Hello good people, hope you are well and happy. Been a quiet-ish couple of months with the tour finishing on April 19th in Nottingham after a great 3 month run. The reviews have been brilliant from both the press and more importantly the audiences and theatres are still contacting us to take the show which is very flattering so I’ve decided to take it back on the road in Spring 2013. I’ve about 13 dates in already which are listed in my NEWS.
Highlight of the last couple of months was opening the show at the iconic Royal Albert Hall as part of the Teenage Cancer Trust “Evening of Comedy”. Jason Manford compered brilliantly and the fantastic line up also included Jimmy Carr and Jon Richardson so it was a bit of a “8 out of 10 Cats” reunion. Check out the work that the charity do at www.teenagecancertrust.org and you’ll see how vital and inspiring it is.
I’m getting stuck into writing for the summer , “Glitterball” has been re-written after we received notes from the BBC after the table read in March and is all the better for it . I’m also re-writing “Magnolia” , a one-off comedy-drama I wrote and which was screened as part of BBC “Comedy Playhouse” some years ago. A production company actually approached me to do this and I’m really enjoying re-visiting it as I love the characters and situation. It concerns three ex-cons who set up a painting and decorating business on their release and are struggling for work. It’s an area I’m very comfortable with as my dad , my father in law , my brother in law and my best mate were/are all painters and decorators and I love the idea that every week they enter a new house , office, whatever and interact with the people there.
Another exciting project is a short internet film comedy about a Charity Shop. Originally written by Mike Hodgkinson and shown at the Cofilmic Festival under the title “Thrift” . I was invited to co-write an episode with Mike specifically for internet viewing and we’ve just completed the first draft.
TV wise I’ve just recorded another week’s worth of Countdown with new presenter Nick Hewer who I think was an inspired choice. I say this because I think he brings another dimension to the show in terms of his impressive general knowledge which he uses to great effect in dropping in very interesting facts and anecdotes. It’s always great fun filming it at Granada and Rachel and Susie are brilliant to work with. I must mention an old pal Dudley Doolittle who does the audience warm-up. He’s always been a great comic and a really nice bloke. I think it will be shown about third week in July.
I contributed to a Ch4 programme about their top 30 Comedy shows because “Phoenix Nights” is in there and I enjoyed reminiscing about it . I chose “Father Ted” as my favourite but if I was a betting man I reckon that “Brass Eye” could be voted Number 1.
On a personal note , we’ve been celebrating my wife Kay’s birthday and decided to have a street party on the coldest night in May and then last week hired a couple of narrowboats and took the family on the Shropshire Union Canal to celebrate both that and the Queens Jubilee. It was rainy and cold for a couple of days but we had a couple of scorchers as well - at Nantwich for a Jubilee street party complete with Amy Winehouse lookalike/soundalike (! Oh aye) and also near Barbridge. Best day was at Audlem for the Jubilee arts and music festival ; sadly the acts suffered from the rain and cold on the outside stages but we saw some great stuff over the day – Louis Barabbas and The Bedlam Six were amazing.
See you soon