Friday, September 28, 2007

Tonight and Tomorrow

I'm at Watford Jongleurs.

This is a cracking gig for me to do for various reasons. The crowd are usually really up for a good night - which always helps, plus I can get the train up the road all the way there! Yay for sleeping in my own bed!!!!

The line-up looks pretty hot too!


Thursday, September 27, 2007


My god the weather sure has turned hasn't it?????

As wonderful as yesterday was, I can honestly say that I have never been as cold for as long in my entire life and I include the night I spent sleeping out in Toronto in the middle of winter at -15 degree snow for tickets to see Bruce Springsteen at the Maple Leaf Gardens in 1980!

It's not like I was in a chiffon frock either. I had on jeans, a hoodie and a leather jacket but I simply could not get warm. Nipping outside once an hour for a fag didn't help of course but the 15 minutes I had to wait for my bus home I genuinely thought bits of me would start dropping off!

Now I know that I am carrying a lot less padding - 106lbs less to be exact - but surely its not natural to feel this cold?!?!?!?!?

All the way home I nurtured plans to crank the heating up and have a boiling hot shower to warm my bones. The engineer had been before I went out to sort out a little niggle with the hot water so everything was bound to be working fine ... wasn't it?

I switched up the thermostat, expecting to hear the familiar click of the boiler kicking into action, but there was nothing. Now I'm no central heating engineer - surprise surprise - so I did the standard thing of switching the boiler on and off a couple of times and that seemed to work.

I made a cup of mint tea, and turned the shower on...freezing.

I let it run a bit, even colder.

Gave up and turned the shower off, then tried the taps - nope they were ice cold too.

There was an emergency number to call for just such a thing, sadly it consisted of a woman sitting in her house fielding calls and compiling a list at midnight which is then emailed to the office.

I re-boiled the kettle and settled for a wash before giving up and getting into bed in an attempt to get warm. I never sleep with the heating on, but last night I did!

This morning I got a call at 8.50 from the company. They were chasing up the parts and would get back to me. Now, as luck would have it, I wasn't working tonight, so not being able to shower today wasn't the end of the world, but I'm in Watford this weekend and there's no way I can go onstage stinky!

I meditated and chilled out, came to the conclusion that if I had to choose between heating and hot water, it was better that the hot water was off.

I gritted my teeth and washed my hair in cold water, then did what my mum used to call a 'birdbath' washing my bits standing at a sink filled with hot water from the kettle. I went out just to stop myself getting worked up about it all. It was another cold day today too, so I wore the new puffa jacket I got from Uniqlo the other week. Something tells me I am gonna get my money's worth out of that this winter!

At 4pm I rang up to see what was happening and was told an emergency engineer would come out tonight anytime between 5 and 12 pm. He didn't have the parts but he would take a look.

At 6.39 this evening, my hero arrived. According to him I didn't need any new parts, I needed more pressure! They'd been replacing the water mains in my street a few weeks ago and I did notice the water was coming out of the taps a lot slower afterwards. God bless him, two and a half hours later I had scalding hot water coming out of my taps and the shower is now a power shower!



So I had a brilliant day yesterday helping my mate Mickey celebrate his 50th birthday.

It was a select gathering at his luxurious pad on the South Bank, about half a dozen comics, and a couple of civillians. The champagne was flowing as was the banter.

I do love this job! I love having my weekends when everyone else is working and being able to spend quality time with fantastic people.

Cheers lads, and thanks Mickey for organising it.


Sunday, September 23, 2007

Size 8!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So today I had a mad dash to get ready and out to meet my lovely pal Steve for lunch. He had a surprise for me in the shape of South African comedian Marc Blake who I haven't seen for at least nine years! How mad is that?

We had a fantastic meal at Balans, followed by coffee and drinks at various places in the area. It was a perfect way to spend the day. Catching up with friends, great food, and flirting with the very cute waiter in Balans!

The icing on the cake was that after I'd bade them farewell I popped into Uniqlo for a little look round. I was wearing a pair of size 10 jeans I'd bought there about a month ago which were now loose, so I bit the bullet and picked up a pair of size 8's. Trying em on, my heart was in my mouth, but F**k me they fit! AND I could sit down in them!!!!!!!

I ran to the till and paid for em, then all the way home I had the biggest shit-eating grin on my face. I have never, ever been a size 8!!!!!!!! Not even when I was 8! Nine months ago I was dreaming of being able to fit into a size 18!

