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.
A word about our billing!
The dream of every performer starting out in show business is to see their name up in lights. The reality is, apart from the West End, not many theatres use this expensive method of advertising today.
Having your name in red neon outside a theatre meant that no one (apart from a disgruntled electrician) could interfere with it, unlike posters which can be defaced - and also cause rifts between performers.
Older readers will remember Jimmy Jewell and Hylda “She Knows You Know” Baker who starred in 45 episodes of the TV sitcom “Nearest and Dearest”.
Despite the fact they loathed each other, their series was very successful and a stage version was produced in Blackpool, where one morning, Jimmy Jewell arrived at the theatre to find Hylda up a ladder, using a tape-measure to check that her name was bigger than his on the main poster!
The fragile nature of performers’ egos is further illustrated in the following story which I’m assured is absolutely true.
One week in 1964, the popular Irish singing trio The Bachelors were in cabaret in Birmingham from Monday to Saturday, following which they were booked to appear on the prestigious TV show Sunday Night At The London Palladium.
When they finished performing on the Saturday night, their roadie packed their guitars and equipment into a van and headed down to the Palladium.
The Irish lads were due to take the midnight train to London but when they got to the station they discovered there’d been a landslide down the line.
No trains were going south.
After explaining their predicament to the Station Master, he mentioned that his brother owned a canal barge that was leaving for London any minute, arriving around 10 in the morning.
He phoned his brother who agreed to take the trio with him – if they hurried!
The boys jumped into a cab, headed for the canal and when they boarded the barge they realised...phew...it was carrying 10 tonnes of horse manure!
As the bargee approached each lock, he was required to call out to the lock-keeper what cargo he was carrying.
“Ten tonnes of horse manure....and The Bachelors!”.
After listening to “Ten tonnes of horse manure...and The Bachelors” a dozen times, lead singer of the Bachelors, Con Cluskey, tapped the bargee on the shoulder and said...
“Excuse me, captain! Can we have a word about our billing?”
Winter – next stop:
Having spent a reasonable amount of time, effort and money this year making sure that my back garden and patio area were of a standard that was appealing to the eye and practical to sit out and enjoy the summer in, I'm now of the opinion that my efforts were somewhat wasted.
Well, not fully wasted but I certainly didn't spend much time taking advantage of my hard work due to the Welsh weather and work commitments.
So, back into the shed everything goes for the winter, in hope that next year will bring us longer drier spells and that much-loved sunshine.
I'm now starting to understand why I see so many people walking around, showing off the ‘fake tanned’ legs and arms – and the ladies are just as bad!
Even with sun factor 50, 30 min in direct sunlight gives me the look of a cross between a lobster and a cider-drinking alcoholic.
Some things aren't meant to be and I am now accepting the fact that my legs will always look like two bottles of milk on the doorstep.
Don't hold on to that thought for too long though. Just sayin’ . . .
Not often am I drawn in by a TV programme. However, documentaries, at times, can be rather compelling.
Recently, I stumbled across such a programme which even now leaves me thinking that the human body is a truly amazing yet complex and resourceful thing.
The programme on BBC 1, The Doctor Who Gave Up drugs presented by Dr Chris van Tulleken gave an insight into the world of our dependence of prescription drugs and the problems that many face with pain and depression.
Unfortunately, for the drug companies, they didn't come out very favourably, as evidence now suggests that profits are directly related to the nation’s dependency on prescription drugs.
Our GPs are encouraged to use certain pharmaceutical companies for a quick solution to the condition, rather than getting to the root of the problem, which quite often could be solved by lifestyle changes involving healthier eating and regular exercise.
We have become a nation of quick-fix-thinking couch potatoes.
We want a solution which doesn't take any effort or commitment.
I can hold my hands up and say I am guilty of this, too.
Right then – let’s get started. I'm off for a brisk walk.
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk