Sunday, January 28, 2007


Soooooooooo a marvellous time was had in Brighton. Sadly not enough time, I just love being there.

The gigs were cracking for all of us, the hotel was cool, the staff friendly and the rooms clean. It coulda been a teensy bit closer to the gig but you can't have everything when someone else is paying!

The sun was shining yesterday and for the first time in a few weeks I didn't have to walk about bundled up like an abominable snowman. It was gorgeous, wandering round the Lanes, looking at all the fantastic shops and buying nothing but being really satisfied with just being in Brighton.

I got the best compliment ever too. While I was onstage in the early show last night, Ian Moore was standing at the back watching and he overheard these guys on a stag night asking if I was that Jo Whiley off Radio 1! She's years younger than me and pretty gorgeous so I feel very flattered.

Then today, after a late night in the bar with Colin Cole putting the world to rights, I rose and came back to London. Met up with my bestest mate Tracy, and we went off on an expedition to Hoxton! How brave are we??????

We were on a mission to avail ourselves of some new 'erotic pleasure' devices and heading into Sh! which is a women only shop, well men are allowed but only when accompanied by a woman, which is kinda cool. We were given a cuppa and allowed to browse, with help and advice on hand if we needed it.

Its the first time I've ever bought a toy and not felt seedy! It was fantastic. Those needs sorted it was time for a bit of lunch, we found this great Chinese/Thai/Japanese place and just sat there for hours, catching up with each other's news...what a perfect Sunday!

In fact, pretty much a perfect weekend.


Thursday, January 25, 2007

Seaside Special

Yayyyyyyyyyyyy! Tomorrow I am off to Brighton to do the Krater comedy club at the Komedia in Brighton. I am sooooo excited about this. After my cracking weekend there back in the summer I can now look forward to it.

I'm on with Colin Cole who was also on that August weekend so he's my good luck charm. Ian Moore and Stephen Grant are also on (it's Stephen's club) so it should be a cracking couple of nights.


Tuesday, January 23, 2007


Mmmmmmmmm a whole day to myself before the madness begins. How shall I spend it? I know! I'll face the freezing cold and go the the Serpentine Gallery to catch the Damien Hirst 'thing' before it closes on Sunday.

The sunshine belies the bitter wind that whips through to your bones, but I've got me Gucci's on and my M&S fake Belstaff jacket with the extra warm lining, so I am prepared.

At Notting Hill Gate I grab a Starbucks Mocha to give me energy and get the bus to the Albert Memorial. I love this statue, old Queen Vic must've loved him to go to those lengths. I bet he was all puffed up like a penguin when he saw it! Just goes to show the benefits of a genital piercing!

I get to the Gallery and it's not too busy - hurrah! I'm so excited about seeing this. Outside on the lawn there's a giant shire horse pulling a cart loaded with massive marrows by Sarah Lucas along with a curious selection of people and gorillas. Inside, where its much warmer, there's a feast of modern art guaranteed to make you drool. There's loads of Sarah Lucas stuff including a vaccuum cleaner made of cigarettes with a bra attached called 'It Sucks' sounds like every man's dream!

One of my most favourite pieces is a collection of skulls decorated with beads and lapus lazuli by Stephen Gregory...I totally loved them! I also loved seeing Banksy's fantastic painting - the one with Ronald McDonald, Mickey Mouse and the little girl from that famous Vietnam photo - it's breathtaking in the flesh so to speak.

He has a few pieces by Jeff Koons including a giant yellow Moon and some of the Hoovers, he's got a couple of Warhols - Five Deaths and Electric Chair - a Francis Bacon which is amazing, and some of Jim Lambie's Owls which are just gorgeous. I also loved Sean Landers' essay.

To be really honest, there wasn't a piece I didn't at least like a lot. It's just a fabulous collection. Damien calls it his 'Murderme' collection because all of the pieces have some connection with death or blood or gore. You'd think with those themes it'd be a depressing view, but its not, it's life affirming!

In The Darkest Hour There May Be Light runs until 28 January....don't miss it!


Monday, January 22, 2007


Soooo this weekend was a first. After the damp squib that was Thursday's failed attempt to go to Bristol and tell jokes, I was apprehensive on Friday as to whether or not I'd get to Nottingham.

The weather gods were on my side and I did. I arrived with time for a little nap before heading back to the station and getting a train to Leicester for the first of my two gigs. The bill at Leicester was fantastic, my two brothers that I never had aka The Raymond and Mr Timkins Review, baby-faced Jason Manford as MC and the scarily funny Rhod Gilbert. I had to follow Rhod and I wasn't looking forward to that!

Jason did an excellent job and got the room just perfect. Rhod had a cracker and I had one of my best gigs ever! I was on such a high as I jumped into the cab to Nottingham to close the show there. By the time I arrived, the high had been replaced by nerves. This was my first time closing Nottingham Jongleurs, and it is one of the more "lively" clubs.

Another great line-up here in the shape of Dougie Dunlop, Stephano Paolini and Martin BigPig as MC. I certainly was blessed with the choice of comperes this weekend, both Jason and Martin are top flight. The room was a bit low energy but I had a lovely time. All I had to do was do it all again on Saturday.

Saturday morning I watched the previous night's Big Brother and felt really uncomfortable watching Jade realise the impact of her actions. I spent the day chilling and did the trek to Leicester again.

I felt there was no way I could have as good a time as last night but, bugger me I did! The journey to Nottingham was painless and after applying another layer of lippy it was time to wrap this double-up weekend off. Martin brought me on and I just ran with it. I felt like I a star, for the first time ever closing a gig I felt like it was my right to be there, and I loved every second of it!

So that was my first Jongleurs double-up, a total success, and while it was a bit stressful, not overwhelmingly so. Roll on the next one!

Today began with some life changing news, I don't want to go into all the details now, but you will hear about it in good time.

Life is an amazing thing folks.


Friday, January 19, 2007

Racism...A Rethink

A couple of days ago I wrote that I didn't think that Jade's behaviour in the CBB house was fueled by racism.

Having watched tonight's show I no longer think that. I don't think she's a card carrying member of the BNP but she is ignorant and her remarks about Shilpa's surname were most definitely racist.

I suspect someone has had a work in the three bullies' ears too cos Jade denied being 'racial' in the Diary Room and the other two suddenly had some perspective on what it must be like for Shilpa coming over to do this show.

What I found most intriguing - apart from the obvious lack of Carphone Warehouse ads - was that they didn't give the phone numbers to evict either Jade or Shilpa after the show as they always do when people are up for eviction. They did give out the numbers on Big Mouth, which of course has far fewer viewers...maybe they just 'forgot'.

To be really honest, and I speak as someone who has watched ever single Big Brother avidly, even the really boring year when Cameron won, I think Channel 4 should just pull the plug on the rest of this one, and I think Endemol need to seriously rethink their agenda with this show.

Racism is the most horrific of crimes in my book - stop this now.


Thursday, January 18, 2007

Out Of Chaos Comes A Miracle

Sooooooo its a Stormy Thursday and I have to get a train to Bristol.

I keep an eye on the rail websites and they say there's disruption but nothing specific. Then I get a call from Jongleurs asking me how I'm getting there. I tell em the train, and then decide to get to Paddington early to make sure I can get there on time.

The concourse looks like a scene from the fall of Saigon, hundreds of people all staring up, only they're not looking for helicopters to take them out, they're scanning the noticeboards for information.

I join the massive queue to speak to a First Great Western employee and that's when the miracle happens. I found an honest one!!!!!!! His advice was simple...'don't even bother trying to get out of London today, unless its a life or death thing'.

Looks like I have an unexpected night off.


Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Racist? No. Ageist? Definitely!

So the furore continues over the 'racist' attacks perpetuated by Jade, Danielle and Jo against Shilpa Shetty. Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have commented in Parliament about it, there's street protests in India (fueled purely by newspaper reports), and everyone and their dog is getting stuck in. So here's my view of it as someone who sadly gets hooked on Big Brother every damn time, no matter how hard I resist.

I really don't believe it is racism that is fuelling them. I think its jealousy and ignorance added to a clash of cultures and Shilpa is not the innocent little victim she claims to be. She was telling Danielle yesterday that she was fine and felt that everything between her and the girls was ok, when minutes before she'd been playing the poor me act to Jermaine, Dirk and H from Steps.

What I am seeing is 3 silly little girls who are being allowed to run riot and I don't see anyone stopping them. There are 3 grown men in there all it would take is one word from one of them and this would all stop. Dirk was in the A-Team ffs! Surely they'd listen to him????

