Idle Eye 191 : The Showgirl

It’s time to scotch a rumour, now that we’re safely ensconced inside a new year and you’re vaguely listening again. And, unlike the usual ephemera that does the rounds on the social (only to rapidly disappear up its own euphemism), this one concerns yours truly and the highly improbable premise that things have taken a turn for the better in my private life. Worse still, that it may involve a certain Jenny Vegas, who has been in my employ for a few months now and, to be perfectly honest, really not my type. This kind of hearsay is not only unhelpful, but also deeply unprofessional; to the point where I had to make an awkward call to Miss Vegas in person and make an complete tit of myself:

Me:  Jenny, can you talk?

Vegas:  That you, Dougie?

Me:  Er…no. It’s Idle Eye. From the Broken Biscuits shows.

Vegas:  Aw, hiya! Did ya have a fab Chrimbo?

Me:  Yes, thank you. It was most pleasant.

Vegas:  What you doing calling mi in’t middle of t’night?

Me:  It’s 10.15, Jenny…AM. And there’s something urgent I need to run past you.

Vegas:  Is it Hollyoaks?

Me:  No, not exactly. It’s a bit more delicate than that.

Vegas:  Gi us a clue then. An don’t tek all day.

Me:  I’ll come straight to the point. There are certain, how shall we say, insinuations flying about at the moment about you and me. Have you heard anything?

Vegas:  In…sin…yer wha?

Me:  Insinuations. People are talking.

Vegas:  Eh?

Me:  Look, this isn’t easy for me. But the word on the street is that we’re somehow…entwined.

Vegas:  I only ‘ad a few Lambrinis…an’ a whiskey chaser. I were holdin’ back!

Me:  We’re not talking alcohol, Jenny. This is the hard stuff.

Vegas: I don’t do that neither. Not since rehab.

Me:  Ok, I’ll spell it out. They’re saying you and I are a couple. Romantically. As in going out together. And you have my full…

Vegas:  Whose seyin’ that?

Me:  No one in particular. But you know how the rumour mill works.

Vegas:  Yew…an mesen?

Me:  That’s about the sum of it.

Vegas:  Are yer fookin ‘avin a laff?

Me:  Deadly serious, I’m afraid.

Vegas:  Well, Mr Eye! Altho’ I am a woman of great bewtay, talent an intelligence, not to mention a consummated professional, I don’ av time for owt like tha. An even if I did, I do have mi reputat…repit…image to think abaht, yer naw.

Me:  If it’s any conciliation, it was nothing to do with me.

Vegas:  That’s right, never is wi you blorks. Nah piss off, I’m busy…

And that was that. Whilst I’m no stranger to the odd rebuke, this was one of the oddest yet; particularly as I shall be working with Miss Vegas for the foreseeable future. But if you ask me, the lady protests too much. They usually do, the little minxes…

Broken Biscuits No.9.

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Right. Christmas and New Year are behind us at last, so now we can get on with the mucky business of making 2017 everything 2016 wasn’t. And the best way I can think of is to put on a mighty BB9 at Komedia Brighton, ‘mighty’ being a woefully inadequate narrative for this one. I mean, look! It’s beyond huge, as three of Brighton’s comedy giants straddle the same stage for your delectation, immediately after Idle Eye splutters into first gear with a fistful of Kalms.

Lorraine Bowen, the undisputed queen of kitsch, crumble, cheesy keys and off-the-wall hilarity, will be giving it some. I know! Word has it that she owns the largest polyester wardrobe in the UK, so expect some 60s chic as well. It’s an embarrassment of riches, I tell you.

And then there’s Joanna Neary. An absolute must for anyone who cherishes character comedy colliding with the somewhat surreal, her sublime, very British quirkiness is, at times a cross between Joyce Grenfell and Celia Johnson, and at others Björk giving it all that about house prices in the South-East. She’s razor-sharp too; don’t be taken in.

Mr B, the consummate gentleman of Chap-Hop and the banjolele, has a superb new record out called ‘There’s a Rumpus Going On’. So we might be treated to a recital or two from that, or possibly something from current project ‘Absinthe House: Chapstep Vol.2’. And if he does The Crack Song as well, my year will be complete. In January.

But it just gets better: Nick Hollywood and Joss Perring, the dream father/son team who transformed Komedia last time we were there, are doing it all over again! With St Leonards’ finest Kate Tym as compere, and Dan Laidler‘s Windy’s Farm animations doing their thing, BB9 must surely now be considered a night not to be missed. Unless you miss it. In which case, it doesn’t really matter.