Bob Hope. Copyright: BBC
Bob Hope

Bob Hope

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Press clippings

The Caird: Hecklers, Kevin Bridges and the Big Yin

Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Any comedian courageous enough to step onto the stage - whether it is in a 20,000 seater arena or in a dank pub basement - has to be well-equipped to deal with hecklers. However, be warned, disruptive outbursts from marble-mouthed louts will never be tolerated at the Caird Hall.

Ciaran Shanks, Dundee Telegraph, 11th April 2020

When Chaplin, Keaton and Laurel came to Elstree Studios

Borehamwood has been no stranger to the biggest comedy stars of all time and from the 1930s they have all been driven along Shenley Road, the high street, albeit at a faster speed than nowadays.

Paul Welsh, Barnet Borough Times, 9th June 2019

Tracey Ullman: It's so good to be back

She is Britain's most successful comedy export to America since Bob Hope. Unlike him, however, she is coming back. Thirty years after she last appeared on the BBC comedian Tracey Ullman is returning to British TV with her own comedy show.

Anna Pukas, The Daily Express, 8th March 2015

You're entitled to ask why you should be interested in a comedian you've never heard of who died 60-odd years ago. Bob Hope called Sid Field "probably the best comedian of them all". For Tony Hancock, Field was inspirational and David Suchet tells a good story with actorly flourishes. Tragically, scarcely a fragment of Field in action survives. Yet we get a glimmer of how Field created the character-based sketch comedy that's become the norm in British comedy. He also pioneered camp - "the original mince," observes Julian Clary, tartly.

Geoff Evans, Radio Times, 26th October 2011

I can see why people like Gavin & Stacey, I really can. It's warm. It's cuddly. It's the celluloid equivalent of on a mug of tea and a slab of Dairy Milk. And it really is all of those things - Joanna Page, who plays Stacey is cute as a button, just Bridget-Jonesy enough for us empathise with, the type of lass any well-brought-up young girl would want to be friends with. And Mat Horne (Gavin) is, for want of a better word, fit. In a safe way. And well dressed, with the not-at-all-bad-looking Page as his girlfriend, so mothers like him and men have a degree of grudging respect for him. And then there's James Corden, who plays Gavin's best mate, Smithy, and everyone knows that James Corden's lovely. So yes: as Bob Hope would say, what's not to like?

Except, erm, I'm afraid I don't. Like it, that is. I like Ruth Jones, aka the indomitable Nessa, fag-smoking, drink-swilling best friend of - inexplicably - Stacey. But that's all. At least Nessa's funny, a quality which, it's worth pointing out, is rather useful when it comes to a comedy show. But apart from her, I can't fathom one of them. Not even Bryn, played with aplomb by Rob Brydon. He's too nice. Far, far too nice. They all are. The whole thing is. It's so nice, you cease to care. It becomes... elevator music.

But anyway, what do I know? Clearly, nothing. Seven million people watched the Christmas special last year, and seven million can't be wrong. Can they? Anyway, last night was the start of the third (and last) series, which saw Gavin settling into his new job in Barry, while the Essex crowd geared up for the christening of Smithy and Nessa's baby, named - wait for it - Neil Noel Edmond Smith. One of the few laugh-out loud jokes of the episode. Any Gavin & Stacey fan would have been thrilled, I'm sure. All the usual bumf was there: Stacey freaking out over an article she's read in Psychologies magazine, Bryn popping his head through Gavin's office window, Smithy ordering enough food for an entire army. Me? Well, like I said. Elevator music. Pleasant enough, no plans to buy the album.

Alice-Azania Jarvis, The Independent, 27th November 2009

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