesn’t care and

that’s also kind of refreshing you know

Scott’s care

helping to break the cycle of

deprivation for Scots in London

can we go back and talk about um social

media because I was looking at your your

social media presence your Twitter feed

and going back to what we’re talking

about earlier you do have a beautifully

gentle Style on there and you also

nailed the Scottish accent phenomenally

and stuff thank you there’s a few of

them which I said I was just thinking oh

they were killing me the stuff about The

Distillery and yeah yeah Craig the tour

guide yeah the the Sterling Castle it’s

just beautiful stuff and if you know if

anyone’s listening to this go and look

at it because it’s great but your views

are through the roof the last time I

looked at the Distillery one it was 2.3

million views

yeah it that one really um took off I

think probably because it’s quite a

familiar concept I think it it’s quite I

think Americans were really into it I

think they’ve all been on Distillery

tours so they could uh they knew what

was happening

um but um but yeah it’s it’s been kind

of crazy it’s kind of it all started in

lockdown when I was you know bored and

not obviously working live so

trying to keep creative and um just

started doing what I thought was funny

basically on on on Twitter and uh yeah

it blew up and it’s it’s quite it’s

quite cool and kind of strange to see

how attached people can get to uh to

that character specifically

um and how hard you have to work at

getting the numbers is is that something

separate that you do you have a kind of

like personal marketing plan to push the

numbers up oh I don’t think I’m I don’t

think I’m Savvy enough for that but I do

I mean with that kind of thing you can

kind of never tell what’s going to do

well and what isn’t um but I do try and

post regularly because uh you know I

think it’s people like when you’re

consistent so they they know they can

come back and watch more but yeah I mean

I I don’t have any secret formula I

think it’s just a mixture of yeah good

luck and sometimes you get retweeted by

people who who have a big following and

and that’s really cool and that means

more people will see it

um but yeah just just as long as people

enjoy it really and we were talking

about how social media can be a real

double-edged sword are you able to you

know people tend to lose their minds a

little on social media are you able to

keep that at arm’s land from anyone as

criticizes you are do you take these

things personally or do you just not

read them well I it really depends what

people say I think some some stuff

doesn’t bother me because it’s kind of

like I don’t think it’s true or I just

you know it’s not something that touches

the nerve but I think you know there’s

that old saying of like never take never

take con uh criticism from someone you

wouldn’t take advice from or whatever it

was so yeah I I mean when people are

just deliberately nasty that’s kind of

like that’s almost more hurtful in a way

because they’ve set out to upset you but

it’s also

it shouldn’t also be less hurtful

because you know they’re just being

they’re obviously unhappy um I try I try

my best to not get to what’s happening

because you can you can completely

absolutely live online and

um it’s very easy to get caught up in it

but I try my best not to because I think

ultimately I just want to do

what I do and people will enjoy it or

they won’t enjoy it and that’s that’s

cool I do think it’s odd when people

feel the need to comment stuff sometimes

because I think I’ve I’ve never been you

know I’ve never watched a video that I

didn’t enjoy and thought I should tell

them that you know I’ve just kind of

left it so my mother used to say that to

me if you can’t say it yeah don’t say

anything at all that’s that’s it yeah

and it’s uh I think that’s an adage I

love buy so so yeah it’s not been too

bad it’s more weird when just knowing

that people are aware of you is quite

weird because you know obviously I’m

pretty

uh completely unknown and now I’ve got a

bit of a profile and that’s that’s quite

weird like knowing that I read that

you’ve got a masters in screenwriting

writing and I was wondering you know do

you watch television and become dismayed

by it

um I haven’t watched a lot of

terrestrial TV in a while because I

haven’t had one but um but I just got

back to my parents and I’ve been

watching uh I’ve been watching TV and

I’ve uh I just I’ve remembered all that

stuff that you know daytime TV and

insurance adverts and things I

completely forgotten existed I don’t

think I despair I think I enjoy a lot of

stuff I think I feel quite a lot of

pressure to watch a lot of there’s so

much out there now

that you can never really catch up with

everything and that’s quite stressful so

there’s a lot of great comedy and drama

that I just haven’t seen yet because I

don’t have time and that is kind of a

shame because that should be my job you

know should be watching as much as

possible

um but it is tough I get that and I I

just wonder whether with the Masters in

screenwriting and I know you’re so busy

but do you see at one point do you fancy

writing a drama or writing a movie can

you see yeah something like that no

absolutely I mean it’s one of those

things that kind of one day sort of idea

might happen but um uh I mean I know you

know I’ve written a couple of sitcom

pilots and things and

um you know the the way these things

work is it’s difficult to get stuff made

but but yeah I I’d love to um to do that

one day I think right now I’m kind of

focused more on uh comedy and Live

Comedy but yeah it feels like something

I have to really sit down and

concentrate on which I’m quite bad at oh

yeah Edinburgh this year will you be

playing Edinburgh I will yeah I’m doing

um uh I’m doing a run of my stand-up

show Eleanor Morton has peaked which is

on every day apart from Tuesdays at the

monkey Barrel at 12 40 and I’m doing

um the Craig the tour guide I’m doing a

one-off show on the 15th at the stand

um of him which is the first time I’ve

done anything of that live so it’s gonna

be interesting

uh and I’ve kind of set myself up for a

for trouble because I I’ve realized I I

now have to write two shows I have to

write two hours wow um yeah so that’s a

lot of time to fill

but uh hopefully it should be all right

I’m hoping Craig will have some fans in

so they’ll be excited to see him and and

that’ll cover any any patches but I’m

doing my best for anyone who’s not seen

your Twitter feed we’re if they’re

listening now where can they actually go

to uh I am at Eleanor Morton on Twitter

but I’m all it’s also all on YouTube

and Instagram and Tick Tock

um also just Eleanor Morton so if you

put my name into any of those I think I

should show up

um if you can’t be bothered you know

scrolling through my Twitter it’s all

it’s all on YouTube so that’s a bit

easier thank you very much for chatting

thank you cheers bye-bye bye

[Music]

supporting London Scots with financial

grants welfare advice counseling

sheltered housing jobs coaching and

family support

[Music]

 

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