Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Two Comedians

 I sat next to Jim Davidson once. I was at the Pavilion pantomime, and he was wearing a pair of flashing bunny ears and getting very involved in the back and forth between the audience and the stage. It was just before his arrest, so I don't think that he is going to mention it on his new tour.

Eddie Izzard and I were once at the same gig, dressed as women. I think that is a story for another time.

However... both of them are coming to Scotland to tell jokes. Funnily enough, Jim has said he doesn't mind the idea of Scottish Independence, while Eddie Izzard's gig in Edinburgh is all about persuading the Scots to stay in the Union. Let's compare and contrast press releases.

Very few comedians could turn the worst year of their life into a resounding success, but fresh from winning the most successful ever series of Big Brother by a landslide, comedy king Jim Davidson has done exactly that. Jim will take No Further Action on a 54 date UK tour, starting at the Great Yarmouth Britannia Pier on 5 September 2014.

Better Together today announced that comedy legend Eddie Izzard will be hosting a one off gig on Friday, April 4th at the Festival Theatre Edinburgh to launch a campaign for people in England, Wales and Northern Ireland who don't want Scotland to leave the UK.Please Don't Go is the title of the special gig, but also the name of the campaign that will run between now and September’s vote. The purpose of this campaign for people in the rest of the UK is to make sure that people who don't have a vote in the referendum still have the opportunity to play their part in keeping our family of nations together.

On announcing the new show, Jim said “It was an interesting time, I had a rough ride for a while, but it’s great to be back on stage doing what I love, and the best way of dealing with a nightmare is to talk about it! I always seem to find the funny side of things...even this! And then, for a finale, along came Big Brother! Wait to you hear the inside stories on that!”

Speaking as he announced the special show, Eddie Izzard said: “I won’t have a vote in the Scottish referendum. What I do have is a view and a voice. I totally respect that this will be a decision for the Scottish people but I love Scotland far too much to stay quiet about how I feel.”

Welcoming the announcement, the leader of Better Together Alistair Darling said: “I’m delighted that Eddie is taking part in this hugely important campaign. People in the rest of the UK may not have a vote in September, but they do have a voice. If Scotland leaves the UK it will have a massive impact on the whole country.”

No stranger to the limelight, having dominated prime time TV comedy for over a decade, Jim is not only one of the country’s best established comics, but one of the most popular stand-up comedians of all time. Alongside hosting much loved shows such as Big Break and The Generation Game Jim’s sell-out theatre tours and pantomimes have broken box office records and received critical acclaim.

“From Stornoway and Lerwick to Glasgow and Edinburgh, I have been lucky enough to play more venues in
Scotland than most Scottish comedians,” adds Izzard.  “As I did my marathons around the UK I felt really proud to be able to run in Scotland holding aloft the Saltire and to still feel that this was my country.”

During the 80s Jim travelled the world performing for the troops, taking his top quality entertainment to some of the most inhospitable places imaginable. For this he was made an OBE. Now his time in Big Brother has come to an end, this brilliant comedian is back where he belongs – on stage, entertaining audiences around the country.

“I’m proud to be British but I am also proud of Britain. I love the vibrant, tolerant, diverse, confident, country we have become. British patriotism is so quiet and understated that it is flexible enough to bring people together. It has always been possible to feel British while being proudly Scottish, Welsh or English. Today our country embraces Mo Farah, a Somali-born distance runner as a British Olympic hero without a second thought. We can even cheer a far-slower marathon-running transvestite comedian.”

No Further Action will see Jim tell the story of his arrest and the nightmare 12 months that followed, the clearing of his name and winning the heart of the nation all over again as a Big Brother champion. Jim will be doing all this in the only way he knows how, by entertaining people, something he’s been doing to great acclaim for nearly 40 years. It promises to be the most outrageous, hilarious and insightful show Jim has ever performed, but most of all it will be the truth.

“I think most people across the UK would feel a deep sense of loss if Scotland left. Opinion polls in Scotland and elsewhere in the UK show a majority of people want the UK to stay together. There are economic and practical reasons for sticking together. Sharing risks, resources and rewards makes us all stronger. Whether it's paying the pensions of our old people or helping young people into a job, working together across 63 million people makes sense.”

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