Comicus Blog

Comedians · Speakers · Musicians · Celebrities · Pundits

Imperium: the RSC’s imperious view of Cicero’s Rome

In 2014, Mike Poulton adapted Hilary Mantel’s Wolf Hall novels for the Royal Shakespeare Company. The result was a huge success, garnering such plaudits as ‘As in Mantel’s book, you feel this is history made manifest’ (Michael Billington, The Guardian) and ‘an adaptation that knows exactly when to speak and when to stay silent and…
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Delegates held Hostage by 4 Speakers

The Gatwick Diamond Speakers Conference provided its members with a group of diverse, interesting and thought-provoking guest speakers (Luise Usiskin, Tori James, Dr.James Bellini & Kirk Kinnell) at South Lodge, Hotel tackling a number of interesting subjects. The team met as a panel to discuss delegates questions, with the conference hosted by BBC reporter /…
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Alan Ayckbourn: ‘How the other half Loves’

‘How the other half Loves’ explores the different social attitudes to supposed infidelity. This, six hander play (three couples), set in the 1960’s, contains all the hallmarks of strong comic plotting with moments of extreme farce. Originally written by Alan Ayckbourn in 1970, being his second work, much waited for after the success of his…
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Warwick Davis: One Big Man

Actor Warwick Davis joined a group of Sussex Executives to enjoy the start of the Beaujolais Nouveau season and raise funds for his charity ‘Little People’ UK. This small man has made a major impact in important films such ‘Star Wars’ & ‘Harry Potter’ as well as guesting and presenting many other TV shows and…
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Ken Dodd: A comedy masterclass

On November 8th Ken Dodd turned 90 years old. This master of stand-up comedy has transcended generations of comedians, including cultural changes in entertainment from variety theatre (where he started), to the social & cabaret club’s scene and the now comedy club circuit. Yet he still applies his art today in often packed out theatres…
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Radio 4: The Today Programme 60th Anniversary

Trying to find a car parking place in central London at 5:00am is not easy. But even harder is getting in to the special live 60th anniversary of the Radio 4’s ‘Today’ programme, being broadcast from The Wigmore Hall. Despite the early hour, the public que stretched around two streets, with over two hundred disappointed…
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Life & Chimes: The Pompey Story

The Chime’s of Pompey rang out to all Portsmouth fans to come to the Kings Theatre to watch a potted amusing, informative theatrical history of their football club. This highly entertaining show was introduced by BT Sports commentator Ian Darke with the help of Peter Brackley bringing his now famous caretaker character back on stage…
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Sunday Night At

NOT Sunday Night at the London Palladium! But Sunday Night at the Theatre Royal Brighton with all the glamour, glitz and talent associated with the London Theatre, along with the variety talent which had many switching on their TV sets in the 50’s and 60’s, but now making their way to Brighton for the same…
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Connections and Relationships: A meeting with Peter Hall

In his Guardian obituary of 12 September, Michael Billington suggests that Sir Peter Hall, who has died at the age of 86, was ‘the single most influential figure in modern British theatre.’ As well as leading the RSC and then the National Theatre through the 1960s, ’70s and ’80s, Hall was a formidable artistic director…
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Bruce Forsyth: Song & Dance man

Bruce Forsyth was the last of the great entertainers, schooled in variety theatre making his name known to the public through early Television, in particular on ‘Sunday Night at the London Palladium’ a flagship entertainment show of the time. His ability to chat effortlessly and entertainingly to the general public came through in his compering…
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Real life: Professional Comedy plots

It was 4:00am, only six people left in the bar at the Metropole Hilton, after a great ‘Hire a Hero’ event. Time to collect my coat from the bands changing room and home. Entering the area upstairs, it had been completely cleared and cleaned. My Anorak was nowhere to be seen. Assuming the cleaners had…
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Hire a Hero – Gala Charity night

You’ve fought in the Falklands, completed trips to Afghanistan and Northern Ireland, perhaps seen awful things that many of us in our life will fortunately never see. Yet what does one do when leaving the service? How does one cope adjusting to what most of us consider everyday life? The yearly average net outflow from…
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Backstage: The Jim Tavare benefit night

  Over 500 people packed into the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury avenue, to enjoy a comedy show that only comes around once in a lifetime. There seemed more stars than the night sky. All giving their time free to support their colleague Jim Tavare who had been through an horrendous car accident and now faced with…
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Roger Moore: A personal memory

To Michael Caine he was a very close saying ‘I am devastated today at losing one of my oldest and closest friends ROGER MOORE, my world will never be the same again’. To me he was part of my TV & Film childhood popping up constantly in the ‘The Saint’ ‘The Persuaders’ and the first…
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Jim Tavare: All-Star Comedy Benefit show