I'm still 27lbs off my target...jeez what size will I be then???????


Druggggzzzzzzzzzzzzzz (again)

So this weekend I was MC'ing at a gig in the east end of London. On Friday night there weren't too many in, about 100. They were lively but in the first half it wasn't a problem. Part two was a different story however.

I'm guessing some kind of mood altering substance had been ingested by at least half the crowd, and sadly it wasn't one that made em chilled. The rest of the gig was a bleeding nightmare! Why on earth would you do a drug that makes you think YOU are the funniest person in the world and then go to a comedy club ffs!

Saturday thank god, was a whole different kettle of fish, and all of us - Stephano Paolini, Simon Bligh, Martin Davis and John Moloney - had a cracking time. What a difference 24 hours makes eh?

I have to say that as horrible as Friday night was, its one of the reasons I love doing stand-up, you can do the same room for 30 straight nights in a row, and get 30 different never, ever gets boring!


Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Kate Frickkin Moss!!!!!!!!!!!!!

So, yesterday I was feeling tons better and decided to pop down to Notting Hill Gate to get some groceries. It was soooooo cold I decided I needed a warm parka for winter. Went into the Gap to check out the one I'd seen in their ads, but they didn't have it at that branch.

Hopped on the tube to Bond St and went to the big Oxford St store. Tried on a medium, it was mahooosive! Tried on a small and that swamped me too. Now I know they're working this oversized look for the winter, but after what I've been through I don't really wanna hide my light under a bushell, ya know?

I went wandering up the road, checked out H&M, Zara, even bloody M&S! No black parkas to be found anywhere. I did find myself in Oasis where I bought myself a sexy lil silver metal belt. Decided to have a look in TopShop, they were bound to have what I wanted surely?

Well no. But they did have the new Kate Moss range. I'd seen a photo of her wearing this shiny, black, slinky, long, dress and loved it. When I was 20 stones I used to joke that I wanted to be Kate Moss and now here I was looking at her clothes that were in sizes that technically would fit me.

I'm still not convinced that I'm slim, so I rifled through the rail and found the frock in a 16. My thinking was a KM 16 would be a normal person's 12. I did something I've not done in about 30 years, took it to the changing room and tried it on! In the past I would buy something, take it home and if it didn't fit - usually cos it was too small - I'd put it away and chalk it up to experience.

Anyway, the 16 was hanging off me! Enormous! The one I'd seen her wearing was loose on her so I figured it wasn't meant to be skin tight, but this was ridiculous. I got dressed and handed it back to the changing room assistant, and uttered words I never thought I'd hear coming out of my mouth 'Its too big'. Best of all she didn't burst out laughing!

I went back to the rail and found a 14, I figured that probably would be a bit big too but I just couldn't make myself pick up a 12, how mad is that?

Wandered over to the shoe department and got a fab pair of biker boots in a size 5, as the ones I've had for years are a 6 and too big for me too. These fit perfectly, and actually cost less than the pair I bought 20 years ago. Another bonus is, these are 'fashion' ones so unlike my oldies, they don't have a steel toe, making em much lighter to wear.

When I eventually got home, I tried the frock on, and it is loose, but in an ok way, though of course if I lose much more weight it'll be too big...perhaps I'll have to boil wash it.

I looked at myself in the mirror and my goodness! I truly didn't look like me! I looked tall, slim and sexy! Blimey!

Mind you, I still don't look like Kate Moss, even in one of her frocks!


Tuesday, September 18, 2007


So on Sunday, the sun was shining and I decided to meet up with an old mate who I've not seen in aaaaaages. We took a wander down to the South Bank to take a look at the Thames Festival.

It was fantastic, lots of people, lots of stalls selling all kinds of stuff, mostly of the cheap silver jewellery and hippy 'chic' variety, and a load selling food from all over the world....lovely.

We sat drinking coffee in the sunshine for ages, catching up on each other's lives, then as we strolled down to Gabriel's Wharf, I felt a bit peckish. I plumped for a bit of Pad Thai and ate as much as my baby stomach could take without it coming back up again. That's one of the side effects of the op, if you try and eat too much it just makes it's way back out of your body. A great incentive not to overdo things as public vomitting is sooooooooo 1990's!

By the time we were on the tube home, my tummy felt a bit dicky, but nothing that would cause major concern.

Sunday night was my first night at home in aaaaaages so I chilled, reading, writing and watching a bit of rubbish telly. I did feel incredibly tired tho, so I had an early night.

