Send me to Iraq!

Lee's plea to military chiefs

Lee Hurst has flown out to Iraq to entertain the troops – after begging military entertainment bosses to send him.

Comedians are normally approached by Combined Services Entertainment to perform in overseas bases, and offered payment for their services.

But the former They Think It’s All Over comic called the CSE office out of the blue and said: ‘I want to go to Iraq, I want to go in the next couple of weeks and I don't want any money.

‘The lads are having a hard time out there and I'd like to do my bit to try and cheer them up.’

Within a fortnight, Hurst was en route to Basra. Kitted out with body armour and helmet, he spent five days performing to more than 4,000 troops.

He even went to what the Army describe as ‘some of the livelier areas’ of Iraq, including Al Amarah and Um Qasr.

Angie Moore, CSE’s entertainment manager, said: ‘Lee absolutely boosted morale where it needed boosting most.  

‘He endured extreme heat, very early starts and some fairly hairy flights to deliver a bit of cheer.  He made a big difference and we hope to take Lee to other areas in the future.

‘I'm certainly blown away that someone of Lee's stature has stepped up and offered themselves like this.  Hopefully he'll be the first of many.’

Lee is pictured with the Queen's Royal Hussars in Al Amarah.

Published: 16 Jul 2006

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With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

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