Jingle all the way

Comics complete epic journeys

Comedians Mark Olver and Tim FitzHigham have both completed their epic journeys for their Edinburgh festival shows.

Olver, a self-confessed ‘lazy and unfit man’, finished the 400-mile walk from his Bristol home to the Edinburgh capital at the weekend.

He said: ‘My feet are quite sore. I have lost nearly a stone, which I plan to put back on by the end of the day.’

Meanwhile FitzHigham, who is no stranger to challenging stunts, has Morris-danced the 150 miles from London to Norwich, following in the jingling footsteps of Shakespearean clown Will Kemp.

Kemp originally made the journey in 1600 after a blazing row with Shakespeare over the lack of a suitable comedy role in Hamlet.

FitzHigham, pictured, said after completing the journey last week: ‘It was absolutely agony. Morris dancing is not an efficient way to travel.’

Both comedians’ stunts raised money for charity; Olver generating £5,500 alone from sponsorship and from gigs en route.

He said: ‘I was chased by cows in the Yorkshire Dales, forced to stay awake until 4am by a couple who's sofa I was sleeping on and did a gig in a hotel for a group of people in their 80s.’

‘I did Berwick to Edinburgh, a distance of 55 miles in less than two days after being goaded by [fellow comic] Jon Richardson, and had to literally crawl into the reception of my hotel.’

He now has two weeks to put his experiences into a Fringe show.

In April, Free Fringe founder Peter Buckley Hill also competed a bizarre journey to provide material for his Edinburgh show – traveling from London to Edinburgh on local buses, using only his free over-60s bus pass.

It took him 27 buses, 23hrs 47mins travelling time, plus 10hrs 53mins waiting at bus stops. He average 10.8mph and even calculated the average of the bus numbers: 132.4.

He said: ‘The hotels cost me a lot more than the train fare would have. Hence the futility.’

Published: 14 Jul 2008

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