A mix of old and new for carpet debut

Comedy Carpet Live - Chris Ramsay
Comedy Carpet Live - Chris Ramsay
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Comedy Carpet Live Gala Show - Grand Theatre, Blackpool

ONE of the main secrets of success in comedy is timing – so it’s as well for Marketing Blackpool’s first festival of fun inspired by the Tower Festival Headlands’ Comedy Carpet that delivery, originality and novelty play their parts as well.

As compere Jason Cook put it “we’re here to celebrate what’s left of the Comedy Carpet” and as veteran Bernie Clifton added “I’m not even on it.”

Well, you can’t win them all and it’s certainly not the “festival” (actually three shows over two days) organisers’ fault that the much heralded carpet has become a bit of a laughing stock.

The shows, as they say, must go on and this first Gala Show certainly mixed and matched old and new. Alright, there can’t be many people of a certain age who haven’t seen Bernie Clifton’s ostrich routine, but to a new generation his slice of traditional British variety still proves popular.

Far younger and much newer wave, Chris Ramsay took a while to find the right pace and left too many lines hanging in midair, an oversight the more experienced Justin Cook avoided in a well-rounded compere’s role.

The night’s hit was Justin Edwards’ intoxicated alter ego, “Britain’s most wanted children’s’ entertainer” Jeremy Lion – a cross between Count Arthur strong and Mick Miller’s gin swilling Noddy presenter.

And a return visit of “pop educators” Frisky and Mannish reminded us how close the music of Lily Allen and Noel Coward can actually be.