BBC Radio 4 regular Susan Calman joins Big Comedy Gala celebrity line-up!

Susan Calman joins the Big C

Susan Calman, the star of Rab C Nesbitt, BBC Three’s Dead Boss, Have I Got News For You, and Channel 4’s Ugly Kid, as well as being a regular on Radio 4 (The News Quiz, The Unbelievable Truth, Vote Now) and Radio Scotland (Funny Friends), today announces she’s joining the all-star line-up at the 2012 Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support.

From Glasgow, Calman gave up a lucrative career in corporate law to become a comedian and has proved herself one of the fastest rising stars in comedy. She reached the semi-finals of the BBC New Comedy Awards and So You Think You’re Funny in 2005, she was also a finalist in Funny Women in 2006.

The feisty Glaswegian went on to become resident compere at Glasgow’s famous comedy club, The Stand, and has been awarded Best New Comedian at the Scottish Variety Awards as well as a Scottish BAFTA.

Calman will join a star-studded line-up at the Macmillan fundraiser, including: Roy Walker (host), George Wendt, Nick Helm, Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Fascinating Aida, Joe Lycett, Dan Nightingale, Steve Shanyaski and The Boy with Tape on his Face.

For more information, interview requests or images, please contact Miriam Attwood on 07825 642225 or email press@bigcomedygala.com.

You can also find the Big C on Twitter (@bigcomedygala), and Facebook (facebook.com/bigcomedygala or search for big comedy gala).

The Big Comedy Gala in Aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012, at 21:30 (2hrs). Box Office: 0844 847 1639 or 0131 226 0000. Buy online: www.venue150.com or www.edfringe.com / www.bigcomedygala.com. Tickets: £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support is in its second year. The sell-out 2011 event raised £18,433.08 for Macmillan Cancer Support and featured Ed Byrne, Rich Fulcher, Fred MacAulay, Sarah Millican, Danny Bhoy, Frisky & Mannish and Roy Walker.

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Mad About The Boy

We first became aware of the Boy with Tape on his Face in February 2010.  We were in Adelaide enjoying the sun and catching up with long lost and newly aquainted relatives during the Adelaide Fringe Festival.

Having no time to plough through their fairly hefty programme we decided to ask around.  What’s the big show this year?  What’s the must have ticket?  What should we see before we head back to Edinburgh?  Every single time, the respondent was emphatic.

“The Boy with Tape on his Face”.

Difficult to describe without demeaning his talent by implicating him with mimes, clowns and street performers, the truth is this: Tape Face Boy is the perfect amalgam of all three disciplines.

Indeed, in the Bosco Tent within the Garden of Unearthly Delights that evening, we were delighted to witness the bringing together of the very best of these genres into a rock solid fifty-five minute show while also winning favour with the new in-laws by getting them a sneak peek of the next big thing.

The. Next. Big. Thing.  Every year at the Edinburgh Fringe this phrase is bandied around like hair colour.  Anyone with a 5 star review can be it.  The next big discovery.  The one to bank on.  The person for whom all other successes will be measured against (in that financial year at least).

Remember last year’s next big thing?  No, we didn’t think so.  But like the gaffer tape across his mouth, this time it stuck.  And good god is it sticky.

Since leaving the Boy with Tape on his Face finishing off his Adelaide run amid a bidding war from Edinburgh’s Big 4 and a barrage of incredible reviews his star has done nothing but rise.

He’s toured the world, enjoyed two massive hit shows in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, stole the shows at last year’s Royal Variety Performance and BBC Comedy Prom while bagging himself a BBC3 Pilot as part of the Comedy Kitchen platform, and like Gaga has her Little Monsters and Beiber has Beliebers, the Boy has a growing army of Silent Ones.

And all without uttering a single word.

Last year we were delighted that he agreed to perform as part of the Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support and once more, we are delighted that on the evening of the 13th August, he’ll be coming off the Pleasance stage, piling into a taxi and taking on the closing slot of our show.

