Oui, Patron! (part 1)

Ralph’s Comedy Festival Diary – Part 1

My window cleaner was in today. He said ’Can you write your name down because I’ve told my wife I clean the windows for a posh famous bloke and I can’t remember who you are!’

Both thrilled to be recognised as a z-list celeb and affronted that he knew not who I was, I signed my Bath Comedy Festival Patron business card ‘Jeremy Clarkson’ and handed it over.

This is supposed to be the Year of Saying No for this particular Z-Lister, but I seem to be doing more than ever. Or rather my more famous alter-ego Lady Margaret is doing more than ever. On opening night  (Friday 27th) she’s accidentally double booked herself and will have to hot-foot it from the a glittering private reception at Bath’s Guildhall to the slightly less glittering Cricket Club in time to draw the raffle at the festival launch.

Hot foot is the word as those dainty buckle shoes her ladyship favours are far from sensible for a hulking twenty two stone geezer, and are probably the main reason I had to have a knee replacement operation earlier in the year.

On the 5th April Lady M will be plonking her magnificent posterior on a gilt throne in the cosy surroundings of Wood’s Restaurant for an occasion called Sunday Lunch with Lady Margaret. From there she will be interviewing and presenting an impressive line-up of comedy guests including famously grumpy Arthur Smith. And tucking into a delicious roast dinner.

But at least that’s a sitting down role. On Palm Sunday my poor knee will be indulging in a whole day of creaking and clunking its way up and down the stairs of the big red Routemaster bus on the 8th Annual Wine Arts Trail. This cult event was famously described by an Arts Council assessor as having not enough art and too much wine. Which in our opinion is just how it should be. In fact this year there are extra stops …and extra stops means even more wine. Sod art, let’s have a laugh.

This bizarre journey incorporates street theatre, architectural appreciation, drumming, Edinburgh Fringe acts …and perhaps most bizarre of all is hosted by guest clippie Lorraine Chase, of Luton Airport fame.

And it happens twice!

This year I am taking the almost unique step of appearing as MYSELF, no less. An event in my own shoes for once.

Whatever happened to saying no?

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