We are pleased to announce a Comedy Benefit night for Jim Tavare at the Lyric Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue, London on Monday 12th June 2017. The support from his colleagues has been amazing and the bill of comics performing that evening reads like a who’s who of modern stand up. Dara O Briain, Jo Brand, Harry…
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How to make an impression

Nowadays, a comedy impressionist is a rare sight on stage. This artform has been left behind with flared trousers and the eighties word processor. Comedians are now more observational, chatty, satirical and find no room for impressionism within their acts. A vocal jamboree of celebrity characters is seen as ‘old hat’ and been overtaken by…
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Out of Order: Best of British Farce

Farce is never an easy form of theatre to succeed in. Yet Ray Cooney has made it his lifetimes ambition and work to create some of our best loved and well written farces. ‘Out of Order’ is not one of Cooney’s best (even though it won an Laurence Oliver award for Best Comedy 1991) but…
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Applaud for innovation but boo for content.

ITV’s ‘The Nightly show’ hit our screens in place of the traditional Ten O’clock news, which we were all so accustomed, we could set our watches by it. The new replacement programme is pure entertainment, with no reports from Syria or Washington, just late night guest chat. Those wanting hard core news switch over to…
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Rob Andrew speaks as a chocolate pot is exchanged

The wet mist descended slowly across the empty County Ground, as a small tractor moved across the moist grass while business people sipped champagne over light conversation in the Focus conference room. This can only mean one thing – the start of the English cricket season. The 2017 squad of Sussex players mixed socially with…
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Chris Nash Testimonial: A Grand opening

The Grand Hotel in Brighton was the venue for the opening event of Sussex Cricketer Chris Nash’s testimonial year. The turnout was excellent, with a supporting cast of fellow team mates including captain Luke Wright, joining in the chat and banter. It is no mean achievement to be offered a testimonial year, normally a player…
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‘The Play That Goes Wrong’

Following it’s humble beginning at the Old Red Lion, Islington (2012) ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’ is drawing strong audiences in its West End run. It further gained attention after appearing on the Royal Variety Show and has since gone from strength to strength. This is the play that turns slapstick comedy into an intelligent,…
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Hyundai: Would you go this far to protecting your daughter?

The recent Hyundai ads typically portray a real life scenarios, with humour the for front of the campaign. The comedic approach is to relate to experiences we have all shared at some time in our lives. The 2016 super bowl ad ‘first dates’ is no different. It’s was noted as one of the best ads…
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John Hartson: Big heart & balls

What better way to celebrate St.Davids day than in the company of Welsh footballing legend John Hartson who joined a lunch on behalf of the Sussex cricket Foundation to celebrate the occasion. The former footballer, now turned television soccer pundit on BBC and BT Sports, addressed a keen audience on his career and life. John’s…
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Hollywood: How to survive the end of the world

In the weekend of the Oscars, millions are glued to their screens awaiting the much-coveted awards. Once a film becomes popular, the genre is often copied by others. In recent years, the human race has become more enamoured with the idea of the end of the world. With people insisting they have seen intelligent life,…
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‘The Goldstone Days’ – 20 years on

Brighton & Hove Albion are sitting at the top of the championship, expectation around the city is cautiously positive. The Seagulls have knocked on the door of promotion (through the play off’s) three times in the last five years. Last year success seemed finally on the way, yet more heartache. This season confidence is high…
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David Walliams has a new friendship group but does he fit in?

When it comes to British comedy David Walliams is up there as one of the greats, with successes like ‘Little Britain’ and ‘Come Fly With Me’ to his name. Now Walliams is looking to add to his long list of critically acclaimed comedy performances with his latest show Walliams & Friend. The premise of the…
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Hurt like you’ve never been loved – Frankie Boyle

“The tragedy is that if Oscar Pistorius had no arms, this would never have happened” – Frankie Boyle. Some of you reading this will be laughing, others will be shocked and most likely close this page, however if you’re here already then let’s face it, you laughed. If you are continuing to read, you will…
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Horses laugh hysterically at bad car parking

Laughter is infectious. Even more so when the laughter is coming from a group of animated horses. These horses are the stars of a new Volkswagen commercial advertising the trailer assist feature of the new Tiguan car. The hilarious Volkswagen advert was published onto their YouTube channel on the 12th October and now has over…
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The RSC’s high-tech ‘The Tempest’. Does it work ?