What I find really appaling is C4's lack of action. I heard on the news they got one million extra viewers last night, so even tho Carphone Warehouse are making noises about withdrawing their £3 million sponsorship deal, I'm sure in business terms this is all good news. I hope Carphone Warehouse don't pull out, that voice over gig makes my mate Ed Byrne a ton of cash!

Anyway there's something else far more sinister going on in this year's house and that's the major fibbing that's going on when it comes to people's ages. I love Cleo Roccos, she's really sweet and looking fabulous and was lovely when I met her years ago, but she's claiming to be 44!

I'm 45 and I watched her as Ms Whiplash on Kenny Everett when I was a kid, so how can she be a year younger than me now???? I was talking to 'someone in the know' yesterday and the story is she hasn't just knocked a couple of years off her age but a full decade!!!!!!!!

Whatever age she is, she is gorgeous with a great figure, so why lie? I've never understood these female celebs who do and I've always been upfront about my advancing years, but its getting me nowhere, so now I've taken a leaf out of Cleo's book and done that Age: 99 thing that loads of people seem to do on MySpace.

And from now on, if anyone asks my age I shall say 35. Look out for me on the next series of Big Brother!


Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Not Quite To Plan...

Soooo there I was last Friday, full of hope for the weekend ahead. That'll teach me.

As I was about to leave the house I got a call saying would I mind doing a set instead of MC'ing tonight. I kinda did mind, but said ok. My flu was still raging through my system so yeah might not be a bad thing to do less and then I could get back to the lovely Copthorne Hotel and have a good soak in a hot bath.

The train is overcrowded and overheated, not to mention over-priced! I survived the journey, just tho my temperature combined with that of the train, meant it was far from comfortable. As I emerged into daylight from New St Station just about to jump into a cab, I get another call. This one is telling me that there's 'a problem' with the hotel and so we are all staying at a place called the City Inn, which apparently, is miles better than the Copthorne.

It's certainly closer to the gig, in what seems to be Birmingham's 'Hotel Quarter'. The reception is decked out in a sub-standard Malmaison style and the price is higher than the other hotel, so I'm expecting good things. Get up to my room and at first glance it all looks very fancy. There's a DVD and a CD player - a £20 deposit is required to actually rent a disc to use on these things which is a bit of a joke as I'm sure there's parts of the city centre where you could buy the latest blockbuster off a Chinese bloke for £2!

There's a little flat screen telly too, and I mean little the actual screen is too small to view from the bed! The bathroom is no such thing, a tiny space with shower, loo and sink. the bed is a small double, and there's very little support from the mattress which feels like little more than a piece of foam slung over a bit of mdf. To say I was disappointed is a slight understatement.

The phrase 'boutique hotel' has become totally corrupted, shoving a Goodman's stereo in the corner does not make you a boutique! This place is basically a glorified Travel Lodge (more of which later).

The gigs thank god were amazing, I was working with James Dowdswell who I haven't seen for years. He's a great guy and it was a joy to watch him perform. Greg Burns was MC'ing and did a sterling job and Rex Boyd was closing on Friday. I missed Rex's set because I was feeling too rough to stick around, but he had a good un.

Saturday I slept mostly, so that I was refreshed and fighting fit-ish for the show. The place was packed with one party of 70 from Bid-Up/Price-Drop TV. They were a lively bunch but very good natured. It was their Christmas do - bit late but what the hey. It seemed like everyone in the room was celebrating something from fortcoming nuptuals to birthdays and anniversaries, and there was a really great atmosphere. James and Rex did the business again and we had Stu Who closing. I've not seen Stu for a bit and he was on great form. Looking like a perverted pirate, he delivered a cracking set with a great Dexys Midnight Runners gag that really tickled me.

Sunday was spent killing time really, I had to check out of the Shitty Inn by 1pm and I'd booked a room at the Travel Lodge across the road in case I couldn't get home from the gig at the Nightingale tonight. It was £26 and the term 'no frills' certainly applied! Having said that, at least they're honest. You get a bed, a bath (!), a portable telly and a kettle and that's about it. You also get staff who are friendly and helpful with no airs and graces.

As luck would have it, I was getting a lift home after the show so I only needed the place for a few hours. It didn't feel like a waste as I'd have spent more than £26 in the shops if I hadn't had this place to chill out in.

