For the laughter

tinder the Bruce liorsyth jawline and what he describes as '()lympic acne‘ the man just has funny bones. liact.

In Brydon‘s world. tlte losers are the real heroes. The pathetic. the blissfully irony -free. the nice guy that always finishes last -- Brydon's comedy taps into that goldmine of gimps. geeks and nerds. llis htimotir comes with a dark edge. where we feel as much pity as affection for tlte kind-hearted rtints he plays.

lit the past. Brydon has admitted he prefers the straight man in a double act. Backing the underdog. Brydon instinctively likes the less cool one. the one quietly teeing tip shots so the other guy can sltoot them straight otit of sight. lle prefers l)tid over l’ete. or Ronnie (‘orbett over Ronnie Barker. and in his own relationship with Steve (‘oogaii. seems more comfortable playing tlte ass-kisser of the pair. despite now being a bona fide star in his own right.

liven when he's doing well for himself fronting his own show. Arum/Iv Rctcntivt' for example. he can't resist writing himself in as the vain twat backstage. tactlessly offending panel gtiests. It‘s funny because we kitow he's a lovely. self—effacing man. really. Whether it‘s toilet disinfectant or divorce he's dealing with. it‘s all just ‘a bit of fun‘.

For the tears Brydon‘s breakthrough. the bittersweet .lluri'oii um] Geo/i. contained as many knuckle-bitingly

poignant moments as belly laughs. The story of loveable loser Keith Barret. whose wife ran off

with another man. would have brought tears to a glass eye. We didn‘t know whether to hug him or shake him as he reminisced abotit his ‘little smashers'. and remained maniacally positive in the face of divorce. ‘I didn‘t lose a wife. so much as gain a friend in (ieofff he nods. through the world's stiffest upper lip. The 2()()() TV series predating The Office's mock-doctimentary style or I’ve/i Slimv's direct-to-camcra dialogue won him a British (‘oniedy Award and two Baftas for lines like. ‘If Michael Owen scores a goal. I‘m delighted. Btit I always spare a thought for the goalkeeper.‘

For the Welshness

He’s a credit to Wales. and we‘ll tell you for why. His portrayal of sat-nav obsessed Uncle Bryn iii Gavin and Stacey makes for comedy gold. llorrilied by sex. and the last to admit he may potentially be gay. Bryn feels “snowed ovei” alter signing tip for ‘the MySpace~ and noticing he has 17 friends.

In early stand-tip. the comic used to make leek~lovers from his homeland the btitt of his jokes. btit recently Brydon has been standing tip for the Welsh. In a BBC documentary. Rob Brvdon's Identity“ Crisis. he explored the idea that Wales suffers from low self-esteem. which rather handily. makes for some great comedy.

For the friends

Because any friend of Steve Coogan's is a friend of ours. Brydon is good pals with Alan Partridge's inventor and claims (wrongly) that he

MARCH 12-29 ;.~;


grew tip admiring him on TV 'as an adolescent'. More truthfully. Bry don considers ('oogan a comedy mentor after (‘oogan discovered him and took tapes of .lltirinn timl (it‘utl lo the BBC. The show was eventually produced by (‘oogan's Baby ('ow production company. The pair first appeared together in the comedy (‘rui'st' oft/iv (I'm/s. and later in the 'l‘risti'am Shandy inspired .-l ('m'lv and Bull Story.

For the voice

It took almost a decade for Brydon‘s comedy rocket to launch and before becoming a household name. he endorsed household goods as a voiceover tiitist. You name it. hes plugged it. from Toilet l)tick to l’ot Noodle. \ia 'l‘esco and 'l‘aiigo. See‘.’ No pretensions. Perhaps no shame either.

For the singing voice

The same voice that graces the ad breaks and airwaves (he spent six years as a DJ for BB(‘ Radio Wales) can also hold a very respectable ttinc. Yep. that‘s right. The mttlti—talenled swine can also sing. He has proved his singing skills several times on Radio 4‘s I'm Sorry I [/(ll't'll 't xi ('ltlt'. where he hcllctl tittl hits from fcllttyy Valleys boy and knicker—target. Tom Jones. including 'l)elilalt' and ‘She‘s a Lady".

For the impeccable taste His own comedy instincts are fairly well honed too. After seeing l’li‘g/it oft/iv ('oiii'liortls at the


lidinbtirgh l-‘ringe iit 2004 he knew lied spotted an act on the tip and tip. Bry don narrated the Rtltlltt 2 series (if/"(710. where Bret and Jcmttiltc tr} to break America with 'New /.ealand's fotiith most popular folk parody hand.

For the impressions

Who does the best Ronnie ('orbett'.’ (‘oogan or Brydon‘.’ The pair had an impression~off on l-‘ri't/uv Night ll'i't/i Jonathan Ross and there was more contpetitive mimicry in .-l ('oclt and Bull Story when they showed off their Al l’acinos. Special mention goes to Brydon's Rtissell Brand l'a se\y Kenneth Willianis' l. his homage to James Blunt or his baritone \Vogan.

For the uncanny resemblance to... Richard Jtthsttn‘.’ Ben Millet") We think lhs‘) were all separated at birth. Anton l)ti Beke. that ballroom dancer off Strict/v ('oim' [hinting may have been the fourth qtiadrtiplet.

For the niceness

Brydon is currently doing his bit for charity with a (‘omic Relief cover of the Holly and Kenny hit 'lslands in the Stream'. with (farm and Stuccv co-star Rtitli Jones and Tom Jones. Brydon and Rtitlt have been friends since school. Sense of humour and a big heart'.’ Now. that‘s just showing off.

Rob Brydon plays the Royal Concert Hall, Glasgow, Thu 12 and Wed 25 March.


Brian Donaldson joins the dots between some of the comics at the festival this year

ANDREW MAXWELL The Irish wag and the man behind the howlingly funny cabaret night. Fullmooners


was part of the very first Fullmooners bill in 2005, and further back in 2001

crew at the Edinburgh Fringe which included

Ricky Gervais and Stephen



At the 2007 Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival, the first Scottish Comedian of the Year performed at the Old Fruitmarket. supporting . . .


has a show entitled Phillip & Fern Saved My Life and is the current holder of the Scottish Comedian of the Year

was in the Rubberneckers


was also part of the Rubberneckers lot. His breakthrough solo show at the Edinburgh Fringe was called Robin lnce is as Dumb as You

ARDAL O’HANLON is famed for his role as similarly dim-witted priest Father Dougal in Father Ted


JOSIE LONG appeared at 2007's Tedstock, the benefit comedy gig in aid of 80$ cult comic Ted Chippington. In 2006 she won the if.comedy Best Newcomer Award


was the winner of the Best Newcomer Award when it was sponsored by a fizzy water company. Enforcing his admiration for larger ladies. he joked about climbing over Kylie to get to Fern Britton

floor Hams uni-u


5-19 Mar 2009 THE LIST 21