Did the RSC’s high-tech The Tempest work with or against Shakespeare’s dark, enigmatic comedy? The Tempest apparently premiered with a performance at Whitehall Palace in 1611, performed by the King’s Men before King James I and his court. Whilst we do not know much about this occasion, we can assume that His Majesty was pleased…
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Do I not like that

Graham Taylor was a former Football manager of Watford, Aston Villa, Wolves and England. He was also Chairman of Watford Football Club, having formerly been a football pundit, ex-football manager, and a former player. He was best known as the manager of the England national football team from 1990 to 1993, as well as being…
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A German company, a Frenchman and 50 Scots

At the end of a conference it is refreshing for delegates to look forward to the evening dinner and entertainment. At this event a German company, with a subsidiary in Britain organised a French comedian to entertain it’s 90% male UK workforce containing an abundance of Scotsmen, Irish and a some English, all in relaxed…
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The nation’s favourite Grandma says ‘Goodbye’.

Liz Smith was one of those actresses you immediately recognise, then struggle to think what she has been in. ‘Oh she was in .. that .. er ? It is because she appeared in so many parts in TV & Film in the last forty years we don’t always necessarily identify her with just one…
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2016: A year of loss

This has been a year where we are not the same country coming out of it as we were going into it. 365 days of loss with some of our largest and most influential showbusiness and sporting stars leaving us, as well as the nation deciding to depart Europe in a decision that shocked Britain,…
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Keeping up with the Joneses

Milton Jones ticks all the boxes to be a great comedian. He is quiet, introverted, unassuming plus when off stage he never does material. He’s not a gossip or seldom speaks unless spoken to, but you know something deep is going on in that head. What comedically comes out of his mind is just as…
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John Lloyd: In conversation

Those of you who remember ‘Not the Nine O’clock News’ (BBC 1979 -83), ‘Spitting Image’ (ITV 1984 -96) and the ‘The Blackadder’ sitcom series (BBC 1983-89) may not realise what these shows had in common. Well, all of them were originally produced by John Lloyd who went on to make some of the most important…
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Ian Wright – ‘A life in Football’ autobiography

Ex footballer Ian Wright plots his rise from a South London Council estate to summariser on ‘Match of the Day’ in his new autobiography ‘A life in Football’. He lifts the lid on his career, personal life in a very honest and self-critical publication. From Sunday morning football to Arsenal legend, from professional footballer on…
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‘Rogues on the Road’ A cricketing masterclass

Observing Ian Botham coming towards you in a very aggressive mood at an airport, is not a pretty site on tour, but this was one of many stories told by darling cricket commentator Henry Blofeld in a short tour of shows with his old BBC Test Match special (TMS) producer Peter Baxter who joined in…
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French Beaujolais meets English humour

The first bottles of Beaujolais Nouveau were gently mixed with some comedy, light music and camembert cheese at the county ground on Thursday 17th November. This being the first day of the season for such a celebrated French wine, much loved around the world, particularly in its home country where corks were pulled in great…
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Buster has our Christmas in his Paws

Will it be a good Christmas in 2016? In the seventies, a happy Christmas lay firmly on the shoulders of Eric Morecambe now it seems it depends on ‘Buster the Boxer’. Or put another way, how good the John Lewis Christmas commercial is? Since first launching in 2007, the John Lewis festive TV commercial has…
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Ian Moore, more, more, more

‘Doing the actual job of being a comedian isn’t the problem’ an experienced comic once told me. ‘It’s all the bloody travelling which gets in the way’ he said. Well, have a look at this travel itinerary; Started from Loire Valley (France) at 6:30am, forty-minute drive from Vierzon, an hour half train to Paris, an…
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Sign of the times? Or just sad?

The Chamber of Commerce produced their second Business Leaders Conference with a nicely diversified team of speakers, each addressing different issues in the world of commerce, keeping their audience informed and entertained. The event was compered by Laurence Elphick who as well as being a Chamber board member, has just been made managing director of…
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The Eagle has Landed !

Britain’s first and last ski jumper, landed softly in a room full of Sussex Business people, ready to hear a story which was, moving, endearing and profound. This was the second in a series of Business conferences organised by the Chamber of Commerce with a number of interesting speakers each with their own distinct personal…
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Want a revolution? Let me finish my tea first

‘Want a revolution?’ she said. ‘Well okay, but let me finish my tea first,’ was the flippant reply to the attendant checking my entrance ticket, to a new and explosive exhibition at the Victoria and Albert museum celebrating the culture change and movements of the 60’s entitled ‘You say You want a Revolution? Records and…
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Jimmy Perry: Calls halt on an army of comedy scripts

Jimmy Perry was best known as an influential TV comedy writer of the 60’, 70’s and 80’s. His writing partnership with David Croft (1922-2011) formed the backbone of so much of BBC sitcom in that period. The two wrote together Dad’s Army (1968–1977), It Ain’t Half Hot Mum (1974–1981), Hi-De-Hi (1980–1988) and You Rang M’Lord?…
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Terry Wogan: Remembered