Monday morning and I was up with the lark (well the alarm). I was due to go to see my Dad for a couple of days and really looking forward to it. I went to the loo and my god! Well I'll spare you the details but let's just say that I'm glad that my loo and sink are really close to each other, cos I needed both!

When I eventually got off, I felt as tho I'd done 50 rounds with Mike Tyson. Every part of me was aching and my head was soooo f**ked it was like I'd dropped a tab of really good acid. Pretty soon I knew there was no way I was gonna make it to Euston in time for my train, and with a great deal of sadness I rang my Dad to tell him I wouldn't be coming. He told me to get back into bed and try and drink as much water as I could.

Four hours' later, and I was completely empty. I still felt achy everywhere but the acid trip effect seemed to have worn off. Being the optimistic soul that I am, I put a positive spin on the whole horrid experience and decided to see if the morning's tribulations had had any effect on my weight. I got on the scales and I'd lost 4lbs in 24 hours!!!!!

As the day wore on, I slept loads more and got my paperwork together for the dreaded tax return, and managed to eat a tiny bowl of extremely runny porridge.

This morning I feel a bit shakey, but generally good. I've done my full exercise routine, and when I got on the scales this morning I'd lost another pound! So, while I'm still a bit pissed off that I didn't get to see my Dad, I'm thrilled that I can lose 5lbs in 48 hours! Every cloud and all that.

It brings my total weight loss to seven and a half stones in seven and a half incredible!


Sunday, September 16, 2007

Oxford This Weekend...

... was fantastic!

The line up was great, Otiz Canneloni who has some of the best gags I've heard for ages, Johnny Candon who was his usual funny, charming self (and about to become a Daddy - massive congrats!) and the lovely Tony Hendricks who really kicked ass both nights.

For me, having had a break, Friday was a bit nerve-wracking, but I needn't have worried. I was on fire! Ad-libbing all over the show, being off the cuff funny and cheeky without ever insulting (I hope). These were also the first gigs I've done where I haven't hidden my weight loss underneath a baggy top or dress.

When I first had the op, I was asked by a fellow comic "what if you get skinny and you're not funny any more?" To be really honest I hadn't even thought of that until he brought it up. I knew from the last time I'd lost weight that there would be gags I'd have to drop, but it really wasn't a concern at that point. I replied, somewhat flippantly, "it won't matter cos then I'll be skinny and who needs to be funny when you're size 0?"

Well I'm not quite a size 0 yet, more like a size 10, which is f**king skinny for me, but I don't really see it in myself. I'm still the same me with all the doubts, fears and confusions I had before, there's just a smaller number in the back of my clothes.

However, this weekend, going onstage in clothes that fitted properly, I did have a slight concern that I might not be funny any more. Well now I know it was daft to worry, I'm still funny and with a greater confidence than I've ever had.

Phew! If it hadn't worked I'd have had to get a proper job!


Friday, September 14, 2007


Wow! Just back from seeing the Purple one live for the first time in nearly 20 years, and I have to say he's as hot as ever!

It was at the O2 which most of us know better as the Millenium Dome, I know that now, I didn't when I booked the tickets months ago! I wasn't expecting a whole lot, basically it was gonna be a gig in a tent, miles from anywhere, probably with crappy sound and poor sightlines.

I couldn't have been more wrong, the Jubilee Line stop is right outside the venue, and while I guess it is still at tent, its amazing inside, bars and restaurants, lots of loos, perfect.

Me and Paul had a lovely thai meal before the show - how grown up dinner and a show! - then got our seats miles up, just as Prince was singing 1999. Even tho we were almost as far up in the sky as the planes coming in to land at nearby City Airport, the view was fabulous! We had a screen right in front of our seats so when we got tired of looking at him in person, we could check out the facial expressions on the big screen.

The gig is in the round and the stage is in the shape of his symbol, and it just looked fantastic. The lighting was perfect and the sound incredible! Way better than most 2000 seater places!

He did a fair few of his classics, including some I'd forgotten he even recorded, but sadly now that he's got religion, songs like Sexy Motherfucker and Gett Off were left out. Still, he did do Sign O the Times, If I Was Your Girlfriend, and one of my faves Alphabet Street. Halfway through he even got Elton John up who sang a really soulful version of The Long and Winding Road. I've never heard Elton John sing that well!

