Thanks, as ever, to Andy McH, for this exclusive footage from last night’s triumphant, end-of-run As It Occurs To Me at the Leicester Square Theatre, in front of a packed house of around 400 nerds.
For context: throughout the run, Richard Herring, to whom the sketch-based events have always occurred, has turned me – or a cartoon version of me – into a recurring character, along with Richard Whiteley, the “simples” Meerkat, Susan Boyle and the man in the queue behind Richard in Waitrose. (It really is a modern-day Fist Of Fun, without the being-on-television part.) I have secretly enjoyed the inaccurate impression of me by Dan Tetsell (based note for note on Ken Worthington rather than, say, me) and my fictional need to appear on the show reached a dramatic peak in show nine.
So I paid ten pounds for a ticket to the last show, and sat in the audience, as an audience member, with my friends Michael and James, and a pear cider in my hand, ready to be entertained. But … I had secretly been down to the theatre in the afternoon to rehearse the climax of Richard’s very well written Christmas Carol remake in which he visits the grave of Tiny Andrew Collings in a ghostly vision of the future and sees the error of his grumpy ways. Having been mocked by the Ken Worthington-voiced Dan Tetsell throughout the show, I was finally called up on stage. It was a bit like Al Pacino finally meeting Robert De Niro in Heat. Because I am a professional, and not just mucking about for Haribo sweets like Richard and Dan and Emma, I had learned my lines, thus giving the final denouement a patina of authentic spontaneity. I might win an Evening Standard Theatre Award to add to all my other awards.
Of course, I thoroughly enjoyed my brief moment in the spotlight, even though, ironically, every word I said had been written for me by Richard Herring.
… And here’s a pic taken by James from Bath (who came all the way to Brighton from Bath last week, and all the way to London from Bath last night):