Gay clubs, feuds and erotic magicians

Another week of comedy trivia

  • Lenny Henry unwound after his Blackpool show by going to a gay club at watching the Sugababes. He said it was ‘the gayest nightclub in the UK’ but hated the music. ‘Why are gay people up North listening to all that techno bollocks?,’ he said. ‘It's horrible. I never thought I'd be so relieved to hear the Sugababes in my life - at least they had recognisable tunes.’

  • Larry Sanders creator Garry Shandling goes boxing three times a week.

  • Johnny Vegas and crew have a host of stories to tell from filming new ITV1 sitcom Benidorm on location. ‘It's very hard to go for a drink and come back before three days have elapsed,’ he said. One night, Vegas watched as a drunk Spaniard emptied the contents of a bin on to the pavement ‘and started giving them a stern talking-to’. He says: ‘There was no need for subtitles … “and as for you, Mr Tin Can, you can get straight back in that bin now!”. Meanwhile, co-star Steve Pemberton went to see Sticky Vicky who does a magic act with a difference. ‘She does her act in the nude and produces various objects from her nether regions. It was a surreal experience,’ he says. Finally, producer Geoffrey Perkins tells of hearing a British woman phoning home to tell her friends the Manchester United score. ‘She thought that because we're an hour ahead here, they wouldn't yet know the score back home!"’

  • Stephen Merchant hates hanging out with fellow comedians 'because they consider it a sign of weakness if they laugh’.

  • Matt Lucas has been swotting up on his antipodean comedy as he tours Australia. He’s been to live shows by Barry Humphries and spoof lounge singe Bob Downe and stocked up on DVDs from physical double act Lano and Woodley: ‘You can't find them in London,’ he said. Humphries returned the compliment by attending the Little Britain Melbourne show. While in Oz, Lucas has also filmed a guest role in Kath and Kim, playing a British cousin.

  • It was a queasy launch for Comic Relief, on board a moored Thames cruiser next to the London Eye on Wednesday. Patrick Kielty was the worse for wear after having been out till 5am celebrating his 36th birthday, and many of the other celebs complained of seasickness. Russell Brand was given pills when he complained of the rocking motion, and later said: ‘They drugged me, I feel like Judy Garland. I’m off my head’

  • Arthur Smith has had a run-in with a rather unlikely celeb: perma-tanned crooner Engelbert Humperdinck. ‘I hate him,’ Smith told a recent Audience With… show in Cheltenham, saying his dislike stems from the time he was due to interview him for Radio 4’s Loose Ends. ‘He turned up with that bouffant hair, medallion, all crimped-up and self-important. He thought he was being interviewed by Mariella Frostrup – he took one look at me and went home.’

SOURCES:, New York Times, Independent/Sun, Sunday Telegraph, Melbourne Herald Sun, Chortle, Independent

Published: 2 Feb 2007

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