Terry Wogan too many was just as much part of breakfast as marmalade on toast. He was the cheery voice in the car among all that early morning traffic. BBC Radio2 ‘Wake up to Wogan’ (1972–84 & 1993–2009) broadcast to over eight million regular listeners. Terry made everyone feel he was their friend, he was…
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The Nobel Prize blows in the wind

Bob Dylan has been awarded the 2016 Nobel Prize for literature, becoming the first songwriter to win this highly acclaimed award. Dylan is best known for his music and became a world hero to many in the 60’s with his songs about social change, peace and love. His early work such as ‘Blowing in the…
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Sinitta wins ! Despite a taxi driver and a short measure of Shepherd’s pie.

The Ivy restaurant and club played host to another charity quiz night for members with friends, bathed in an exciting atmosphere of expectation and nostalgia. The quiz was put together by Andrew Wilson who is fast becoming known as a master of Ivy quiz nights. His skills at modern day DJing at the end of…
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Pt2: Sunday Night at the London Palladium

The ‘Beat the clock’ section of the show was a product of American television. Manager of the Palladium Jack Parnell saw it, liked the idea of audience participation that it involved, and clinched a deal to sandwich ‘Beat the clock’ between the show’s two commercial breaks. The concept was simple but very effective with the…
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Pt1: Sunday Night at the London Palladium

Sunday Night at the London Palladium began at 8:00pm on September 23 1955 with Gracie Fields and Guy Mitchell sharing top billing. The TV audience was estimated at around 350,000 a figure that today would not excite producers of a small cable channel, but then ITV was just three years old and available only in…
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The mecca for entertainers: The London Palladium

The London Palladium is one of the most well-known theatres in the world. It is situated in London’s West End, Argyll street, just off Oxford Circus. its proud columns pay tribute to the kings of comedy and entertainment who have worked this now famous grade two listed building which was first built in 1910 by…
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Arnold Palmer, makes his final swing

Arnold Palmer was one of the game of golf’s most colourful and charismatic figures. It was Palmers magnificent ability and the way he played the game in the late fifties and sixties that drew the crowds and eventually the TV cameras to the sport. In his career Palmer won 91 professional tour titles including 62…
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The Great British Bake off: Rises issues on BBC business

The news of ‘The Great British Bake off’ one of BBC’s flagship programmes leaving its comfortable TV home to attempt untried terrestrial territory, has raised questions and underlined the broadcasting world we now live in. The negotiations between The BBC and the owners of ‘Bake off’ reached stalemate, enter Channel 4 who outbid Auntie by…
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‘Game of Thrones’: Craster holds court

Welsh actor, Robert Pugh joined a business lunch to discuss his substantial career as an actor. Not necessarily a household name but a performer who has worked with the best and continued to work. He is known to all ‘Game of Thrones’ fans as ‘Craster’ the evil one. Bob mentioned recently ‘Kids come up to…
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Making Brighton’s i360 ‘A-Pier’

Brighton’s new i360 has been controversial in its conception and now completed, forms a strong feature on the seafront landscape. Most are in positive mood for this new £46 million tourist attraction housed in front of the old West Pier which closed in 1975. The crumbling, rusting iron work of the famous pier has become…
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Scottish comics win Edinburgh comedy award 2016

Richard Gadd’s show ‘Monkey See Monkey Do’ won the coveted 2016 Edinburgh comedy award, past winners include Frank Skinner, Jeremy Hardy and Al Murray. This time however there was a darker side to the comedy as Gadd’s show was centred around his own personal difficulties getting over a sexual assault he experienced four years ago.…
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Gene Wilder: Wild about Gene

Anyone who wants to perform comedy would dream of having facial features like Gene Wilder, wonderfully expressive with eyes that communicated great emotion often combined with a classical acting technique approach to his in work. Comedian Jim Carrey describing Wilder as ‘one of the funniest and sweetest energies ever to take a human form’. Indeed,…
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‘Chitty, Chitty, Cruise, Cruise’ Martin Beaumont: Interview

To see Martin’s profile and to book him for your event click here. Having been pushed to the back as a child actor during the filming of ‘Chitty Chitty, Bang, Bang’ as he looked to healthy for a starving child in the famous cave scene. Martin Beaumont went on to star on Saturday night TV in…
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Quiz Show: Contestant Bloomers Pt2

LINCS FM PHONE-IN Presenter: Which is the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world? Contestant: Barcelona. Presenter: I was really after the name of a country. Contestant: I’m sorry, I don’t know the names of any countries in Spain … NATIONAL LOTTERY (BBC1) Question: What is the world’s largest continent? Contestant: The Pacific. ROCK FM (…
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Quiz show: Contestant bloomers !

