Archive for the ‘Could Be Anything Frankly’ Category

The Bath Plug 2018: Rachel Parris

It’s that time of year again!

Previous winners: TERRY JONES, PETER RICHARDSON, BARRY CRYER

Now read on, dot dot dot…

bath_plug_award_rachel_parris

With the precedent set by Jones, Richardson and Cryer, it may well be that anyone who knows about the Bath Plug Award, which I created, and which it is my duty to dole out every April, believes it to be a lifetime achievement award for white straight men of a certain age.

This was not at all the idea. This lovely golden plug exists to celebrate COMEDY, and to reward the talent and achievement of great comedians at any stage of their careers. And so this year’s winner, The Mash Report hero and highlight Rachel Parris, is not just more than deserving of the esteemed medal, she’s also provided a much-needed breath of fresh air for the Bath Comedy Festival. By kindly accepting the award from me and festival boss Nick Steel on Friday 6th April, she finally blew away the cobwebs, and opened all the doors for future Bath Plug Award winners! As I said to her afterwards, if the award wasn’t totally merited, it would have felt weird – and it absolutely didn’t. It’s a relief to have a very different kind of winner, but nobody could deserve it more.

As I popped up on stage at the end of her brilliant musical set, there wasn’t a huge amount of time to lavish on the ceremony (not least as she’d been rather violently ill all day), but as you can see from the video below, I did my job as best I could…

… But as she was not far away, Britishness got the better of me when singing her praises. I do believe that her two-handers with Nish Kumar on The Mash Report are uniquely brilliant (perhaps why they go viral so readily), and her delivery of a kind of common sense satire, with a smiling sheen of faux-compassion, comprises a voice we just haven’t heard before. To spare her blushes, I left out my suggestion that she had ‘become the most distinctive voice in British satire since Chris Morris’… Still, if she is reading this, she’s welcome to quote that to her Mum next time her career is called into question. ‘Stephen Fry’s official biographer says…’

Here’s a couple of reports on the shebang anyway, and my stress is turned off, on this score, for another year – my plans for the next Bath Plug are as ambitious as ever, however, and fingers crossed they will come to fruition… COMEDY.CO.UK CHORTLE

Anyway, with those duties fulfilled, the next day saw Kate Harbour and I back at the Widcombe Social Club with our most comedic TALES OF BRITAIN show yet…

And finally, on Sunday at Moles, the main event I’d been preparing for many months, this year’s FUNNY NOISES, which raised £50 for Bath Food Bank, and was a pleasantly mellow experience. In fact, if you’re a real glutton for miserable, painful punishment*, the whole thing was captured on Facebook Live. Ordinarily I’d be antsy about linking to my Facebook profile in a blog, but as anybody can just grab all my personal info from Facebook anyway, I may as well share and share alike…

* NB This statement does not in any way refer to the guest appearance from the very funny and awesome YONIC.

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Hello I Am Jem

I always swore I would never, ever bother the universe with a blog.

Not that I would ever dream of disparaging the many bloggers, podcasters and the like among my friends (visit them, they are all good and clever and funny and what-have-you), but as there never seem to be enough hours in the day for me to follow anyone else’s blog, it seemed by far the fairest decision of all for me not to annoy anyone with a blog of my own.

Actually, this is a teensy bit of a lie, in that I did actually have what you’d call a ‘blog’ in the late 90s, thanks to a self-publishing website called Zyworld. I was still a student at the time, and had to book into a computer room to get online in those pre-wi-fi days, and yet for a year or two I did manage to keep all sorts of stupid webpages updated, with a guide to our Nu-Wave Skifflepunk band, Nylon Under Wear, guides to pubs in Ludlow and Aberystwyth, and a page entirely made up of LOLRANDOM thoughts of just a few words at a time, updated every other day. That page was basically Twitter ten years early, and also, technically, my first blog. Thankfully only scraps still exist in the Internet Archive Wayback machine, and, as I said at the top of this entry, I decided, once the Blogosphere really became a phenomenon which the world knew well, that I was done with blogging. But, as I regularly tend to be, I was wrong.

Because, with two works of comedy history beneath my braces – The Clue Bible: The Fully Authorised History of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue, and The True History of The Black Adder – and a third ever-nearing the contract stage, it has been drummed into my well-stocked but frankly treacly brain that I should no longer see having my own website as an optional extra in life, but it has to be a part of who I am and what I do.

As you may discover, that encompasses a great many very, very daft things – stories, songs, videos, random acts of journalism… But this is where it begins.

In time, hopefully this site will be packed with all sorts of things connected to my adventures in comedy – the legendary comedians and comedy technicians I have met and interviewed, the fascinating tidbits which editors have forced me to cut from my books, and the fruits of my own performing and event promoting exploits, both as a solo act, and as Daddy of The Unrelated Family.

Don’t say I never warned you. I just did it there, then. Here goes.