It seemed to be over in an instant, tho I reckon he did about an hour and 45 minutes, and we were then dreading the scrum to get home on the tube with over 16 gazillion other punters all heading the same way. Even that was pretty painless, I think it took maybe 10 minutes got get on a train and I even got a seat!

So there ya go, Prince is as fabulous as he ever was, the O2 is my new favourite mega-venue, and it was the perfect night out.


Thursday, September 13, 2007

Back With A Bang!

Just as well I had a good rest while I was away cos life seems to have stepped up a gear since I got back.

Yesterday was pretty hectic, doing all the catching up things you have to do when you get back from holiday. On top of that, I had to get my nails and hair done, and best of all meet up with Gina who was on a flying trip back to the UK to do a couple of gigs and a bit of telly.

In my mind, the summer is over now, in spite of it being sunnier this last couple of days than it has been for aaaaaaages, so the bright pink nail polish gave way to my usual red.

The bank finally sent my new debit card, but as there'd been so many ordered and cancelled I still had to go to a branch to make sure this was the right one. Turns out it was thank god.

The only real downside of my holiday was discovering on the plane out that my old skool iPod was knackered. After five years the battery has finally given up the ghost. Steve Jobs musta realised this would happen, so while I was away he launched a new bunch of the little music miracles. My first west end stop was at the Apple shop to buy myself one of the slinky new iPod Nanos. It's black and the size of a credit card and holds 2000 songs, plus you can watch TV, movies and store photos on it, all for £129! Marvellous.

Then it was off to see Patrick, my long suffering (20-odd years and counting) hair stylist. Still fired up from my trip I decided that a change was in order. The new JoJo doesn't want safe highlights, she wants really blonde hair! Actually, I want really dark hair but having tried that wig on in Trendco and realising that black hair doesn't make me look like Catherine Zeta Jones in Chicago, it makes me look like I'm at death's door, so that's out of the question.

Patrick slapped the bleach on all over, with a certain amount of trepidation, after all, it's only a couple of months since my hair was falling out in handfuls. Now tho' thanks to the kelp tablets, its growing back with a vengence, the result of which is a lot of tiny new hairs sprouting up all over the shop. The smooth, sleek 'pob' had kinda lost its sleekness with a bunch of spikes sticking up along the parting, so a dramatic cut was in order too.

The result? In my mind I look like that model Agyness Deyn, the reality is probably somewhere completely different, but who cares about reality? I love it! I'm blonder than I've been in 20 years and it feels fabulous!

From there it was a wander up Oxford Street to meet Gina. I managed to fit in a quick splurge in the Gap. Have you seen their winter range for women??????? It's amazing! I coulda spent three times what I did, and believe me I spent enough! The weirdest thing for me was looking at this denim top/dress in size M/L and thinking "my god that's huge". In the end I bought a size XS/S. I've kept the tag for prosperity. I've never owned anything that small!

Finally I got to John Lewis to meet Gina. I was so excited to be seeing her. She's been in LA since July, and I've really, really missed her. We've talked on the phone and swapped tons of mail on MySpace, but it's not the same as sitting down face to face. She almost walked past me! She said I look so different now. I recognised her right away, but she's looking hotter and healthier than I've ever seen her, and so goddam slim! And to think that we were a couple of the chunkiest birds on the comedy circuit 9 months ago! Me far chunkier than her of course!

We found a cafe in St Christopher's Place and just talked and talked and talked. God it was brilliant to see her! Things are really taking off for her in the states so it looks like LA is gonna be on my list of places to visit in the near future.

For all her Hollywood lifestyle, Gina's still a Primark girl at heart so we went there. I was the most restrained I've been in a long time, only buying a pair of blue cords and a gorgeous grey jumper for £10 which was identical to one in the Gap that was £50! Gina picked up a couple of things, and signed a few autographs!

It's a fact that everywhere we go, people come up to her to tell her how wonderful they think she is. I think they're right of course, but it's still really bizarre to have gangs of girls screaming her name as we walk down the road! It's one of the biggest crimes of all that she's had to leave the country to get the kind of success she deserves at home.

Before we knew it, it was time to say bye again. She had an early flight this morning and I was just knackered, so we said au revoir at Oxford Circus tube, but not before we got a random stranger to take a couple of photos of us looking so fabulous!

All the running around yesterday paid off tho, cos this morning I got on the scales, and its official! I've now lost 100lbs!!!!!!!! I cannot tell you how amazing that feels!