Got to the Nightingale to find an empty -apart from the staff - room. I was told that the previous week had been cancelled and it looked likely that would happen tonight. I got a drink and sat chatting to the sound guy, then the regular MC Mrs Barbara Nice arrived. I haven't seen her for a while, she's such a great laugh that I didn't really mind the fact that I'd wasted an entire day waiting for a gig that might not happen. The other act was Chris Neill who'd driven up from London and spent an hour getting lost in the city trying to find the place, as you might imagine he was less than thrilled to see an empty room!

The good bit was tho that we got paid anyway, and an early start meant that Chris was dropping me at my door before midnight (bless him). It was only the second time I'd met Chris and we got on like a house on fire during the drive home. I love it when I meet new people and have a connection!

So, all in all, not the most pleasurable weekend I've ever had, but in the grand scheme of things it was far from the worst too!


Friday, January 12, 2007

Off We Go

So after easing myself into the new year with a couple of fabulous gigs at Up The Creek last weekend, the year kicks off proper with a weekend at Jongleurs in Birmingham.

I used to do this club a lot, but only played there a couple of times last year, the most recent being one of the Christmas shows which was the best fun and ended up with me getting a gold star from the audience in the ratings.

I have all kinds of connections to Birmingham, not least being that I lived there for six months when I ironed Dexy's trousers, so its a city I love to visit. Even more so since they opened that gorgeous Selfridges!

Looking forward to some great shows, I'm doing a gay gig on Sunday night too, and staying in a fantastic hotel, and hanging out with some good people.

Have a good 'un yourselves folks.


Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Soooooo week one of this year's Celebrity Big Brother is over and "one-armed lesbian" Jackiey was ejected minus her shoes but with a cracking set of carpet burns on her back! What more could a gal want?

Sadly, they were inflicted by H from Steps but you can't have everything can you? I thought Jackiey was great value, tho I wouldn't wanna be stuck in the same village as her let alone the same house.

I'm quite enjoying this one but its not as compulsive as last year's with Pete Burns and the other whackos, but it's kind of interesting seeing people who have over-inflated opinions of themselves decompose in front of the cameras.

Leo Sayer is this year's George Galloway, ie the pompous twat who is ruining what little reputation he had. Let's bear in mind its been 30 years since he had a career, and that a sample of one of his old tunes was used on a record that got to Number One last year. He seems to think he's Bob Dylan or something. Ffs the man used to dress up as a clown! Now he just acts like one.

His snobbery came out in bucketloads when he had to serve the banquet the other night. It was horrible to see the look of disgust on his face when he returned to the other housemates.

He truly is a nasty little man, let's keep him in for the full 25 days so that he can totally obliterate any standing he may have had, that way he can fuck off back to Australia and take his nasty, bitter, little mouth with him.


Sunday, January 07, 2007

Thank You

Nowt to do with the dreary Dido song, but a huge nod of appreciation to every single member of the audience at Up The Creek in Greenwich last night.

I thought Friday was fantastic, but Saturday just blew me away. It's been a while since I've had such a brilliant time at any gig. It was one of those nights when the entire crowd bonded together as one massive bundle of love. Sounds a bit insane but anyone who's gigged at the Creek on one of these nights will totally get it.

The audience were just ripe and ready from the off, they 'got' every single gag, every ad lib, everything!

Funnily enough, Up The Creek is a place where this happens to me most often, where I forget about 'performing' and just hit a wonderful vibe with the crowd.

Long before I ever did comedy, I was a journalist at the Evening Standard and when I got bored I would take the piss out of my fellow workmates. Not in a horrid way but lots of friendly banter cos I'd done my work and wanted a distraction. My colleagues used to tell me how funny I was and how I should be onstage at The Comedy Store. My reaction was always the same, that it was easy enough to have a laugh and a banter with them cos they knew me, but no way could I ever do that in front of a bunch of strangers. Well, 13 years on, I can, and it's amazing. I remember watching people like Phill Jupitus onstage at the Store and wondering how on earth he could appear sooooooo relaxed and at home on there, now I know and its an incredible feeling.

A big thanks to birthday boy Martin and his mates for sharing their story, and to the lovely gal from Sydney and her very funny Dad who cracked me up. You guys made my night.


Saturday, January 06, 2007

2007 Begins

With a flying visit up North to see my Dad and coming down with flu! Yipee!

Meditating like crazy to stave it off while I do my gigs, nowt worse than a snotty comedian!

