I was in Hitchin, getting my first haircut since I left London back in July. It took quite a while. I left the salon (oh yes, I got to salons for my two times a year haircuts) and went for a coffee. Checking Twitter I saw I had a direct message from the comedian and hard man Ricky Grover saying “I’m in Hitchin looking for you. I know you are here.” Which was chilling and terrifying. Grover had been tracking me, possibly for years, and finally he had tracked me down to a town. He was giving me fair warning that he was hot on my heels, but he knew that he’d get his man. I thought it best to not try to run and tell him where I was.
It was very nice to see him again. It’s been a little while. But I have known Ricky for a very long time, first meeting him when he appeared in various sketches on Fist of Fun. One of the things I like about comedy (and it was possibly even more true back then) is that it attracts people from very different backgrounds. Ricky is the son of an armed robber who has worked as a hairdresser (I suspect he worked out where I was due to some haircutting fraternity that have been on the look out for me) and a boxer. I am the son of a headmaster, who has worked as cave guide and been in one fight with a University lecturer in Liverpool. In any other sphere it’s unlikely we would have met. But despite his hard man image (and the fact that, if he were to choose to, be could do some serious damage to your face) Ricky is a sweet and funny man. Back in the 90s he wowed me with tales of boxing and the criminal underground and at a time when I felt a bit alienated from the stand up circuit due to my experiences at the Fringe, he didn’t judge me for being from Oxbridge and we immediately hit it off.
We had a brief chat and that comedian bond was still there, even though we haven’t really seen each other properly for years if not a couple of decades. It made me very happy to see him - he doesn’t seem to have aged at all since 1995. Hopefully I will get him to come on the podcast to talk about his remarkable life.
And I am making some progress in lining up guests for the new series, though no one is confirmed for a particular date as yet. Worth booking ahead though.
They’ll all be good.
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