So the dust has settled from my holiday, washing's all done and my case is back in cupboard till the next trip.

On the domestic front, my furry little visitor seems to have scarpered, probably to a flat with more food in it!

The holiday was just what I needed, constant sunshine, a nice dry heat of 34 degrees every day, a city small enough to explore on foot, but not too claustrophobic.

I picked possibly the best hotel in the world ever for my needs, it was attached to a huge shopping mall with all the best Spanish shops - El Corte Ingles, Zara, Mango etc etc - yet only two minutes walk to the old town. The beach was a 25 minute bus ride away, but the bus stopped right outside the hotel. Perfect!

It's always a risk booking a hotel online, you never know how much of the blurb to believe, but this lived up to the hype. It was only 3 stars, and the rooms were pretty basic - it was kinda like yer average Holiday Inn - but the rooftop pool was fabulous. The breeze up there on the 12th floor meant I could stay in the sun far longer than I would normally, as a result I came home with a tan from only three days' of proper sunbathing.

A random bit of street art.

I got a little culture fix too, visiting IVAM, Valencia's modern art gallery. It didn't have the greatest collection in the world, but they had an exhibition by a two artists who go by the name of Equipo Cronica. I'd never heard of them before but absolutely loved their stuff. Their inspiration comes from a vast range of sources, old masters, Picasso, Warhol, and they put their own spin on it...a little bit Banksy in a way. They even have their own version of the Edward Hopper Nighthawks painting!

The seafront was just gorgeous, not overly developed, tho there was a little market selling the kinda crap you buy when you've had the sun on the back of your head for far too long, tie dye, bits of shells on leather thongs etc, and only a few bars and restaurants. I had lunch in one of them and it was just the most blissful experience. Munching on fresh calamari and salad, looking out at the golden sands of a half empty beach and actually being able to hear the sea washing up on the shore.

I visited the much lauded City of Arts and Sciences, which Valencians are hoping will do for their city what the Guggenheim did for Bilbao. The buildings are beautiful, its like one of those pictures you saw as a kid of how we'd all be living in the Space Age. There's an Oceanarium, a Science Museum and a Concert Hall, as well as lots of gorgeous spaces to just sit and take it all in.

The shopping was fabulous and this is the first time I've been away and really been able to buy whatever I liked from any shop. I didn't have to scour the place for the one fat birds' shop. Got a gorgeous leather jacket from Zara (cheaper than it would be here) and a brilliant pair of black patent DM's from Mango, and of course, a beautiful gold leather bag from El Corte Ingles.

All in all, a perfect way to recharge my batteries before winter kicks in.


Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Back in the YoooooooKaaaaaaaaaayyyyyyyyyy!!!!!

Back from a little bit of Spanish sun in Valencia and home to a nasty surprise, a small furry creature has taken up residence in the flat while I've been away and it seems to like coconut cream cos it gnawed its way through the cardboard box and dragged the foil wrapped contents off to it's little hidey hole somewhere in the gaff!

Too late to ring Rentokill tonight, but I'm gonna have to call them in the morning. I'm not sure I'll be able to sleep for worrying about the little f**ker running across my face while I'm asleep!

Full trip report to follow when I've removed my flatmate!


Saturday, September 01, 2007

And So It's Over

Big Brother ended last night with Brian "the Brain" Belo being crowned winner.

This year's series started off pretty controversially, with Emily the middle-class racist being slung out, and those early weeks looked like it was gonna be the usual bitch fest. I think putting all women in from the start was a huge mistake. It smacked of desperation on the part of the programme makers to be honest.

As the weeks went by however, things settled down and once "the most delusional human being on the planet ever" aka Charley was evicted and neurotic, whingy Chanelle buggered off, it kinda settled into just a really pleasurable hour of viewing most nights.

Sure the viewing figures dropped dramatically on last year's, it wasn't 'must see' tv was it. After all there wasn't a lot of bitching and backstabbing going on was there? Last year's series made me despair for humanity watching the likes of Grace and Nikki. This year's just gave me a kinda warm feeling inside.

The last six were like a real family, with mum Carole, weird uncle Jonty and an assortment of basically sweet kids. Liam, Brian, Ziggy and the twins actually gave me some hope, after all when I'm on my pension they'll be the generation responsible for my care! And the genuine joy they all felt when Brian was named the winner gave me a nice warm feeling inside.

Gawd I am getting soft in my old age!