Old Blue and stand-up comedian Paul Boardman from the Class of 1987 was an avid footballer from an early age, with his talent on the pitch ensuring that The Blue Coat School trophy cabinet remained healthy. Fast-forward thirty years, following a career with Plymouth Argyll and Sky Sports, Paul can be found performing to audiences up and down the country. His sharp line observational comedy has attracted the attention of top brand clients including Manchester United, American Airlines and the Hilton.
How would you describe your time at The Blue Coat School?
Belly laughs everyday, ducking and diving from teachers and prefects. Loved every minute of my time there and vividly remember it all. Certainly had great experiences with the sports teams winning the Echo Football Cup in Year 9 and the English Schools Cup in Sixth Form. Met many great friends that have been friends for life, and I feel privileged to have spent my school days with such a great bunch of lads.
How did your experience at the School prepare you for your career?
I think the teachers tried to develop independence and build confidence and that has helped me a lot in the subsequent years. Also, the mix of characters and personalities at the School was brilliantly diverse too, standards were set high and the competitive nature that prevailed amongst us helped us to strive for better.
What has been your path since leaving?
I received a soccer scholarship to the University of Maryland in the United States immediately after leaving School, and completed a degree in Sports Science. On my return I signed professional for Plymouth Argyle and scored during my league debut. I struggled with injuries for a couple of years so I embarked on a new career path, that of a stand-up comedian. From there I landed a job at Sky Sports, presenting a number of shows. Nine years later I left Sky to return to comedy, which I am still doing to this day.
What do you do now?
I am touring all over the country doing stand-up, some good nights some bad, but I love it! I have several ambitious writing projects on the go too, that will probably come to nothing but you never know! I live just outside Windsor with my fiancée and three beautiful children. Most days I can be found running or cycling through Great Windsor Park.
What would be your advice to students today?
Two bits of advice: Chase your passion not the money, unless your passion is the money, in which case chase the money! And one of my favourite quotes is this; ‘The World is run by people who turn up’.