Alan Carr reveals he did work experience at Chronicle & Echo as he tells us Changing Ends is a ‘love letter’ to Northampton

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
From hoping to put Northampton on the map, to recalling fond memories of “staggering down Welly Road”, one of our most famous sons certainly still loves the town he grew up in

In an exclusive interview with Chronicle & Echo, Alan Carr has revealed he did work experience with this newspaper when he was a teenager.

The popular comedian was as lovely as you would expect when he spoke to us on Friday (June 2) and was all-too-happy to accept an interview with The Chron, following the release of his sitcom ‘Changing Ends’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

The six-part series about Alan’s life growing up in the 1980s in Northampton dropped on ITVX on Thursday (June 1) and the 46-year-old said it is very much a “love letter” to the town and that he hopes it “puts Northampton on the map”.

Alan Carr spoke to Chronicle & Echo about his new sitcom 'Changing Ends' and its connection to Northampton.Alan Carr spoke to Chronicle & Echo about his new sitcom 'Changing Ends' and its connection to Northampton.
Alan Carr spoke to Chronicle & Echo about his new sitcom 'Changing Ends' and its connection to Northampton.

Talking to Chronicle & Echo, Alan said: “There is a bit about bullying in there (the show), but I don’t want people to think my time in Northampton was miserable.”

Alan says he has fond memories of the town and his childhood and was keen for that to be portrayed in the show and to “do his family justice”.

“There was a lot of pressure and it was very emotional going back, but it was lovely reliving some of the really nice memories. I’d say it was cathartic,” he continued.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Talking about the release of the show, Alan said he was “nervous” as it is his first sitcom and he was not sure if people would like it. However, he has received “amazing” four and five star reviews.

Young Alan Carr ready to watch Cobblers - managed by his dad Graham Carr.Young Alan Carr ready to watch Cobblers - managed by his dad Graham Carr.
Young Alan Carr ready to watch Cobblers - managed by his dad Graham Carr.

“I’m buzzing from it all. It’s so personal and it has been a real labour of love that has been five years in the making, so to finally see it on TV is wonderful,” Alan added.

“If it makes people think of Northampton in a more positive way, that is great. I want to do my bit.”

He went on to say that although some parts of the show are embroidered to make a good sitcom, there are “so many bits that are real”.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Alan did chase after an ice cream van in his mum’s shoes, he did perform in Animal Farm at school and he did pretend to be his mum to get a day off school. The Chron did also out Alan as a footballer manager’s son, when he was trying to keep it quiet - sorry about that Alan!

He added: “A lot of silly things have happened to me, so I’m blessed in that respect.”

Blowing his cover was not our own role in the show – or Alan’s life – as throughout the series, this newspaper is mentioned several times.

The Chatty Man recalled the man who used to sell the paper outside the Grosvenor Centre. He said it always stuck in his head how the vendor used to shout ‘Chronicle & Echo’ and that is reflected in how the actors say the name of the paper outside the County Ground in the first episode of ‘Changing Ends’.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“We always used to get The Chron and The Chron was a part of my life,” Alan continued.

“I remember it being really fair and in the hay-day when my dad was doing well, it was good to read the lovely write-ups.

Read More
Alan Carr Changing Ends: All the times Chronicle & Echo got a mention in new sit...

“People don’t realise now with the internet and Google news alerts, but back then The Chron was the lifeblood of the town, where you got all your news from.”

Alan also went on to reveal that he actually did work experience with Chronicle & Echo when he was 15 or 16 - in 1991/1992 - when the paper was based in The Mounts. He did a week with The Chron and a week at Weston Favell Library.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“I think I came up with one headline and the rest was making cups of tea, so I didn’t have a massive impact on The Chron. I sat next to Mark Beasley and watched what he did,” Alan said.

And work experience was not the only connection Alan had with The Chron, as he also got a mention when he played ‘Bottom’ in Midsummer's Night Dream at the Royal Theatre when he was part of the Youth Theatre. The article likened Alan’s performance to that of Julian Clary, to which Alan said “I was just like that, but you weren’t to know that. It was a lovely write-up”.

With mentions of Chronicle & Echo, Bridge Street, Pitsford Reservoir and more, there is no mistaking where the sitcom is set, however, it was not filmed in the town, which Alan says was down to “boring” legalities.

“I would have loved for it to be filmed in Northampton,” he continued.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

“Although a lot of the places we needed to film in aren’t there. The County Ground isn’t as I remember the County Ground.

“Maybe if it gets recommissioned for another series we can film a scene on top of the National Lift Tower.”

Nowadays, Alan still spends time in Northampton as his mum and dad, and his brother and his family still live in the town. He said although he does not “stagger down Welly Road or frequent Roadmender as much as he used to”, he is finding himself spending more and more time in Northampton.

Whenever he is in town, there is always a copy of The Chron on his mum and dad’s table so he will “have a flick through”.

The full series of ‘Changing Ends’ is now available to stream on ITVX.