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!


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.


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.


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.


Blog 94

Happy new year everybody!  Great news! Sandwich bar has been nominated for best entertainment radio show in the British Comedy Awards so if you feel like voting for me please do.  I’d like an award, I didn't use to like them but I do now, I haven't won one for years and anything would do.

Blog 94a

Somebody asked about an old column I wrote concerning railway station trollies.  I do remember it vaguely, I think it was prompted by me finding a luggage trolley from the Gare Du Nord in Paris at the top of my street.  I'd be happy to make it available but unfortunately though I do still have all my old columns on my computer they were written in such an ancient version of apple works that I can no longer open them.   I am convinced though that they contain tons of brilliant material that I could use again if only I was able to access these files.


Blog 94b

Good news!  Our code breakers have found a way to unlock all those old files with my ancient columns in them and there is definitely some good, if out of date material in there, so expect the second series of Sandwich Bar to contain a lot of jokes about Roy Hattersley and The Rover 800.


Blog 94c

Bad news!  The columns I had decoded were all from 1996 and I had mined them comprehensively for material when I did my TV show merrygoround so no good stuff there.  And I still haven't found that column about trollies but the search goes on.