To the beautiful and ancient city of Canterbury last night (fourth most common Google question about the city is “Is Canterbury a real place?” It is) for a rollicking RHLSTP with Vic Reeves (not his real name) and Barry from Eastenders. The Marlowe is a beautiful, but massive theatre, but I was very pleased to have well over 400 people in and as expected it was a very entertaining night.
I had a chance to walk around Canterbury beforehand, looking out for places that cool kids might hang out. I usually play the Gulbenkian which is on the University campus, so haven’t been in the city itself for quite some time - I think Stewart, the actor Kevin Eldon and me went round the Canterbury Tales experience in the 1990s. It was full of graduating students in mortar boards and old people. I’ve spent so much time seeing my friends artificially aged on Facebook this week, that it was a bit like someone had managed to Faceapp real life. Then I caught sight of my reflection in the window and realised they’d got me too.
I had met Shaun Williamson before, though I had forgotten about it, as we both took part in a Celebrity Poker TV show about 15 or 16 years ago. He is a lovely man, warm and open and he’s made a nice living for himself with a line of self-deprecation and self-mockery. But he is a clever man and a great comic actor and though I appreciate and understand his self-mockery (it’s something that I am guilty of as well - I’ve pretended to be stupid for so long that I have actually become stupid) I hope he knows how good he really is. He’s also OK at quizzing too. I mean I wouldn’t like to make the call about which of us is best at Pointless. We have an average of two trophies and one and a half jackpots between us.
And it was nice to see Jim Moir again. He and his wife and friends had clearly been having a night of it already, but they were all in a good mood and happy and I knew it wasn’t going be another Leeds City Varieties. I thought we got a much better interview than the one we did in London in 2016 (which was still a pretty good one) and chatted about his music and his art and the unique way his comedy is created, that works for him, but probably wouldn’t work for anyone else. It’s hard to believe Jim is now in his 60s, though a few well-timed proper jokes perhaps gave as clue.
It was a night of two halves (recorded a week apart obviously) but both very enjoyable. Amazingly you’ll have to wait til late November and early December to hear these. And with so many more recordings coming up in the autumn I am soon going to have podcasts lined up for long after I am dead.
The journey home was a bit of a nightmare as the M2 was closed off and we made the foolish decision of trying to follow the diversion signs rather than getting out my sat nav that can cope with traffic updates. We ended up almost in Folkestone and in danger of heading on to the continent before common sense prevailed and we went back to the M2 closure (for the third time) and went up the A2 instead. It added 50 miles and over an hour to our journey. I had been feeling surprisingly chipper for the rest of the day, but this was the last thing I needed with a busy day and a flight to Glasgow tomorrow (though luckily another thing I was meant to do in the early morning got cancelled or I’d have been really screwed.
And also I didn’t have to drive. Except for the last 5 miles after I’d dropped off my tour manager. It was a bit hallucinatory, but I made it home. Unless making it home was part of the hallucination.
RHLSTP with Professor Alice Roberts is now up on audio
No emergency questions in this one, but if you miss them then you can see some in the back stage videos which come as part of your extras if you become a monthly badger here
and there are also some very exciting new badge and membership cards for everyone who has signed or or signs up for badges at the £3 or above level. More info soon.
And Arabella Weir has been added to the Edinburgh Fringe RHLSTP guest list on 16th August. Tickets here