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Thursday 29th February 2024

7753/20694
Happy 10th birthday to my nephew Michael. Soon my daughter will be older than you, even though you were born in 1984. How is this possible? Glitch in the Matrix.
No proposals for me today. Must be losing my touch.
Off to Canterbury to chat with Jim and Nancy Moir (aka Vic Reeves and Nancy Sorrell) and veteran comedian and army veteran Nick Wilty. Most of the remaining RHLSTP dates are sold out or nearly and it was great to return to the Gulbenkian with a packed theatre. I did one of my early International Women's Day stints here and the capacious dressing room always reminds me of furiously typing "November 19th".
Last time Jim was on, he and Nancy might have enjoyed a few drinks before (and during) - Nancy did not even remember that occasion, even though it was only 5 years ago - but this time they were only drunk on the giddy love that they still delightfully share after over two decades together. I hope their relationship is as full as continuous laughter as it seems to be. I suspect so. They are doing life right - making it one long party where they more or less get to do whatever they choose. Their Painting Birds with Jim and Nancy is as charming as they are. Jim's comedy was always an off shoot of his art and I enjoyed seeing him putting beautiful paintings together. I wish I had any skill whatsoever in that department. They were open and funny and really good to talk to Nancy too. There was some good chat about Marmite and peanut dust along with much more.
Nick Wilty is a comedian that I have known for over 30 years and who more people should know about, so it was great to be able to introduce him to a wider audience. It is remarkable that he is still alive - he fought in the Falklands where he survived a helicopter crash and he had a gun put in his face by a guy who'd picked him up whilst hitchhiking. He only became a comedian after a run of bad luck that saw him lose his passport and have his bag stolen and he helped talked down a jumper from South Bridge in Edinburgh (and later got dangled off of the same structure). He is a calm man, who having faced death and killed people (as part of his former job) is pretty unswayable. He's one of the nicest and most friendly guys you could meet. Sometimes in the early days of comedy I felt other stand ups were stand offish, either because I was new or went to Oxford or because I was just insecure and imagining it. But Nick didn't care about any of that and just likes people. But his new show "Veteran Comedian" where he looks at his part in the Falklands (after not having talked about it much for 40 years) sounds like a remarkable piece of work and has unsurprisingly caused him some pain and conflict. The audience were rapt by his extraordinary tales and hopefully some of them will visit his comedy club in nearby Whitstable and am hoping the podcast will help bring him the audience he deserves.
It's another tiring run of gigs - tonight we drove home and I lightly snoozed in the back of the car, but we've got Dublin, Cardiff and Sheffield coming up, which will all involve two days of travel each and not much time to recuperate. But my stamina is good and unlike a couple of years back I am not getting too tired in the second show. Nick did most of the talking tonight so I could have taken a nap!



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