So the tours well under way now and going brilliantly. If you’ve been to one of the fifteen or so shows I’ve done so far I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did . The show continues to evolve and the problem with that is that I have to leave out sections in order to accommodate the new stuff in the two hour show but it keeps it fresh both for me and the audiences and I hope that it shows in my performance because I’m loving it. All the reviews including the very latest from Birmingham and Malvern can been viewed in the NEWS section under Tour Reviews
A special thanks if you came to the DVD recording at Mansfield . I couldn’t have asked for a better venue and audience . Filming a DVD is always difficult because , unless you’re a big name , you only get the one go at it so you’ve got to be on top form on that night and remember the full set (You always forget something and kick yourself afterwards – I forgot the section about hospital codes which I’m really annoyed about) . Also the staging is all a bit alien with the audience almost fully lit so that the cameras can catch their reaction to what’s happening on stage. This can be quite disconcerting and intimidating for both me and the audience alike but as I say , on the night , the audience were fantastic. I think the DVD is released mid November and I’m really pleased with it ; it’s my best yet but I’m bound to say that aren’t I? It is though (!)
I’m performing two of the tour shows for charity . The first at Middleton Arena on the 3rd May with ALL proceeds going to “Paws for kids” which is a great organisation which helps the victims of domestic violence in a unique way by providing help , support and refuge for the victims , children and pets. The second at Market Drayton Festival Centre is on 3rd September and is for a charity “Pet Rehome” of which I’m Patron.
Continuing with the charity theme , I’ve agreed to sail in the “Round the Island” race at Cowes in September !! It’s a bit mad since the only sailing I’ve done is on flotilla around the relatively calm seas of the Greek Islands most summers and this is proper , full-on racing , scary sailing . I’m crewing on the Prostate UK charity yacht and looking forward to it with a mixture of excitement and trepidation – lets put it this way , I’m taking some Pampers.
I’ve just put the final touches to my book “I gave him my kidney then he broke my heart” which is a compilation of all the local newspaper stories I’ve discovered while on the tour . If you’ve not been to a show I try to base the first 5-10 minutes of the set on local new stories and there are plenty of them . So the book includes those stories and my “take” on them . The stories range from “Fun with Ferrets at the YMCA” through “Brothel Closure Brings Relief” to “Shops £4 pants nearly killed me” and I’ve had great fun writing it. The book will be published by Michael O’Mara Books in October I think.
The sit-com that I’m writing with Terry Milligan called “Bringing in the Sheep” has been optioned by the BBC but this is just the start of a long process of re-writes , arguments and hand-to-hand combat before it disappears into oblivion or is one of the 1% that make it through. It’s about a bloke , Frank who goes to live in a hut in the Himalayas to find himself (Its always the last place you look) and the solitude he craves . Of course , when he gets to the mountain retreat , its crazy up there !
Anyrode-up I’ve got to dash . Off to Brecon tonight , then Newtown (Powys) Theatre Hafren tomorrow and Cardiff on Saturday . St Davids Hall should be more enjoyable than the last time I was there when I did the Royal Variety show a couple of years ago . I was on about third from the end before Bryn Terfel and Shirley Bassey , two massive Welsh megastars and the show had dragged on through technical difficulties before I got on about 4 hours later . The audience were tired and bored and just wanted Bryn and Shirley then they could go home . I got introduced off-stage and I heard a low groan from the audience before I walked on to only a smattering of applause (very rude I remember thinking) . I don’t remember much else except , I swear that the Queen looked at her watch and I think it was a Casio because her face lit up blue and she looked like a giant second class stamp. For some mad reason , I completely forgot my set and did ten minutes of new , largely untried material – on the Royal Variety Show!! Still it went okay . I got away with it as they say.
See you soon . Take it easy