stovold’s 2nd amendment to the standard convention (1972)

I had the opportunity to go and watch the recording of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue on Saturday. It was hardly round the corner, entailing a trip to Cheltenham but that at least meant that I could tie in a visit to the Lickey Hills for blackberrying (and one bilberry) and to Six Ways to watch some rugby. I came to the conclusion that Philippe would approve of all the hugging, and it’s a bit fascinating the shhh-ing that goes around the stadium just before a conversion. Fascinating.

Anyway, on to Cheltenham – as Jack Dee says, it’s the gateway to Cirencester. The show took place at the Centaur theatre at the racecourse – we all herded in and took our place in some distinctly uncomfortable seats, and then proceeded to laugh solidly for about two hours. For the most part, I was laughing whilst rubbing my cheeks to stop them aching, and that’s no word of exaggeration.

Jack Dee hosted, and while he’s not Humph, he’s at least a consummate professional and there was no need to rerecord any lines for seven hours. Alongside was my favourite, Barry Cryer (who gave a wonderful rendition of Purple People Eater while trying to sync with the original track), Jeremy Hardy (who’s rock-starish introduction to Come On Eileen was the height of absurdity – though as he said, music is his life), Graeme Garden (I originally wrote he and Tim off as filler, but really they were the best bit) and Tim Brooke-Taylor (another former Goodie, and one who had to bow his head in shame at the lack of subtlety in his own innuendos at times).

Worth an admirable mention of course was Colin Sell on piano, Samantha keeping score (or not, exactly) and the wonderfully BBC Jon Naismith producing, introducing and operating the hi-tech laser system which tells the audience what to hum into their kazoos.

It’s all utterly daft, but utterly wonderful. While it’s such a shame that I never saw it with Humph, still it’s retained everything else that makes the show so much fun, and this is a fond memory.

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