The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post

The latest Phil Evans column from the South Wales Evening Post - 

Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy.

Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, I am writing this column in the departures lounge at Manchester airport, waiting to board a flight to Toronto in Canada.
At stressful times like this (I am a nervous flier), the old powers of concentration can desert you.
For example, I can do without the Canadian teenagers discussing the latest disaster movie and the regular news bulletins giving theories about the missing MH370 Malaysia Airways flight.
Nervous tension is a strange thing. For example, I’m probably far more nervous taking this transatlantic flight than I am speaking to an audience of 1000-plus.
For that is what I face in Toronto as I will be one of the keynote speakers at the world’s biggest financial services conference, The Million Dollar Round Table being staged at the massive Toronto Convention Centre.
As ‘gigs’ go, this one is on a different scale to Saturday night at Cwmgors RFC!
Toronto itself is familiar territory as I have attended The Million Dollar Round Table conference before (and it’s always nice to be invited back).
I’ve also performed for the St David’s Welsh Society in Toronto, a fine group of expatriate Welsh men and Welsh women.
The St David’s events in Toronto are all about two languages – Welsh and English.
This week’s keynote speech in the conference will be about many more as I will have a team of interpreters providing simultaneous translation of my words of wisdom to what is truly an international audience at the convention centre.
(Memo to self: Remember to speak slowly and, relax; you can always say the jokes were lost in translation!).
Those of you who take an interest in world news will realise that Toronto has been in the papers lately.
Yes, folks, the transparent 103rd floor glass viewing platform at the city’s Willis Tower (1,353ft above the streets of Chicago) cracked under the feet of a party of tourists.
That must have been quite a ‘gulp’ moment.
It reminded me of the time when I was in the city for ‘The Dragon Has Three Tongues’ show I performed with Welsh radio and TV personality Gary Slaymaker and fellow comedian Daniel Glyn.
Before the show, I took them to the famous CN Tower, one of the top tourist attractions in Toronto, a dazzling skyscraper which features a glass floor in the middle which is a photo ‘hotspot’ for visitors.
Gary Slaymaker (who is known for being a bit on the ‘chunky’ side) and Daniel Glyn share a fear of heights.
So they weren’t best pleased when I nudged (well, OK, pushed,) them onto the transparent platform.
They wilted quicker than a Welsh daffodil in the Sahara.
Poor dabs. It is a wonder we remain good friends.
PS: Having now arrived in Toronto, I had to sneak this picture into this week’s column.
Great to see the Welsh influence still thriving, with this number plate declaring Myfanwy1.


As a comedian, I am well accustomed to opinion pools.
If people don’t like you, they walk out. Simple as that!
But I can’t help wonder what’s happened to the famous Welsh passion for having a say?
A turnout of just 31.5 per cent in the European elections is a national disgrace.
I am amazed by how many people constantly complain about the state of affairs in the country and then can’t be bothered to vote.
I was always taught that it is no good standing on the sidelines. If you want to try and change a losing game, then you’ve got to make some effort and get on the pitch.
Freedom of speech is the lifeblood of a comedian’s pitch – which is probably why we care so much about making sure people get the chance to express their views in a democratic forum.
I wonder what would be the thoughts of those who failed to vote? If they were in a bus with the driver about to steer the vehicle over the cliff, I bet they’d want to have a say in matters!


I do my best not to be cynical as I put great value the rights of disabled people.
But (perhaps you’ll all admit it?), there are occasions when you start to question things.
You know the sort of thing: when people jump out of the car seconds after parking in that disabled parking space in Tesco. Does that Blue Badge really belong to them?
Queuing at airport check-in today, I had one of those ‘What the heck?’ moments.
Shuffling along on a pair of crutches in front of me was a lady wearing five-inch heels?
What the heck?
Then, the other weekend, enjoying an outdoor coffee at Café Remo’s on Aberavon seafront, I noticed the lady with dark glasses and white walking stick ease her way through the tables.
She paused, looked over either shoulder and then bent down to pick up the five pence piece someone had left on a table.
What the heck?

You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales


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