Stan’s back in town

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He might have upset a few “Jeermans” along the way, courted controversy with his pronunciation of the Focke-Wulf aeroplane on the Des O’Connor Show and been barred from performing at Leeds United Football Club but it hasn’t stopped comedian Stan Boardman from being as busy as ever.

He’s back in Blackpool every Friday at The Grand Theatre celebrating the 40th anniversary of the popular TV show, The Comedians with Roy Walker, Jim Bowen, Mick Miller and Duggie Brown – and says he can’t wait to get started.

“I’m really looking forward to it,” he said. “Blackpool is still the entertainment centre of the north.

“All right, it needs a lot of money spending on it like Liverpool has and the super casino would have been useful for its Las Vegas image.

“But a bit of TLC will put it back on the map like what’s happening at New Brighton – which had become a wilderness but looks great since the Floral Hall was done up. When you spend money on a place it comes back to you.”

As for his own workload Stan says he has been “all over the place!” with conferences and continental dates.

“I don’t do cruises though – I like to keep my feet on the ground,” he says.

Unlike the newer breed of comedian he misses the days of summer season show.

“My last Blackpool one was on North Pier in the late 1980s – it ran for 20 or so weeks and was a full production affair – great days,” he says.

As for Friday’s show, he reckons it’s more like being on stage with a group of friends.

“There seem to be so many comedians around these days it says something that we’ve lasted this long,” he says. “It’s a bit like flavour of the month today.”

So does he watch any of them.?

“I think John Bishop must be my love child – he’s using my voice,” laughs Stan.

A keen footballer in his youth (he was an apprentice at Liverpool FC and signed for Tranmere Rovers as a teenager) he ran a haulage firm before winning a holiday camp talent contest and deciding to have a go at stand up.

“I didn’t think it would last for a week,” he says.

“Then I made it two, then a month. Then I bought a car at auction for £500 and thought it was unbelievable. And here I still am, living proof that you can fool most of the people all of the time.”

But there’s obviously more to it than that.

“I keep up with the new trends and I’m always writing new material,” he says.

“I know there are people who associate me with the likes of Bernard Manning but I was never racist.

“I was brought up in the era of programmes like Love Thy Neighbour and Rising Damp which featured things television would be vary cautious about now but they were never degrading in any way.

“A joke’s a joke at the end of the day and we shouldn’t have to worry too much about political correctness as long as it doesn’t hurt anyone.

“What we’re bringing to Blackpool is a family show.

“It might not all be what’s classed as pc these days but there will be no swearing.”

As for the future he’s hoping that a new string to his bow will help people see him differently.

“I’ve written a two-hour musical which I hope will be in theatres within six months – and don’t forget, I got into the Top 20 with Stan’s World Cup song five years ago,” he says.

“It’s not all about one liners!

The Comedians 40th Anniversary Show is at The Grand Theatre on August 5, 12, 19 and 26 at 7.30pm.

Tickets are priced at £15.

To book call the Box Office on (01253) 290190, click on www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk, or visit us at the Grand Theatre information sales point in the Houndshill Shopping Centre.