Portrait Book here! omgomgomg!!!

Those of you coming to the Grimsby Auditorium tonight will be the first to see the new portrait book, which will be for sale in the foyer. I’m extremely, visibly excited: having painted as a hobby for many years, the idea of having my own published collection is beyond normal elation and makes me feel all warm and wet both inside and out. Whoever gets the first copy tonight, and I do hope it’s one of you bloggers who realises the profundity of his or her action or actions, will be buying the very very first copy ever, and I’m hard pushed to think of anything more feverishly intoxicating than that. Should you do so, be sure to let me know  and I shall sign it accordingly and you shall be my special favourite. (I may or may not be at stage door tonight, fingers crossed I will. Best to leave it at stage door with a note before the show to be absolutely safe)

Lucky you lot. 

Meanwhile, to cheer up the rest of you not lucky enough to be in Grimsby tonight, here is a brilliant new parody by the excellent team of Peter Serafinowicz and brother James, starring the lully Sarah Alexander. Now I happen to know these people a bit and they really are sensationally wonderful individuals. Have a roam around Pete’s sketches on the site – he is quite incredible.

Feeling a little better

Thank you, Oxford, for bearing with me last night. Feel terrible not being able to sign, but I think it’s working: I seem to be on the mend. Plenty of hot water, lemon and honey, liquorice, whisky, Nurses Day- and Night-, Lansoprazole (for nasty reflux), and a B12 in my arm yesterday afternoon. Getting there. Am now sat in a nice Grismby hotel – yes, they do exist – sipping further lemon/honey blandness with Mr. Coops. 

Sorry I missed some of you last night – thank you for the kind wishes sent along with objects to sign. Lemsip appreciated – blackcurrant too, nice move Rob: certainly tastier than the lemon. The Hot Berry and Orange ultimately gets my vote though. Harder to get, but sensational. 

A particular thank you to a chap who had flown over from the US to see the show and spoke very nicely to Coops afterwards. Appallingly rude to not be able to say hello in person. I hope the trip was worthwhile. 

I eagerly await that moment when you suddenly realise you’re back to full health – and the world bursts with colour once again. As it is, I look forward immensely to the shows even in poor health, as respite from the endless weariness, sweating and coughing. (At least from mine. I can’t do much about yours). 

Your well wishes are much appreciated, and thank you again for coming to see these shows where I haven’t been able to thank you personally afterwards.

Think I’ve put on a stone with all this honey. 


Last night – Oxford

Firstly and above all, apologies to those of you who wanted to come and say hello after the show. My few days off were beset by some non-porcine plague, in the way that bodies tend to sieze upon any quiet lull after an extended onslaught of sustained activity in order to punish the bearer severely for working so hard. I dragged myself to last night’s first night in Oxford, found I had to do an interview and photo-shoot for the Times, which I thought, like a ‘nana, was due to happen today, and was then amazed that the first half of the show went well and that I found a voice that seemed strong enough, given that I could barely speak a word during the day. In the second act it suffered, which is worrying: a few coughs and a dip in vocal energy may not matter much to that night’s audience, but without getting a chance to rest, the voice can just suddenly go, leaving us having to cancel a show or two as we did the other year. 

So I had to skip signing, under sensible instruction from my company manager. Standing out in the cold talking and chatting is lethal for a damaged, suffering throat, so I hope any of you who were there can understand. A note was left on the door – if any of you have left anything for me to sign, I’ll see to them today, and you can come and grab them later on today – any time after 7.30 –  from the stage door. I doubt very much that I’ll be signing tonight either, I’m sorry. If you have books or things – even programmes if you turn up early – that you can drop round to stage door before the show, I’ll sign them straight after and leave them there for you to collect. But I’ll be running straight off for Lemsip and beddy-byes right after the show, so forgive me if I don’t get to scribble my moniker on programmes and tickets bought too close to start time. 

Please – anyone leaving anything – remember to put a note in with your full name on! 

Now, to cheer us all up, here are some videos of some of the crew at the afore-slagged Novotel in Wolverhampton, when the hour was late and we were all rather tired. Firstly, dancing to ‘Woman in Love’ which playing quietly on the in-ceiling speaker system (so turn up your volumes please), is our own lovely Jennie:

and then, never to be outdone (although he clearly is), is our own ‘handsome’ Iain. One for the ladeez:

I note that Iain’s head looks too big for his body in this film. Rest assured this is his normal appearance, and not a perspectival glitch of the camera’s lens. Hope to be better for Grimsby x


At last, useable wi-fi has returned. I’m ashamed at how lost I am without it. My Macbook Air, crushed in a Coopie skateboarding-accident after a Nottingham show, has been gasping for action. 

First night in Blackpool was great – after Harrogate’s tricky venue it was nice to be in a theatre – the Opera House of the faded, extraordinary Winter Gardens. That first night felt like the best show yet on tour, and afterwards some lovely people at stage door. Thank you Rich, Rob, Mark and Russ. 

Wolverhampton’s first audience was hysterical: anyone there will have delighted in the first couple of people who were used in the front row, while I tried to get the first routine underway. One of them sat and grumpily stared at me for most of the show. Brilliant. The second night everyone was a bit more on the ball, and the show was rather good. The second night in Blackpool was lovely – I forgot a few little moments in the first half but the second was great. 

We now have – can I hear angels? – a few days off. When I am home with my better connection I shall post some videos of us tired and silly in the Novotel bar. 

Ta-ta for now. Phone’s off the hook and I’m switching all the lights off. I’m not in, go away. 


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