UNIVERSITY CHALLENGE (BBC2) Jeremy Paxman: What is another name for ‘cherrypickers’ and ‘cheesemongers’? Contestant: Homosexuals ?. Jeremy Paxman: No. They’re regiments in the British Army who will be very upset with you. BEG, BORROW OR STEAL (BBC2) Jamie Theakston: Where do you think Cambridge University is? Contestant: Geography isn’t my strong point. Jamie Theakston: There’s…
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Arthur Smith: My name is Daphne Fairfax

Having over five hundred autobiographies on my office shelf of various sports stars, showbusiness personalities in particular comedians and the odd politician, there is always some book I come across which for some reason has passed me by. One such publication was Arthur Smith’s entitled ‘My name is Daphne Fairfax’ (2009) a reference to a…
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Garry Richardson: or is it ?

6:41am: London was just beginning to stir with the marching noise of soles on underground stairs, security doors being removed from shops and Westminster council road cleaners out in early morning force, as I appeared out from Oxford Circus tube. Making my way to the BBC to meet friend, sports reporter, after dinner speaker and…
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10 things your sense of humour says about you

I laugh, therefore I am. We all like to think our own sense of humour is the right one. Anything outside this personal radar of myth is not worth our interest. When we find someone who shares our sense of humour we often bind with that person, becoming friends, their view of the world matches…
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5 ways to enjoy a comedy with Shakespeare and his playwriting mates

Richard Inverne visits Straford upon Avon in search of some Shakespearean Comedy. The FIRST way to enjoy a Shakespeare comedy … is the play has to be put on! What might seem obvious simply wasn’t the case on Tuesday 19 July when arriving in Stratford-upon-Avon for a handful of plays, including three comedies and Hamlet,…
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Arsenal’s Parlour Games

‘The Romford Pele’ better known as former footballer Ray Parlour ‘rabonaed’ an audience of sports fans at Sussex Cricket club with highly amusing anecdotes from a playing career with Arsenal lasting 12 years (1992-2004). Appearing in 333 games for the club and winning three Premier League titles (1997-98, 2001-02, 2003-04), four FA Cup wins (1993,…
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Caprice does the business!

Four interesting and varied speakers opened the first in a series of business seminars entitled grow, develop, discover and influence by Sussex Chamber of Commerce at the Jury’s Waterfront Hotel. The speakers were described by Chief Executive Ana Christie as ‘exceptional entrepreneurs’ who shared their own stories which ‘motivated’ and ‘inspired’ an audience of Sussex…
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The Ivy – Charity Sports Quiz

Having attended a few meetings and late night dinners at The Ivy restaurant & club over the years, it was intriguing to be invited to a small intimate gathering of British Athletes for a sports quiz night event, raising funds for the Diana Award Charity which is a legacy to Princess Diana’s belief that young…
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Caroline Aherne royally bows out

Caroline Aherne was a character actress and comedian who made some wonderful original TV shows in the nineties. ‘Royal Family’ and ‘Mrs Merton’ were probably her most noted but she also starred in the cast of ‘The Fast show’ from 1994-1997, becoming known for the catchphrase ‘Scorchio’ delivered by her foreign weather girl character. Comedian…
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Humour in the Office: Case Study (Part 5)

Southwest’s Airlines President & CEO Herbert D. Kelleher was dubbed by Fortune magazine the High Priest of Ha-Ha. His beliefs and attitudes have spread right through the company recognising how humour can enhance employee management relations, customer service and profits. This highly effective airline operates from Dallas, in an industry which is continually plagued by…
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Humour in the Office: The Practitioners (Part 4)

US company Ben & Jerry Ice cream manufacturer have pushed fun in the office to extremes with employees looking forward to Barry Manilow or Elvis days, on which everyone is encouraged to dress as Barry or Elvis and their music is blasted throughout the company. There are chocolate days giving them the chance to dip…
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Humour in the office: Clowning, Teasing & Satire (Part 3)

Ackroyd & Thompson believed the struggle for identity is often played out through misbehaviour and joking in the work place. They identified three types of humour in work situations, refering to them as clowning, teasing and satire. Clowning Clowning is a form of humour in which people make fools of themselves (become the butt of…
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Humour in the office: The Research (Part 2)

We have seen how satire delivered by our favourite comedian or in a newspaper cartoons or on topical TV & radio programmes such as ‘That was the week that was,’ ‘Spitting Image,’ ‘Now show,’ ‘Weekending’ has a way of making us laugh as we see an element of truth within the joke. The same in…
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Humour in the office: Eight Benefits (Part 1)

The most wasted of all days is the one which you did not laugh In several offices, pinned on notice boards or over peoples’ desk reads ‘You don’t have to be mad to work here.. but it helps’. It became a rather irritating cliché, displayed in numerous work environments by employees. The catchphrase is meant…
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Five Creative Tips: Parody in Advertising

Parody is a well tried and tested form of humour used in many comedy sketch shows, films and indeed advertising. It is an artistic form within its self, sometimes called a spoof and has elements similar to pastiche. Parody is ‘A literary or artistic work that imitates the characteristic style of an author or a…
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Graham Gooch Speaks out !

