Published: March 2008 in The Fix, Britain’s foremost comedy magazine
Did you ever wonder why there aren’t more comics talking about sport on stage? I did. But after a few weeks of working on A Beginner’s Guide to British Sport and Leisure I start to understand why. It’s bloody difficult, that’s why.
Not only do you compete with the funny bloke down the boozer, tabloids’ sports pages and numerous phone-ins but most importantly with the punters’ varying degree of knowledge.
It’s a lot safer for comics to talk about sex than sport. Everybody has had sex or at least watched some highlights. And if not, they’re unlikely to admit it.
However, there is far less of a social stigma attached to openly declaring that one has never sang one’s heart out for the lads on a cold Tuesday night in Grimsby.
The special challenge of A Beginner’s Guide to British Sport and Leisure is to make it interesting for punters that are familiar with traditional British sports such as bull-baiting but it also has to be enjoyable for people who don’t know a ‘leg before’ from their elbow.
Having gone all la-di-da since starting comedy I want the show to become critically acclaimed. At the same time it must be straight forward enough to work at any sport club in the country. To make things even more difficult for me I decided that it mustn’t turn into one big exercise of Brit-bashing.
These unrealistically high expectations are bound to end in crushing disappointment, which ironically is the story of British professional sport in a nutshell.