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Friday 13th June 2014

Ally my personal trainer invited me to his funclub, where all his clients get together on a Friday afternoon to celebrate the passing of another week. It wasn't fun at all. It involved loads of running on running machines and then doing various difficult and painful exercises on the mats. I had been hoodwinked.

I was a bit stiff from yesterday's session still, which made it all a bit harder, but I am sort of enjoying being pushed. At least I am not paying for the torture like the other idiots! It can be surprising how doing something relatively simple looking can be incredibly difficult. The final exercise involved resting on my forearms, whilst keeping a straight back and basically being in a press up position and then just holding that for two minutes. That sounds pretty pimpsy right. But it wasn't. And the most remarkable thing about it was how it made my forearms sweat. I don't really remember ever having sweated through my lower arms before, but today they weeped for the first time in their lives. It was quite impressive. I managed about a minute before I had to rest. How can that be so difficult?

The exercise is leaving me a bit battered and tired, but also weirdly giving me more energy too. I think my body is just confused about being roused from a relative slumber. Loads of my muscles must have assumed that they would have an easy ride of doing nothing much from now on (given that they haven't been used in the last 46 years) and suddenly they're getting a wake up call. On stage tonight I had a bit of a spring in my step, but ached when I moved my arms.

As I walked to the theatre I passed a couple of men. They had the demeanour of having enjoyed a couple of early evening beers. One of them looked round at me and whispered (in a drunk, louder than speaking normally whisper), "Was that Stuart Little?" I know I've lost some weight, but I don't think I resemble a tiny mouse just yet. But I had to laugh at the way his crapulous brain had made a couple of quite badly wrong connections there. Twenty-five years in show-business to be mistaken for a mouse. The only consolation to be taken from that is that the man, who I presume had mixed me up with my erstwhile double act partner, did not know Stewart Lee's name. So in a way, it's him who has been mistaken for a cartoon mouse. Though someone else thought that he might have been confusing me with Syd Little.

It gave me a good opener for the gig though, which coincidentally also had Stewart Lee on the bill (and maybe Stuart Little too - we'd never have known, due to his tiny size).

Here's a behind the scenes video of the creation of the Lord of the Dance Settee poster from Ben Grubb.

And I wrote a tribute to Rik Mayall for next week's Metro column, which they've put up online already.

You can catch Listomania, a new radio panel show that I was a panellist on, on iPlayer.



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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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