So far it seems to be working, I did my first gig of the year at one of my favourite clubs last night, Up The Creek in Greenwich. It was a lovely, chilled affair after all the madness of Xmas and NYE. I was dosed up with Max Strength Cold and Flu pills and the line up was great - Alastair Barrie, Craig Campbell and a new act (to me) Lee Nelson.

It was the kind of night where you could try out new stuff, explore ideas and just hang with the crowd. I didn't do any material at all but got lotsa laughs and was generally nosey with various members of the audience. Alastair started the show off in fine style, and Lee Nelson's chavvy character was hilarious, Craig did a really wonderful chilled set that had the audience just tuned right into his mindset.

In the pub next door assorted comedians and reprobates were toasting the late, great Malcolm Hardee's birthday, but I felt too ropey to go along. It did get me reminiscing about past birthday parties Malcolm had.

I remember feeling incredibly honoured to be invited to his annual bash. Every comic who was invited turned up, and they were always wild, raucous affairs, usually with Jools Holland giving us a tune on the old joanna. It was rare that you left before dawn and even rarer if the hangovers didn't last a week!

I think his 50th was the last one I went to, and what a night that was. Malcolm was sooooo wasted he collapsed in the gent's toilets halfway through the show and Terry Alderton had to go and MC doing his impression of Mr Hardee. If you weren't in the room you'd have thought it was Malcolm up there!

In the meantime Aussie comic Matt Hardy was cleaning the old fucker up and getting him back to consciousness. If I recall correctly Malc was up and about carrying on the party 30 minutes later. Legend!

When I gave up the booze, I stopped going, but boy were they fun. Happy birthday Malcolm.


Monday, January 01, 2007

Best of the Best

2006 was the year that I...

Made my TV stand-up debut on Comedy Blue for the Paramount channel (tx March 2007)

Rediscovered my love of female singers with brilliant albums by Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse

Laughed myself silly watching the Borat movie

Was entranced by Jack Nicholson's amazing performance in The Departed

Felt like a star standing onstage at the Olympia Theatre Dublin listening to 1500 people laugh at my gags as I opened for Puppetry of the Penis

Luxuriated in my room at Le Royal Meridien Abu Dhabi

Felt cleansed by my audience with the monk at Wat Poh in Bangkok

Had my mind blown by witnessing the sheer beauty of Venice for the very first time

Felt at home once again at The Glee Club, Birmingham

Let go of a lot of excess baggage

Expanded my knowledge and love of modern art with visits to the Reina Sofia Gallery and the Peggy Guggenheim Collection amongst others

Said goodbye to numerous credit cards and their accompanying debts

Learned that you're never really alone, even thousands of miles from home

Got mistaken for a natve in Madrid, my Spanish must be better than I thought!

Really learned that "stuff" doesn't provide lasting happiness

It was also the year that saw me deepening some existing friendships, making new ones and appreciating the strength of some of my oldest and dearest friends.

What a brilliant year it was!

... And In With The New!

Sooooo here we are, in a brand new year, full of hopes, dreams and expectations.

I'm usually excited about new years, but today I feel that the coming year will be one of consolidation rather than any wild adventures. There are all sorts of things in pipeline but whether they will come to anything remains to be seen. The weird thing is it's OK. I don't feel down about my lack of anticipation, I feel really calm.

Shame the good people of Nottingham don't share that sense of calm. Not all of them of course, but the handful that ruined their own and other people's NYE last night.

The gig itself was great fun, but while we were making most of the room laugh, several guys were thrown out for taking banned substances, another pair were knocking seven bells out of each other and hitting a poor girl in the face in the process, two couples had blazing rows which threatened to end their relationships, and we had two false fire alarms! Happy New Year indeed!

Anthony King did his bit and buggered off home cos he was ill, so it was just Johnny, Colin and myself as the chimes rang out. I toasted the year in with a glass of flat diet coke and thought to myself "well it's all uphill from here on in". At 1am we decided to go back to the hotel making the long trek up Maid Marion Way.

Johnny led us to a fish and chip shop and to be really honest, that was the highlight of the entire night. Sitting, tucked up in bed watching the London fireworks on Sky News and munching on a battered sausage! Oh! Has my life come to this???????

You know what? Maybe that is as good as it gets, and if it is, so what? It's fucking brilliant!

Happy New Year folks xxxx