Well What a week it has been. Last Friday I kicked off the July Tour supporting Jim Davidson. Always a joy to play in my hometown, and Margate Winter Gardens was packed. I was slightly more nervous than usual, as I had prepared 60% new material for the tour… The crowd were buzzing and everything clicked into place on the night….with such lovely feedback afterwards on Twitter. Jim was on top form, and his new show is painstakingly funny to watch. Especially his Big Brother experiences.
Tuesday saw me back to my own show driving up to Cheshire where I got to play the beautiful Alvaston Hall in Nantwich for Warner Hotels. This was my first time at this venue and it is truly a stunning location. Luckily for me my fiancée got to come up with me so I was very grateful for the company. Always a great surprise to find out that you know the Entertainments Manager. Drew had only taken over the week previously and is doing a brilliant job manning the fort. We first met at sea on the Thomson Destiny all those years ago – a top guy!! My good friend Gavin Caroll came along too. Also from the ships, making the most of a weeks break. The audience were brilliant! It was slightly different playing a cabaret/diner lounge – but the set up works perfectly, and the lounge was enjoyable to play. After the show, a lady approached me at the bar with her husband who was unfortunately wheelchair bound and sadly suffering very badly with Alzheimer’s, and she told me that watching me was the first time she managed to laugh in a long time and forget for a moment the difficult few months she had previously encountered. She also told me that I made her husband smile too which meant the world to her. Well, that comment meant the world to me, and it made me realize why I do the job I do. Thank you to that lady. Laughter truly is the best medicine.
Wednesday took me even further North this time to North Wales and the breathtaking Bodelwyddan Castle – again for Warner’s. Dannii and I visited Llandudno during the day and explored the grounds of the hotel early evening prior to the gig. The crowd were lovely…most had arrived during the day, and were ready for a giggle in the evening. An adorable lady was celebrating her 92nd Birthday that day…she was a very cheeky lady with an adorable laugh, and was very keen on my offer of giving her the bumps on stage!…She had a gorgeous sense of humour when I was on stage. Afterwards I gave her a DVD as a birthday treat… I hope she gets my wicked jokes!
Thursday saw us driving back home to Kent on what seemed to be the worst day for traffic jams and road closures. Aaaarrrrgggggghhhhhhh! Thank god for the Air Con in my new car, Dannii’s company and Red Bull!!!
Friday took me to the Isle of Wight for another Warner’s gig at Bembridge Coast Hotel… The journey should have taken me 2hr 30 mins to Southampton. But as it was the hottest day of the year, it took me 4hrs 10mins to get to the ferry! The ferry was booked for a 6pm departure. I arrived at 6:10pm. Aaaarrrrrggggggghhhhhhh! As you can imagine I was rather stressed when I arrived at the terminal. The lady told me I would need to wait until the 9pm ferry. Aaaarrrrgggghhhhhh!!!!!! This would have been disastrous as I was due onstage at 9:30pm. I began to phone the Ent’s Manager to explain when a Fed Funnel worker approached me and told me that it must be my lucky day, as the 6pm ferry was running late and that he was boarding me as the last car on that crossing!!! Thankyou God! Thankyou Red Funnel Man!! The crossing was a bit rocky which I thought odd as it was hot. As the ferries were running late, this meant we couldn’t dock at 7pm…so we hovered in the Portsmouth waters for another 45mins…and I was surrounded by annoying and irritable schoolchildren. Aaaarrrrggggghhhhhh! Finally disembarked the ferry at 8pm, ready for my 30min drive to the hotel. I have to say the Isle Of Wight is beautiful on an early evening drive….David Bowie assisted me and kept me well-balanced on this voyage. On arrival to the hotel I got lost. Mr Sat Nav took me all round Mother Brown’s Kitchen and I ended up on some dodgy housing estate that looked like something from CSI Miami. I asked an elderly couple for directions and they informed me that they too were lost and they were staying at the hotel. They directed me verbally and I offered them a lift to the reception. The husband was keen, but his wife wasn’t. She looked at me as if I was about to Murder them both in a dark alley! I would have loved to have seen her face when I was introduced on stage 1hr later as the comedian! I was greeted at the hotel by Holly the Ent’s Manager, and a great friend of mine. Know her from the ships again. What a small world it is! It was lovely seeing her doing so well. The team and band made me very welcome. I do like nice people!! It always makes the journey from hell seem worth it somehow. The band were great lads and I shall be using them on my return in 2 weeks… Loved the gig, and the crowd. Very warm, and they too had all arrived that day!!! Had a wonderful response at the end of the show and I left the stage buzzing! As I said on stage, with all this awful news this week about the tragedy over the skies of the Ukraine, we all needed a laugh more than ever. A lady came up to me afterwards and purchased my DVD, she told me she thought I was wonderful considering the audience were tough. They weren’t actually. I found them perfect personally. They all stayed to watch and laughed until they cried! I find it interesting the things people say. Time to head off quickly afterwards, as I had to catch the 11:45pm ferry…. Worrying I would miss it, I rushed there and of course it was running late. Aaaaarrrrgggghhhhh! We eventually sailed at 12:15am…and was in the middle of that Thunder Storm. Got some great pics!!! I stayed overnight near Hungerford and set off the next day for Clacton On Sea where I was playing the next night with Jim Davidson.
I set myself a lot of journey time on the Saturday, as I had not had a good week so far when it came to the roads. Of course, the roads were empty and I arrived in Clacton at 4pm. As I had time to kill I visited the West Cliff Theatre in the town where my mate Steve Hewlett was playing that same night.. Great to see him doing so well on the back of Britain’s Got Talent. We had a great catchup! Love the crew there too… played it many times. Me and Steve noticed that Frankie Howered had played that stage too in the past. That was a nice feeling!!! Headed up the road to the Princess Theatre. What a venue! And sold out too!!! Did the sound check and me and Jim went for a stroll around the theatre prior to the show…. Jim posed for several photos with the public, many of which asked if I was Jim’s son! I must have a word with my mother!!! The crowd were out of this world, and made me and Jim very welcome. Even though I ripped into all of the late comers! It was so hot onstage..i needed a towel to mop my eyes which were streaming!!! Great crew at the theatre also..Jim stormed it and we both had a great night. When we left the theatre we were directly under the storm again. Maybe it’s following me? I headed home and the A12 was at a standstill due to an accident. Engine off, lights off! Aaaarrrrrrgggggghhhhhhhhhhh. Arrived home 2am to a very wet Thanet and a very well deserved Gin and Tonic!
To Be Continued!
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