Malcolm Hardee Week starts to fall apart – ?

What an interesting man Tim FitzHigham is.

If being successful involves a high percentage of sheer luck in being in the right place at the right time, he will soon be mega-famous.

He has his feet and image well inside the differing markets of English eccentricity, mad adventurer type, sophisticated and nostalgic Flanders and Swann entertainment, children’s shows and Andrew Maxwell’s madly OTT Fullmooners alternative comedy shows.

One of those areas must hit paydirt for him at some point, especially as he seems willing to literally break every bone in his body in the quest for a laugh.

He mesmerised me over a drink last night with tales of an English equivalent of  William McGonnagal, lauded like a stand-up comic in Elizabethan times because he thought he was a serious poet but his poems were so crap people loved to hear them.

And then Tim had tales of carousing in Soho pubs with actor Richard Harris, a man of legendary drinking capacity.

And, to top it all, it also turned out (because of an eccentric escapade with a paper boat) that Tim is an honorary member of the Company of Watermen and Lightermen of the River Thames and told me that late comic Malcolm Hardee and Malcolm’s father (a Thames lighterman) are both fondly remembered.

Tim also has access to unpublished and unperformed Flanders & Swann songs, which is something I would certainly like to hear at a future Edinburgh Fringe.

Meanwhile, Malcolm Hardee Week at the Fringe starts, inevitably, to fall apart.

No problem with tonight’s Malcolm Hardee Comedy Punch-Up Debate on the proposition that “Comedians are psychopathic masochists with a death wish” based on a blog I wrote a while ago.

As far as I know, Kate Copstick, Janey Godley, Paul Provenza and Bob Slayer will all turn up to argue the toss at The Hive venue 6.15-7.00pm. Five people; five chairs; two microphones – it’s the Free Festival.

But the lovely Miss Behave, due to host Friday’s Malcolm Hardee Award Show, is now too ill to do it – she has meningitis and is returning to London.

And two people who were coming up to Edinburgh to help me on people control at Wednesday’s/Thursday’s spaghetti-juggling and Friday’s two hour Malcolm Hardee Awards Show – which is really a variety show with an unfeasible number of performers – are not coming.

So I am now desperately seeking a new host and two people to help me. No money on offer. But a free copy to each of the two helpers of Malcolm Hardee’s out-of-print cult autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake.

How could anyone resist?


Filed under Comedy, Theatre

4 responses to “Malcolm Hardee Week starts to fall apart – ?

  1. I would have done it, Sir! – but I am doing one of me talk things to amuse and amaze the likes of folk in up-town Kings Lynn (if such a place exists..) and plus the fact the Edinburgh bus don’t stop at the end of our lane and also Arnold the boss eyed driver of such bus is on his hols and has taken his brass compass with him with Edinburgh marked on it for the going and coming back, I will have to decline…sigh..but perhaps another time – say quarter past four? – it that’s agreeable, write it down so you don’t forget it …so it may well happen next year!
    Hope all goes well!

    Best dishes

  2. Jeanie Graham

    Hi John Ward. Its Jeanie. Awww I thought you would have stepped in to have saved the day and dropped everything to rush off to Edinburgh (some local talk in Kings Lynn!! – do they really need you like Edinburgh does). I though you would not only be in Edinburgh for this week anyway, but having made the awards would be presenting them too. Ha well what do I know……… Take care and hopefully someone else will save the day. Jeanie

  3. Hey John,

    I’m doing some spaghetti juggling and would be more than happy to host the awards. Now just remember that and the bribe we discussed when considering nominees for the cunning stunt award.

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