Lee Hurst's comedy club to be demolished

...but replaced with something nicer

Lee Hurst’s East London comedy club looks set to be flattened by developers – and the comic is backing the plan.

Travelodge wants to build a seven-storey, 131-room hotel on the site of his FymFyg Bar, previously known as the Backyard comedy club, in Bethnal Green.

But the redevelopment will include a brand new venue for Hurst’s club on the ground floor, beneath the hotel reception.

Hurst had previously been so opposed to early plans to demolish his club, built in a disused factory, that he considered standing in the 2004 London mayoral elections in protest.

But since the new proposals include a new home for the club, as well as a more attractive ‘shop front’ to appeal to passing punters, he has backed a planning application submitted to Tower Hamlets council.

He said: ‘For the comedy club, the chance to design a venue from scratch rather than utilise an existing building means I will be able to create a location which has the audience at its heart. I’m excited to help with the continued regeneration of Bethnal Green.’

If planning permission is granted, the club, which can currently accommodate an audience of 300, will close for a year. The new club will be about two-thirds the size of the old one, but developers say it will employ more people.

Published: 21 May 2010

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