What a sell-out

Huge demand for Gervais tour

Ricky Gervias tickets sold out within hours at venues across Britain yesterday.

One venue, Oxford’s New Theatre, sold out in 45 minutes – a rate of 40 tickets a minute.

But hundreds of those buying tickets had no intention of ever going to the shows, with around 500 tickets already being sold on eBay at inflated prices. The £25 seats were going for up to £100 each on the internet auction site.

Gervais even managed to outsell Peter Kay in his North-West heartland, with the Blackpool Winter Gardens reporting that the Office star shifted his 3,000 tickets faster than Kay’s Mum Wants A Bungalow tour.

Kevin Allcock, managing director of venue owner Leisure Parcs, said: ‘Ricky Gervais represents the fastest Winter Gardens sell-out on record.’

Fans queued outside the venue from the early hours to get their hands on a ticket, which went on sale at 10am

In Sheffield, too, fans were waiting in the cold for the City Halls box office to open. Dan Whittaker, 24, told the Sheffield Star: ‘I'll queue as long as it takes. I've been to see a lot of comedians but I really want to see Ricky Gervais.’

And Richard Fitzsimmons, 23, said: ‘I've taken the day off work to get them, rather than battle with the website. This is the first stand-up show I've ever been to.’

In Portsmouth, the Fame show sold out in four-and-a-half hours, matching the record set by Little Britain earlier this year.

Guildhall manager Danny Green said: 'It's quite impressive. I was surprised to see people queuing. You'd think most would buy their tickets via the internet or over the phone these days.'

Oxford New Theatre spokesman Joel Barnett said : ‘I did expect it to sell out fast, but certainly not this quickly.’

Gervais’s tour, Fame, starts in Glasgow on January 8 and takes in 11 cities, although more dates are expected to be added later. Click here for dates.

Published: 13 Dec 2006

Today's comedy-on demand picks

COMEDY STORE PLAYERS

The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

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... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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