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4 teviot place, edinburgh 0131 - 225 5298

opening times 10 - 8 mon - sat 12 - 8 sun

88 ‘I’IIEIJS'I' 26 Sep—9 Oct 1997

To baldly go . . .

Probably best known for taking the piss out of David Gower on TV's They Think It’s All Over, comedian LEE HURST is hitting the road again. Words: Scott Montgomery

‘I’ve had about twenty jobs,’ says Lee Hurst. ‘I wasn’t a person who could settle.’ This restlessness which sends him out on a 53-date tour this fortnight may be the key to success for the comedian from London’s East End.

‘Me and a guy from school used to send stuff to the BBC,’ he recalls. ‘We sold a couple of gags on radio and telly.’ The two friends then formed their own comedy club above a pub, with Hurst as compere. ‘I used to just go on and improvise,’ he says. ‘That’s put me in good stead over the years. My first choice was to be a writer, then I really enjoyed organising the gigs, then I ended up being the gig.’

After a few years of solid gigging, Hurst now juggles live work with frequent television appearances on shows such as '1 Saturday Live and the top-rated, " irreverent sports quiz They Think lt’sAll Over.

How would he describe his stand-up act to those who only know him from the box? ‘A complete mess,’ he laughs. ‘Last year I did a question and answer thing where audiences could ask about anything. This time I’ve got to ringfence it a little bit, narrow it down. For example, I’ll ask if anyone has questions about the news, so we can talk about what’s been going on. Also, I’d like to find out about each area, on the night. without doing any background research. Y’know, saying, “what’s it like here?” and get people chatting and go with that.

‘At the same time, I have got material,’ he adds. ‘I don’t just turn up on spec! I would guess about 40% of it is based on what happens on the night.’

And Scottish audiences? ‘l’ve done some colleges in Scotland and a gig in Greenock,’ Hurst says. ‘I played at Aberdeen last year, which sold out. I could’ve retired on that! I had a whale of a time. So, like most boxers, I’m coming back so that I can end up on me arse I refuse to go out with dignity!’

Tragedy struck at one of Hurst’s gigs earlier this year, when an audience member choked to death

‘l'd like to find out about each area, on the night, without doing any background research. Y'know, saying, "what’s it like here?" and get people chatting and go With that.’ Lee Hurst



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Lee Hurst: it ain't all over till he falls on his arse

during the show. Hurst, who only found out afterwards, spoke to a local newspaper when they contacted him. ‘Subsequently. the family no longer wanted any publicity.’ he says now. ‘I said. “that‘s cool by me". I was totally at their beck and call about it. So. I don’t talk any further about it. A human trait. which I find abhorrent. is that bad news travels so quickly.’ he adds. referring to the tabloid stories that circulated at the time.

On a lighter note. Hurst is still restless after all these years. Apart from this tour. expect a live video. a new series of They Think . . .. appearances on Channel 5’s Bring Me The Head Of Light [inter'rainment. and possibly a new comedy club in London. ‘What will probably happen is. I’ll bum around doing stand-up for a few years,’ he predicts. ‘And maybe one day I’ll get bored with it and then just start a mini-cab company or something!’

Lee Hurst plays Glasgow City Hall, Thu 2 Oct and Edinburgh Queen's Hall, Sun 5 Oct.