Category Archives: Comedy



As I type this you have just over three weeks to catch The Dad Who Fell To Earth on iPlayer. It is a play I wrote for Radio 4 about a man who discovers that his recently deceased father wasn’t a door-to-door salesman as he thought but in fact an alien from a  distant world charged with preventing the destruction of mankind. It’s about grief and loss and a purple planet with clever cats.


The play stars Ronald Pickup as Russ, Cherylee Houston as Jan, Alexandra Mathie as Wendy, Lee Fenwick and Pete/Steve, and Zoe Iqbal and Chelsea. Oh, and me. The producer os the fabulous Charlotte Riches. Most of us are pictures below.


I can honestly say that is has been the most rewarding engagement of my professional life so far – the writing process was smooth, the cast are fabulous and Charlotte has done an amazing job with the edit (Sound by Sue Stonestreet, one of the unsung heroes of the radio department at the BBC in Salford). I’m delighted to say the the play received Pick Of The Week in The Independent, The Observer, The Telegraph and The Mail.

Daily Mail copy

You can listen on it here (depending on what date you read this):




Well, this is exciting : for one night only Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf and My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver will be in a double bill at the famous Garrick Theatre in London’s West End. It’s a 900 seater. My Mum’s coming, so now we only need another 800 of you to keep her company.

We’re gonna need a bigger audience…

There promises to be a bit of an An Audience With kinda vibe, with a number of Doctor Who luminaries on the invite list. It’ll be an ideal warm- up for the 50th Anniversary as the show will be taking place just under a week before that giddy time. So put 17th November in your diary (7pm), and maybe get a ticket for that friend of yours who needs a special present to celebrate this amazing milestone for both Doctor Who and  – thanks to this performance produced by James Seabright and Lee Martin of Gag Reflex – this humble fan.

When tickets went live most of the seats in the front 10 rows were snapped up immediately, and punters from Russia and the USA booked themselves in, so you know, if you think the trip for, say, Kent, is an arduous one, you really have no excuse not to see the show which has won acclaim from press and comics (including Sarah Millican) alike. All the nice things that have been said about it are here.

Tickets are available here.

New Edinburgh Show and Gig List June-October 2012

Well, I’ve bowed to the pressure and am currently working on a sequel to Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf which I have entitled My Stepson Stole My Sonic Screwdriver. It will be the story of my life and Doctor Who since the  end of the last show, covering personal triumphs and disasters whilst mentioning Meglos and fuming about The Only Way Is Essex. Like Moths… it will be suitable for a non-Who crowd and its vocabulary and subject matter will be suitable for children (though it is not aimed specifically at them). It’ll get its own page on the website soon, and will be previewing throughout July. In the meantime, tickets and details for the Edinburgh run are here.

I have been ill so sadly took most of May off work, but will be back on my feet by mid June, and so my current gig list has been updated : this includes details of My Stepson… and its preview dates. The gig list is here.


I’ve been added as a last minute replacement (I know my place) to compere a great bill at a charity gig for London Pathway. I am MC for a bill that includes Josh Widdicombe, Hal Cruttenden, Mitch Benn, Scott Cappurro, Adam Bloom and Tom Allen. Excellent stuff.

For more info, go here (see where it says Paul Tonkinson’s name? That’s where mine will be):

I have also updated my Gig List.

In light of the death of Philip Madoc recently, I would like to point you in the direction of an article I did about him a while ago:

I Know The Face But … #1 Philip Madoc

I had the pleasure of working with Philip only in December, and he will be sorely missed. Thankfully, much of his work will be around forever for us, and those lucky blighters in the future, to enjoy.

Me, sound legend Brian Hodgson, and Philip Madoc


XS Malarkey goes from strength to strength and has enjoyed its new heaters as well as some fantastic bills (comedy line-ups, not heating bills : though they’ve been quite big).

I have written two new jokes for my forthcoming Edinburgh show. I have a title, I think, but for now let’s just say that it will be a direct follow on from Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf.

And I’m back on The 7th Dimension on March 17th ; there’s some good stuff there to stimulate your brain nodes.


Basic for now, links etc to follow:


6th-7th Jan
Frog And Bucket, Preston, MC

8th Jan
New Stuff, Comedy Store, MC.

