Jovanka Steele

Jovanka Steele

A Worthy tribute

Glastonbury salutes Malcolm Hardee

Comics have again been paying tribute to Malcolm Hardee at one of his spiritual homes, the Glastonbury Festival.

Two gigs in the Cabaret tent were dedicated to the memory of Hardee, whose first played the Worthy Farm festival in 1978 and whose Greatest Show On Legs balloon dance was a perennial favourite before Hardee drowned in London earlier this year.

Glastonbury was also the setting for one of his legendary pranks, when he had to follow a juggler called UltraVision, who used luminous paint on his clubs and performed in the dark.

While the act was on stage, Hardee found his supply of paint, and painted his penis, testicles and nipples Dayglo pink and yellow with the help of fellow comic Sean Lock – then created his own version of the juggling routine.

Hardee’s infamous balloon dance was recreated as part of the Saturday night tribute, right, and Friday’s show was recorded for broadcast on Radio 4 tomorrow.

Compere Arthur Smith, right. said: ‘For 15 years, Malcolm showed his large and award-winning testicles here.’

Smith retold the story of Hardee pissing on sleeping hecklers, then in reference to the torrential storm that almost washed out Glastonbury, said: ‘I wonder if last night, up there somewhere, Malcolm was thinking, “They’re all asleep…”’

Irish stand-up Andrew Maxwell paid tribute to ‘the king of the clowns’, while Hardee’s ex-flatmate Nick Wilty mused that his death in January had come too early ‘because I’d have won a bet - I had a double with the Pope.’

Others on the bill included Jeff Green, Simon Munnery, Phil Nichol (left) and Stewart Lee, while American Jovanka Steele paid her own tribute to the notoriously raucous gigs Hardee used to run, by dying amid a torrent of heckles and calls for Malcolm to come to the stage and rescue the gig.

With Comic In Tent (or, as Smith put it ‘With Comic In TNT – because we’ve dropped an E since the start of the show’) will air on Radio 4 at 11pm tomorrow (Tuesday).


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Published: 27 Jun 2005


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