Tag Archives: Comedy

Award Nomination For Radio Play

The Dad Who Fell Onto A Shortlist…

The Dad Who Fell To Earth has been nominated for a prestigious BBC Audio Drama Award. It made the initial shortlist of six, which was to be boiled down to three on January 5th 2016. Rather delightfully, it stayed on, alongside the acclaimed Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore and In And Out Of The Kitchen by Justin Edwards who is an old friend from university days. So it’s stiff competition but also splendid, flattering company to be in.

The ceremony is on January 31st at Broadcasting House and will be presented by Lenny Henry. I have everything crossed, which is going to make a call of nature somewhat more difficult to answer than usual.



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.


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.


Well, these ramblings have a sister blog entirely dedicated to all things that go with XS Malarkey, the comedy club I am proud to run in Fallowfield, Manchester, every Tuesday. The club is enjoying a rare rest whilst it gets refurbished, ready for a spanking relaunch in September.

To keep it separate from my more content lead stuff on here, I’ll be posting all things Malarkey on the XS Malarkey site, but will provide links in these here quarters should any accidental web tourists be interested.

XS Malarkey Blog One : One Day, Tuesday, Happy Day

Updated Gig List 2011 (May-December)

I have just done an updated gig list with my agent to ensure I’m neither double booked nor unemployed, so I may as well share for those of you who like to plan far too far ahead to be remotely healthy.

Please note that I only link a comedy club on its first entry, and that some of the tour dates are a bit vague. I’m pleased to observe that as well as my usual roster of fine comedy haunts, I’ve added both Highlight and the Comedy Cafe as places I’ll be MCing relatively frequently.

For those new to this domain, I can be found at the award winning (nay, legendary) Manchester comedy Club XS Malarkey every Tuesday, at another award winner, The 99 Club in Leicester Square, every Wednesday, and at The Comedy Store in Manchester every other Sunday (generally – it’s worth checking as we sometimes get moved about: it’s always twice a month though) to do the fantastic New Stuff night where established comics try out brand new material. I’m also touring Now I Know My BBC and Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf intermittently.

Do come to say hello if you can.

12-14th – Stand, Edinburgh (set)
17th – XS Malarkey (MC) (Special Guest Headliner – name embargoed due to fame!)
18th – 99 Club, Lecester Square (MC)
21st – Now I Know My BBC, Arts Depot, Finchley
22nd – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
24th – XS Malarkey (MC), Junior Simpson Headlining
25th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
28th – Now I Know My BBC, Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, North Yorkshire
31st – XS Malarkey, (MC)

1st – 99 Club, Leicester Square
5th – Moths Ate My Doctor Who Scarf, Loughborough Town Hall
7th – XS Malarkey (MC)
8th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
12th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
14th – XS Malarkey (MC), Sean Percival Headlining
15th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
19th – New Stuff, Comedy Store (MC, tbc)
21st – XS Malarkey (MC) Carey Marx Edinburgh Preview
22nd – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
24th – Red Card Comedy, Milton Keynes, (MC, with Nick Revell from Slipback, Who fans)
28th – XS Malarkey (MC) Edinburgh Preview
29th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
30th – Comedy Central, Baby Blue, Liverpool (MC)

1st-2nd – Comedy Central, Baby Blue, Liverpool, MC
5th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC) Edinburgh Preview
6th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
10th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
12th – XS Malarkey (MC), Matt Kirshen Edinburgh Preview
13th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
15th – Special Doctor Who related day, tbc
19th – XS Malarkey (MC) Jason Cook Edinburgh Preview
20th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
21st – 23rd – Frog and Bucket, Manchester (MC)
26th – XS Malarkey (MC)
27th – 99 Club, Leicester Square
29th & 30th – Highlight, Camden (MC)
31st – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester

2nd – XS Malarkey (MC)
3rd – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
5th & 6th – Frog and Bucket, Preston (MC)
9th – XS Malarkey (MC)
10th – 99 Club, Leicester Square
12th & 13th – Frog and Bucket, Manchester (MC)
14th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester
16th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC)
17th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
19th & 20th – Highlight, Camden (MC)
21st – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester

6th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC) Loretta Maine Headlining
7th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
10th – Special Doctor Who related day tbc
11th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
13th – XS Malarkey (MC) Tom Stade Headlining
14th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
16th & 17th – Highlight, Birmingham (MC)
20th – XS Malarkey (MC) Patrick Monahan Headlining
21st – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
22nd – 24th – Comedy Cafe, Shoreditch (MC)
25th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
27th – XS Malarkey (MC) Sol Bernstein Headlining
28th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)

4th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC)
5th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
9th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
11th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC) Andy Robinson Headlining
12th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
13th – 15th – Comedy Central, Baby Blue, Liverpool (MC)
16th – Sheffield (Headlining)
18th – XS Malarkey (MC) Danny Ward Headlining
19th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
20th – 22nd – Comedy Cafe, Shoreditch (MC)
24th – potential North-West Now I Know My BBC date
25 th – XS Malarkey (MC) The Boy With Tape On His Face Headlining
26th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
28t & 29th – Highlight, Reading (MC)
30th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)

1st – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC) Daliso Chaponda Headlining
2nd – 99 Club, Leicester Sqaure (MC)
3rd – 5th – Comedy Central, Baby Blue, Liverpool (MC)
8th – XS Malarkey (MC)
9th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
11th-12th – Doctor Who event tbc
13th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
15th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC)
16th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
18th & 19th – Highlight, Leeds (MC)
27th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
29th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC)
30th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)

2nd – Nantwich
6th – XS Malarkey, Manchester (MC) Caimh McDonnell Headlining
7th – 99 Club, Leicester Square (MC)
11th – New Stuff, Comedy Store, Manchester (MC)
13th – XS Malarkey (MC)
14th – 99 Club, Leicester Square
15th -17th – Comedy Central, Baby Blue, Liverpool (MC)
20th – XS Malarkey Christmas Party (Reveller)