Comics rally round Raymond Mearns after his stroke | Frankie Boyle to headline major benefit gig at the Edinburgh Fringe

Comics rally round Raymond Mearns after his stroke

Frankie Boyle to headline major benefit gig at the Edinburgh Fringe

Frankie Boyle and other Scottish stand-up stars are hosting a major fundraiser for comic Raymond Mearns who suffered a stroke last week.

As Chortle reported yesterday, Mearns was forced to cancel his run of shows at the Edinburgh Fringe with real financial impact.

Now comedians Jay Lafferty and Stuart Mitchell have organised the Stand-Up For Raymond charity event at The Stand’s New Town Theatre for the evening of August 22.

Lafferty said: ‘We have pulled together one of the very best line-ups of the Edinburgh Festival which proves the love there is for Raymond. We want people to purchase a ticket so we can support him to take the time he needs to recover. Basically so that he sits on his arse. £20 is a real steal for this line-up.’

Mitchell added: ‘Raymond has consistently been one of the top live stand-up comedians in the country for many years.

‘He is the master at keeping his material fresh, relevant and most of all extremely funny. I am excited to see what he says about all this on stage when he makes a full recovery. We are asking people to purchase a ticket for a great night of comedy that supports a fantastic man.’

Also confirmed for the gig are Fred MacAulay, Susie McCabe, Mark Nelson, Jo Caulfield, Chris Forbes and  Gary Little.

A crowdfunding campaign has also been set up to help  him. Just last month, Mearns was himself organising a Go Fund Me page for another Scottish comic, Patrick Rolink, who suffered two strokes in a week and was similarly unable to work.

Mearns has posted a picture of himself in hospital, saying that he ‘will be okay’ but had to cancel his Fringe engagements: a stand-up show, Alive in The Hive at the Beehive Inn and a comedy walking tour around the old town.

The cancellation will make this the first Fringe the comedian –  who is a regularr on BBC Radio Scotland’s Breaking the News - has missed since 2011, having made his debut in 2001

Taking to Facebook, Mearns, who is in his mid-50s, posted: ‘Some clarity regarding my situation. I suffered a stroke last Friday morning and was admitted to hospital yesterday and upon advice from the doctors I had no option but to cancel this year’s show and the comedy walk. Apologies if you bought tickets but these will now be refunded by the fringe office.’

He added that his partner Annie McKeown was looking after him.  Yesterday she said that she appreciated all the messages of support, adding: ‘He's doing ok but will need plenty of rest and recuperation when I get him home. It's overwhelming and heartwarming to know how much he's loved and respected by everyone.’

Tickets for Stand-Up For Raymond are priced at only £20 and are available here.

•  Larry Dean,  Kiri Pritchard-McLean and Abandoman  are joining the previously announced Frank Skinner, Ivo Graham, Adam Kay, Chloe Petts, Hal Cruttenden, Lara Ricote, and Emmanuel Sonubi in Underbelly's fifth Big Brain Tumour Benefit it was announced today. Tickets for the August 15 show in McEwan Hall are available here.

•  Comic Philipp Kostelecky, who grew up in Slovenia, is to donate the takings from his Fringe gigs at The Stand on Thursday and Friday to the relief effort following the devastating floods in the Central European nation, which have caused more than  €1billion worth of damage. He said: 'Slovenia is a small country with only two million people. In addition to human cost, severe flooding at the height of summer tourism will have a devastating impact ' Donate here,

Published: 9 Aug 2023

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