10th Jan
XS Malarkey, MC (Dave Longley headlining)

11th Jan
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

13-14th Jan
Baby Blue, Albert Dock, Liverpool, MC

17th Jan
XS Malarkey, MC (Seymour Mace headlining)

18th Jan
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

20th Jan
Leeds, MC

21st Jan
Halifax, MC

24th Jan
XS Malarkey, MC (Mundo Jazz Headlining)

25th Jan
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

27th Jan
Corporate Booking

29th Jan
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester, MC

31st Jan
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC (Mickey D headlining)


1st Feb
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

4th & 5th Feb
Recording and Broadcast of topical Radio 4 play in the “From Fact To Fiction” strand.

7th Feb
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC (Daliso Chaponda headlining)

8th Feb
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

10th – 11th Feb
Highlight, Camden, MC

11th Feb (daytime)
Big Finish Day

12th Feb
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester

14th Feb
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC (Gary Delaney headlining)

15th Feb
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

21st Feb
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC (Dave Williams headlining)

22nd Feb
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

26th Feb
New Stuff, The Comedy Store, Manchester, MC

28th Feb
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC (Jo Enright headlining)

29th Feb
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC


2nd March
Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, Brewery Arts Centre, Kendal

6th March
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

7th March
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

9th-10th march
Highlight, Camden, MC

11th March
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester, MC

13th March
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

14th March
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

16th March
Hereford, Headline set

17th March
Highlight, Watford, MC

20th March
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

21st March
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

23rd – 25th March
University Challenge TV Warm-Up

25th March
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester, MC

27th March
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

28th March
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

30th March
Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, Neston Civic Hall

31st March
Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, Bradwell Village Hall


3rd April
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

4th April
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

5th-7th April
Frog And Bucket, Manchester, MC

10th April
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

11th April
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

13th – 14th April
Highlight, Camden, MC

15th April
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester, MC

17th April
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

18th April
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

20th-22nd April
University Challenge TV Warm-Up

24th April
XS Malarkey, Manchester, MC

25th April
99 Club, Leicester Square, MC

27th – 28th April
Laugh Inn, Chester, MC

29th April
New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester, MC


Next week, it’s the anniversary of when I began a comedy night that I hoped would give me regular employment for the next two and a half months. On October 4th, XS Malarkey reopens to celebrate its fourteenth birthday.

We’d shut down for the first time over the summer as our venue, The Queen Of Hearts, was being refurbished, and this gave us plenty of time to consider the club’s future. I’d not been especially happy at the Queen as the venue never really seemed to have its (ahem) heart in the club and with a new brewery taking over I decided to reclaim Malarkey’s independent status. We’ve always worked best when not answerable to an area manager who knows nothing about comedy, hence our happiest times being at Remedy (a fantastic freehold venue closed by a short-sighted council).

It'll be a bit tidier than this when we open.

After some soul searching and a fabulous meeting of minds, we have opted to relocate to Platt Chapel, an ethical venue with a real desire to create something of an artistic hub in South Manchester in these financially trying times. They’re very much into audience interaction. You want real ale behind the bar? Great – let’s organise a tasting and you can vote on your favourite. Obviously, some of these things will take time to sort out, but there’s a real opportunity for you – as well as us – to create the environment here.

I’ll carry on booking the very best comedians. You just need to keep coming. We have always run on a not-for-profit basis, and we continue to do so. We have no budget, we are entirely dependent on ticket sales, which is why we rely on you to spread the word. In the current cash-strapped climate our prices of £3 (members) and £5 (non-members) for the level of comics we get is unparalleled. We’ve got an illustrious bevy of acts for our birthday, and in the next 6 weeks I can promise at least two high profile TV names. I can’t say when and who, because they’re playing the gig precisely so they can work in front of the XS crowd, and not some interlopers who’ve been lured by a famous person. One act we can announce is Stewart Francis, a Malarkey veteran (he played during that initial two-and-a-half month run that helped put us on the map) also seen on Mock The Week, who’ll be popping in at the end of November. We have a deliberate policy of promoting new talent alongside established acts, and don’t need to play it as safe as some clubs are obliged to at big weekend gigs. That means you never quite know what’s going to happen at Malarkey, except that it’ll be funny and cheap. And that I’ll probably be annoyed about something (just because I generally am).

Stewart Francis - A Malarkey Advocate

So please spread the word and get it out there that Malarkey is here to stay, and that there’s not a better value, high quality comedy night anywhere else in the country.

More pictures and infor on Facebook. Be sure and “Like” us: it’s terribly good for our self esteem.