The only time I played truant as a teenager from school, sneaking back into the house, switching on the TV, was to watch Graham Gooch bat in his first Test Match against Australia at Edgbaston in 1975. No one noticed my brief absence as I was back at school quicker than a Jeff Thompson delivery.…
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Muhammad Ali: The Greatest

Muhammad Ali is the only person in my adulthood, who I queued, three hours in the rain, outside a London bookshop to briefly meet to get his signature on his latest autobiography. Such was his immense respect, impact and likeability to millions. By then he was suffering from Parkinson’s, his hand with pen was gently…
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The Last Slice of Bread – Carla Lane Tribute

Carla Lane, the award-winning writer of television comedy dramas including the ‘Liver Birds’ (co-creator, 1969–78), ‘Butterflies’ (1978–82) and ‘Bread’ (1986–91), has died at the age of 87. Chris Sussman Head of BBC Comedy Production said of her ‘ A different voice in comedy, like all the best writers. Much loved by so many.’ She was…
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Lawrie McMenemy ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ autobiography

Lawrie McMenemy was a man who came from the lower reaches of football to reach the very top. His personal journey is wonderfully told in ‘A Lifetime’s Obsession’ a well overdue autobiography. Saints fans will instinctively love this interesting and thoughtful book, but to enjoy it you don’t have to support Southampton football club who…
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BFI preserves comedy training videos

Corporate training videos featuring comedians are to be preserved by the British Film Institute. Anyone who recalls being a delegate at a corporate conference in the late seventies or sitting in a bland training room in the eighties, will probably remember being exposed to at least one of John Cleese’s Video Arts training films. Such…
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Image Rights – explained (Showbusiness)

A very bitter John Cleese recently complained of an Australian theatre company who had “shameless rip-off” of ‘Fawlty Towers’ using all the characters from the TV comedy in a show which has a residency in London and abroad. Although there still maybe a case of copyright infringement, Cleese may have been better off taking out…
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Image Rights – explained (Sport)

So Manchester United finally got their man. Jose Mourinho becomes the clubs third manager since Alex Ferguson left at the end of 2013 season. Discussions to bring Mourinho to United took over three days, with his agent, Jorge Mendes, and United officials thrashing out a deal. So what was the hold up? The delay in…
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Donna Fraser never caught short

Encouraged by her primary school teacher, Donna Fraser went on to have a successful Athletics career both on and off the track. She is currently the Vice President of British Athletics and involved in Breast cancer awareness with a number of leading charities. Before the starlet took to the stage at the county ground, Tony…
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Four World boxing champs, a drunk and a packet of Persil automatic

Four former British World Champion Boxers Alan Minter, Colin McMillan, Charlie Magri and Dave Boy Green visited the Dagenham Roundhouse last Friday to talk about their successful careers alongside some excellent entertainment. The evening got off to a great start with comedian Colin Cole working the audience in preparation for singer Izzy Chase getting everyone…
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Galton & Simpson honoured by BAFTA – At last !

Comedy writers Ray Galton and Alan Simpson were honoured with a BAFTA fellowship at last night’s ceremony. The two were comedy pioneers in the format of sit-com creating classics such as ‘Hancock’s Half Hour’ and ‘Steptoe and Son’. The BAFTA tribute was introduced and led by Paul Merton who said ‘Writers of all shapes and…
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Foxes out run the hounds

Having watched football for nearly fifty years I can safely say Leicester City winning the Premiership title is the most extra ordinary upset I have ever observed. Until it actually happened nobody could really believe it. But it has. For once the Foxes have out run the hounds of Spurs, Arsenal, Man City, Man Utd…
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Marcus Brigstocke Exclusive Interview

Sitting in the green room of the Grosvenor House Hotel, checking his texts and emails, while sipping on a mineral water, Marcus Brigstocke is preparing for another corporate event. Regarded as one of the most reliable corporate artistes in the country he is relaxed, chatty and wonderfully amicable. One thousand people are downstairs in the…
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St George’s Day Charity Lunch

The Brighton & Hove St. George’s Day charity Luncheon is fast becoming a must on the Brighton social scene. The one day of the year where a touch of nationalism can be greeted and respected without turning into a Nuremberg rally. Hence the need for typical British humour with the ability to laugh at ourselves…
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Victoria Wood

