Monday
Sep252017

Blog 99

Hi everybody, it’s been a while.  So I did five nights at Soho theatre of my new standup show then ten nights at Edinburgh and that all went very well.  Especially since the room I was playing was a really difficult space.  Now we are thinking about how I can do more perormances both in London and around the country, I don’t have an answer yet but we’re working on it.

The Sandwich Bar Book is mostly the scripts from series one with a few new bits specially written I’ve thrown in and some illustrations.  It’s a nice little book.

Series 2 of Sandwich Bar starts recording on Sept 30th.  I think all the tickets are well over booked but I guess there may be returns I don’t know how the BBC works it.  I’ve recorded two new songs for the show written and produced by Tim Sutton and they are both magnificent, particularly the Jaques Brel style one.

Russell I don’t think I had anything against Frank Skinner when I wrote that bit in Overtaken it was just he seemed to be the comedian those people would be going to see at that time.  Also one radio show I always try and listen to is Frank’s show on Absolute radio on a Saturday morning and I like his side kicks too Emily Dean and Alan Cochrane.

Blog 99a

I didn't notice this at the time but somebody pointed it out to me last week from an article written by Sir Chris Hoy in GQ magazine-"It might seem ludicrously simple, but the obvious answer to what to wear on your bike is whatever that helps you enjoy cycling. Of course, the reality is a little more complicated, especially for us Brits. If you look at nations where cycling has been popular for years, such as Denmark,

Holland and Germany, it really isn't an issue. And yet in the UK, we are still in that awkward phase of finding ourselves in an unfamiliar situation and feeling uncomfortable. So we overthink things and end up assuming to ride a bike in any way seriously you need to be wearing a full Team Sky racing kit. Of course, that it makes most cyclists look as ridiculous as an overweight football fan wearing the shirt of his favourite club for a pub five-a-side game. Hence the popularity of the famous acronyms of Manil ("middleaged men in Lycra"), and the less well known but much funnier Puffin (comedian Alexei Sayle's "pathetic unfit fat f***ers in nappies")."

Blog 99b

Hello everybody I'm filling in for Jarvis Cocker this Sunday on 6 Music.  4p.m.  Don't pretend you didn't know.


Sunday
Jun252017

Blog 98

A while ago I wrote about how I used to think there was some force in the universe which meant that anybody who crossed me would suffer.  I mentioned the woman who was rude to me on BBC1s Pebble Mill At One and how the last I’d heard of her she’d just had her show cancelled on Radio Devon.    I also said the only place that seemed immune to the force in the universe that avenged me was a sandwich bar in Southwark London that had been converted to a cafe from a toilet and I mused that the people who own this ex-toilet cafe are in touch with more powerful darker forces that me.

Then during the last murderous Israeli assault on Gaza I fell out badly with a pro Israeli woman on the Jeremy Vine show on Radio 2  who threatened to sue me for libel because she was losing the argument and how her career rather than foundering seemed to be on the up and up.    That woman, I can now reveal, was the now notorious Emma Barnett (from her aggressive Jeremy Corbyn Woman’s Hour interview.)    After looking into it I think I’ve figured out how Emma Barnett came to be in touch with such powerful dark forces.  One of the strongest impulses I have to fight against when I am on holiday abroad is the urge to seek out the “authentic” the “real” the “true”.  These days I accept that I am just a tourist, I do touristy things and go to touristy places but I can’t remember how many lunchtimes I’ve ruined in the past, forcing Linda to walk down increasingly seedy backstreets in Marseilles or Amman under the hot midday sun searching for the “genuine fishermen’s restaurant where the sardine trawlermen eat” or “that really authentic roadside falafel shack where the camel herders have their lunch.”  The best place I usually find is “the bar where the drunks with the terrible weeping head wounds go to start a fight.”

