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Thursday, 24 April 2014

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All in a Day’s work!

ONE of the most recognisable – and versatile – faces in British comedy will take to the stage in Whitehaven next week.

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Heading to Whitehaven: Simon Day, star of The Fast Show, brings his new show Comedy and Error to the Civic Hall next week

Simon Day has a long and varied CV to his name; from straight acting roles to stand-up comedy, from sports punditry to radio presenting and even telly ads for a well-known energy supplier – he’s done it all.

But what he’s best known for, of course, is his unforgettable characters in The Fast Show – a quickfire catchphrase-filled show of comedy gold that ran for three series in the mid-nineties.

Simon will be resurrecting one of his most popular characters – Tommy Cockles – a parody of a 1940s-style music hall presenter for part of his Comedy and Error show at Whitehaven Civic Hall.

“He’s the character who I thought would best translate to a show like this,” says Simon, speaking to The Whitehaven News ahead of his show in town on Thursday, February 7.

“It’s nice that people remember The Fast Show so fondly, and want to talk about it when you meet them.”

And shout catchphrases in the street?

“As it happens, the characters I didn’t really have catchphrases, so there’s nothing people can shout out. But ‘Competitive Dad’ and eco warrior Dave Angel are probably the ones people comment on and want to know about the most.”

Day’s new show – which he is bringing to Whitehaven as part of a national tour – will certainly show off his versatility.

It’s part stand-up, part reading from his autobiography Comedy and Error, part Tommy Cockles, part poetry-reading (also in character), and ending with a question and answer session.

“It’s a bit of everything,” says Day, “it’s good to have the book there as a basis for the show – and then it leads on from there.”

The autobiography, which is available to buy at the gig, is a vivid, honesty and witty book. It tells the tale of Day’s troubled youth, including homelessness, addiction and a spell in Borstal, followed by a route into comedy with the help of Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, and ultimately to success with The Fast Show and its various spin-off shows.

“I was discovered by Reeves and Mortimer; they were judging a talent show that I was on and I ended up going on tour with them and working with them for television [on Big Night Out].

“I was a landscape gardener one day, and the next I was working with Reeves and Mortimer. It was a fantastic time.”

As well as touring his Comedy and Error show over the coming months, Day has a host of new projects in the pipeline.

He has written and starred in one of 10 short films as part of the Common Ground series that begins on Sky Atlantic next Monday.

Each 11-minute episode set in South London has been created by a different actor/comedian, including Johnny Vegas, Katy Brand, Jessica Hynes. Day’s episode – Personal Trainer – airs on Monday, February 25.

“It’s about a washed-up personal trainer, based on a guy that I used to know. It was written years ago and was supposed to be a film and various things that never quite happened, so this series is a good opportunity to get it out there.”

He’s also got another series of his Radio Four show – The Simon Day Show – to look forward to, and he tells The News he’s currently working on a reality show with co-star from The Fast Show, John Thompson.

But up first is his date with Whitehaven Civic Hall. The show starts at 7.30pm. Tickets are available at £14 from the Civic Hall in person, or by calling 01946 514960 or visiting www.civichall.org.

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