Victoria Wood was an excellent comedy performer and an even better writer. She showed in a man’s comedy world, true talent can rise to the top and entertain us all. Sarah Millican describing her as ‘A true comic icon’. Her death at the age of 62, says the Times, stunned her family and a “nation…
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Micheal McIntrye Big show

It’s good to see Michael McIntyre getting back to what he does best – stand up. In his new prime Saturday night BBC TV show, his opening monologue showed what a master he is at taking a comic idea and running with it, building through comparisons and observations from one very small idea. This time,…
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The Night Manager

This year started very well for BBC Drama department with an excellent adaptation of Tolstoy’s ‘War & Peace’ followed by the gripping nail biting thriller ‘The Night Manager’. Both epics show British TV drama is in a very good place. ‘The Night Manager’ was one of those don’t miss drama’s, firmly keeping everyone on the…
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War & Peace

The moving and dramatic episodes of the BBC’s adaptation of ‘War and Peace’ dazzled viewers and critics alike with bloody battle scenes, futile gestures and moments of redemption – although some commentators found the heady mix disorientating. War and Peace is the “greatest TV costume drama of the past decade”, for Ben Lawrence in the…
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The Ice Man cometh

Former Royal Marine Commando Neil Laughton, described his day job as business consultant & training executive, when delivering an informative and interesting talk on his career adventures to over 200 cricket lovers. Neil mentioned he couldn’t get into the school cricket team but managed while in the army to captain the British cricket side in…
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Blackadder destroyed my life

The sit-com ‘Blackadder’ was one of the most loved and respected comedy series in the UK. But not for the former BBC’s chief medical officer whose life was made a complete misery – thanks to Blackadder. What was not known at the time by creators Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis but their ‘I have a…
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When Andy met a Beatle, a Bond girl, and Dame Edna

Andy Cade (Art Director, Musician & Lecturer) reminisces on working with Ringo, Barbara Bach, Dame Edna In 1990 my wife Lizzie came home from the Gym in Barnes saying she’d befriended some girls at the aqua class who she’d thought ‘may have something to do with the Beatles’. Turned out to be Pattie Boyd/Harrison/Clapton, Nicole…
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T20 World Cup Eng v West Indies (Final)

Grahame Smith reports on T20 World cup final in India. Exclusively for Comicus After the two fantastic outcomes against Sri Lanka and New Zealand in Delhi, a hardy bunch of England fans turn up at the iconic world cricket venue of Eden Gardens, Kolkata. The stadium is far larger and more open than the Kotla…
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Comics remember Ronnie Corbett

Ronnie Corbett dies just weeks before he was to be knighted in the Queens’s 90th Birthday Honours list. He was given a CBE in 2012, Sir Bruce Forsyth said “It’s a very sad day, we’re all going to miss him” The much loved Actor, Comedian and broadcaster was best known for his work with Ronnie…
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T20 World Cup Eng v New Zealand (Semi-Final)

Grahame Smith reports on T20 World cup final in India. Exclusively for Comicus So after England’s triumph against Sri Lanka in their final group game, we returned to the Feroze Shah Kotla stadium in Delhi for the ICC T20 World Cup Semi-Final for England versus New Zealand. This is indeed great for those few England…
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T20 World Cup Eng v Sri Lanka

Grahame Smith reports on T20 World cup final in India. Exclusively for Comicus Attending the Sri Lanka v England match at the Feroz Shah Kotla Stadium, Delhi with my cricket loving partner, Ruth, there were several aspects of the evening that were contrary to expectations. The first of these was the process of just getting…
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Gary Shandling’s innovation remembered

Gary Shandling was a comedy pioneer pushing sit-com a little further in a golden period in the early nineties. He was best remembered for ‘It’s Garry Shandling’s Show’ and ‘The Larry Sanders Show’ – both of which innovated the tone and direction that sitcoms might take. Ricky Gervais said of Shandling ‘one of the most…
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The final turn of a master – Johan Cruyff

Johan Cruyff was regarded as one the greatest players of all time, he won three consecutive European Cups (1970–71, 1971–72, 1972–73) with Ajax and went on to play and manage Barcelona to their first European Cup triumph in 1992. He was unique as not only as a great footballer winning three (Ballon d’Or 1971,1973,1974) but…
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Angry, John Cleese may sue

John Cleese says he may sue an Australian theatre company for its “shameless rip-off” of Fawlty Towers. The Australian company has been running their unofficial show at the Edinburgh Fringe for the last nine years, and currently has a residency at a London hotel, where tickets cost up to £59. Another version is to open…
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Top 10 films about stand-up comedy / show business.

The below movies represent a personal choice of work (in no particular order) who have successfully communicated a realism about the comedy and show business profession. Having watched several films and stage plays on this industry. Few do the business justice. Each of films in the list displays a different aspect of the stand- up…
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Paul Daniels sadly disappears

Paul Daniels was without doubt one of the most accomplished magicians in the world, and certainly one of the most exciting. Add to that a unique comedy patter and you had the complete entertainment performer. He was a controversial person but deeply respected and admired by fellow magicians. Daniels had worked very hard as an…
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Comedy Playhouse

Where have all the new sit-coms gone? With the BBC recently announcing remakes of classic TV comedy shows such as ‘Steptoe and Son’ and ‘Till Death Us Do Part’, ‘Are You Being Served?’, ‘Porridge’, ‘Up Pompeii’, ‘The Good Life’ and ‘Keeping Up Appearances including the re-development of the lost ‘Hancock Half Hour’ tapes, you wander…
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Future of BBC Comedy

Chris Sussman has been named the new Head of Comedy Production. Already a commissioning editor, the executive will take up the position in the newly formed BBC Studios from the start of April 2016. BBC Studios is the corporation’s production arm which was formally known as ‘in house’. Shane Allen remains the Controller of Comedy Commissioning…
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‘America’s Got talent’ UK winner .. lives the dream

Paul Zerdin comic ventriloquist, winner of America’s got talent 2015, has signed for a long season at the Planet Hollywood casino on the Las Vegas strip from April 30. His success after winning America’s Got Talent last year, has opened up so many wonderful opportunities for him. However, that has meant Paul having to pull…
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Tracey Ullman Returns

The BBC have recommissioned a second series of Tracey Ullman Show for 2017. The first series attracted respectable audiences of more than 4 million viewers when catch-up views are taken into consideration as well as overnight figures from its late night slot. The series received moderate notices. The Guardian saying: ’Ullman’s impressive ability to inhabit…
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Ricky Gervais host Oscars ?

Ricky Gervais fans have called for the comedian to host The Oscars – but he believes it would be a “bad idea”. Fans of the 54-year-old – who hosted the Golden Globes in January – said the annual event would be better if Gervais played host. One fan said he is needed to “burst some…
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Ford Unlearn campaign

Going to wash that car right out of my? The launch of the new Ford Unlearn campaign is interestingly creative as it is strategic. Those who have driven Escorts, Focus’s and Mondeo’s, should get a firm mind grip on the message. The communication is subtle if not obvious. Ford have built a firm reputation for…
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Oscar predictions & history

The glitterati of Hollywood will assemble at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday 28th February for the 88th Academy Awards. This annual film event recognises achievement for actors, directors, technicians and producers. Each year a memorable moment occurs in an acceptance speech or a nonappearance to collect an award as with Marlon Brando…
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Crazy for chat

More nostalgic TV interviews ! The Gold TV channel has commissioned a second series of ‘The Interviews’, which include Peter Sellers (as pictured above), Frankie Howerd, Barry Humphries, Bruce Forsyth, Kenny Everett and Julie Walters. The archive show featuring classic chat show clips, premiered last year, centring around one particular artiste. The material follows various…
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‘Keeping Up Appearances’ BBC’s most successful ..

It was lunchtime at the BBC Acton rehearsal rooms (no longer functioning as such). Time for myself a writer and production team from ‘Flip’ (1991) to make our way up to the cafeteria for subsistence, reflection and showbiz storytelling in this tall building where nearly all BBC drama, sit-coms, variety and such like were rehearsed…
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History repeating itself ?

Those Man Utd fans with greying hair, would probably reflect that the situation after Alex Ferguson retired is not that dissimilar to when Matt Busby claimed his pension in 1969. Moyes and Van Gaul face the same situation that greeted McGuinness and O’Farrell. Following a great manager. It is not only the managerial ability or…
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Southampton Solent University Case Study

The Background The client was a growing University in Southampton offering an established list of performance, media and television degree courses to students. One new course which was in development and receiving much praise was the new BA Comedy degree course, the first in the country. The Problem The University was trying to find a…
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Asphalt Engineering Company Case Study

The client was a highly successful engineering (Asphalt) company supplying a unique web base flooring to support and make highways, pavements and airfields last longer. The busy executives were completing 45 minute sales presentations up and down the country to interested groups and parties ranging from local councils to large construction companies. The Problem The…
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Major Drinks Manufacturer Case Study

The Background The client was a major soft drinks manufacturer which was holding its annual conference. The Problem During the conference the company wanted to provide their employees with help & support in areas that most concerned them. One such issue was public speaking. Those that had to do this, sometimes, frightening task were embarrassed,…
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