But the search for the authentic, the truthful can lead to even greater danger than just a dodgy lunch.  A friend of mine, an author was once attending a conference for Commonwealth writers held on a Carribean island.  On the last day of her stay she went down to the harbour side market looking for souvenirs to take back to the UK and on one stall she noticed “voodoo” dolls for sale.   On this particular island the practice of magic, of spells and malign curses developed among African slaves was known not as “Voodoo” but “Obeah”.  My friend was of mixed race and her father had actually been born on a nearby island so something told her that these particular dolls while gaudy and colourful and seemingly folklore-ique were not true Obeah.  She said to the native woman attending the stall. “ I’d really like to buy something but I’m not interested in these dolls here that you sell to the cruise ship tourists.  I want you to show me the proper ones.”

“These are the proper ones.”  The woman replied testily.

Switching to Patois my friend said.  “Look I know these are not the authentic Obeah dolls.  Show me the proper ones.”

“Darlin’ you don’t want to see the proper ones.”  The woman answered in a serious tone.

“”Yes I do.”  My friend stubbornly replied.

Reluctantly reaching beneath the counter the woman brought out a figure, a monochromatic doll in vaguely human shape, quite large and made from twigs, string, cloth and other more indeterminate, possibly fleshy scraps of matter.  This figurine gave off such a smokey aura of pure malevolence and evil that my friend immediately screamed and ran away from the market.

Unfortunately by demanding to see the Obeah doll a contract had been entered into and when she returned to London my friend discovered to her horror that the evil figure had somehow found its way into her luggage.  Luckily for her the doll wasn’t interested in my friend and instead it jumped up and ran off to make it’s own way in the world.  The name of that doll is Emma Barnett. That’s the only explanation I can think of for her success.

Blog 98a

I noticed Emma Barnett was presenting Newsnight, I think it was last week.  Funny how the MSM didn't point out that the presenter of this show was a doll made of rags, twigs and animal parts.  Sad!

Wednesday
May102017

Blog 97

Unbelievable news!  

The shows at Museum of Comedy went so well I am now doing five nights, downstairs at Soho Theatre July 11th-15th.  Then Edinburgh Fringe, I think its called The Cow Shed Aug 2nd -11th.  

This is a ninth in a lifetime opportunity to see me live so don't miss it!

 

Blog 97a

Hi Russell,

No the show hasn't changed much at the moment since the WIP shows but I think after June 8th the country will be a different place (one way or the other) so I will have to acknowledge that and I do want to play around with some new material at Soho but I haven't started rehearsals with Linda and Wilf yet.  I think tickets for Soho have nearly gone so anybody wanting to come needs to book fast.  Edinburgh is also selling pretty quick.  

Series 1 of Sandwich Bar is being repeated on R4 at 6.30 in June 6th, 13th, 20th & 27th.

Series 2 will be at 18:30  November- 9th / 16th / 23rd / 30th.

Friday
Mar102017

Blog 96

Hi everybody I'm doing five nights work in progress at the Museum of Comedy 23rd, 24th, 30th, 31st March and 1st April.  Come along!

The Undercroft,

St Georges Church,

Bloomsbury Way,

London, WC1A 2SR

 

Blog 96a

Since you ask.  I have never needed to do previews before.  In the 80s I would simply slip new bits into my show until over time it was pretty much a new 90 minutes.  (With a few all time "classics"). When I returned in 2012/2013 about half of the material had been worked in in the 15 or so years I'd been doing book readings so again I didn't need previews, although I did do a low key tour before going into Soho Theatre.  This is the first time ever I've done a more or less 100% new show, hence the Museum of Comedy which I have to say is a lovely little venue (thanks Josh Howie for the suggestion).  Also I must say the response has been phenomenal and I guess I will be moving to bigger venues in time.

Saturday
Feb182017

Blog 95

No you can't vote me anymore at the 2017 comedy Awards which was won by the Now Show amazingly!   But you can vote for Sandwich Bar for Best Radio Comedy at the Chortle Awards.  Yay!  

C'mon I want an award.

http://www.chortle.co.uk/news/2017/02/15/26884/vote_in_the_2017_chortle_awards