For those of you that seen the show last year, you’ll be aware that there is a very real chance that at this point in the evening you may well end up being ‘the show’.  But how does he charm punters onto his stage so easily?  Here he explains to Time Out London:

‘I treat them a wee bit like dolls,’ he says, audience participation at a Tape Face gig is never humiliating. ‘If there’s too much responsibility on an audience member there’s too much pressure for them to fail whereas if you give them the tiniest amount of responsibility, the moment they achieve it and the audience goes crazy, they feel like a star.’ Whether they’re forming a makeshift Jackson 5 or being transformed into a human puppet, this gentle approach comes from years of seeing ‘audience members treated badly’, he says. ‘I want them leave the stage a hero.’

Preparation is currently underway for his brand new show ‘More Tape’ at the Pleasance Courtyard and we were lucky enough to steal him away to answer a few very important questions

What is your actual name?

The Boy with Tape on His Face

And exactly how old are you?

Not sure. Still Boy not Tape Man.

How would you describe your job?

Stand up comedian who doesn’t talk

And what is your involvement going to be at The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support? 

I will be performing comedy antics at the event

We’re sure you get asked this all the time but who is your favourite comedy hero, act or actor? 

Everybody thinks I should like Charlie Chaplin but I prefer Buster Keaton

Well, the Guardian did refer to you as a latterday Buster Keaton.  What’s your favourite comedy moment from the past few years?

I once saw a magician get locked into a mailbag and not get out. Longest yet funniest fifteen minutes of my life.

What in your everyday life always makes you laugh? 

Being the owner of two bald cats and a dachshund

And who is your secret celebrity crush?

The guy from the Go Compare commercials, I would crush him with a shipping container and be given a medal.

In five words, why should people come to (or support) The Big Comedy Gala?

Laughter is the best medicine for everything in Life.

Not five, but a perfect summary of why the Big C exists.

The Big Comedy Gala is in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. It takes place on Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), and tickets are £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

You can also buy tickets for The Boy with Tape on his Face: More Tape here:

It’s all about celebrating life…and laughing!

Today, it’s two years exactly since the beautiful Julie Woods passed away.

Her life and death are two of the main driving forces behind The Big C; celebrating the happiness and love that she gave the people in her life, and acknowledging the painful way in which she was taken from them at the mere age of 40.

Julie was first diagnosed with skin cancer (melanoma) in 2009. After what was initially thought to be a successful treatment, the cancer came back and in the spring of 2010, it had spread to her lymph nodes and beyond, meaning it was untreatable and giving Julie just a matter of weeks to live.

In the months that followed her death, Julie’s brother Barry Church-Woods decided he wanted to do something to celebrate Julie’s life and give back to the amazing people who devote themselves to helping others. He got together with his friend Mhari Hetherington, whose parents both died from cancer, and out of their loss, a big and brilliant idea was born.

The idea was the Big Comedy Gala, and in 2011, just a couple of months after the one-year anniversary of Julie’s death, the inaugural Big C took the Fringe by storm, selling out in weeks and raising £18,500 for Macmillan Cancer Support.

The Big C is a celebration of the lives of all the people lost to cancer, in support of their families, friends and the vast range of fantastic work that is done to fight cancer and look after those affected by the disease.

This year, we’re hoping to beat last year’s achievement and raise £20,000 or more with an awesome night of comedy, hosted by the legendary Roy Walker, and headlined by George Wendt – aka Norm in Cheers.

All you have to do to help is to get some friends and family together and buy yourselves tickets. If you are unable to attend, you can still support the event by sharing this on Facebook and Twitter, and donating anything you can spare at: www.bigcomedygala.com

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

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The Big C proudly (and giddily) presents…

GEORGE WENDT
NICK HELM
NINA CONTI
TOM STADE
FASCINATING AIDA
JOE LYCETT
THE BOY WITH TAPE ON HIS FACE

We are delighted to announce that George Wendt, star of Cheers, will be appearing at the Big Comedy Gala 2012. Wendt – Norm from Cheers and also known for appearances in The Simpsons and Family Guy – is in Edinburgh for Re-Animator The Musical at Assembly George Square this August.


Roy Walker and George Wendt kick off an all star line-up, including 2011 Fosters’ Comedy Award Nominee Nick Helm, ventriloquist Nina Conti, Tom Stade, Cheap Flight’s youtube sensation Fascinating Aida, Fringe favourite The Boy With Tape On His Face and comedy newcomer Joe Lycett at Venue150@EICC on Monday 13 August.

Those of you who joined us last August at Venue150@EICC will be pleased to hear that we raised £18,433, all of which went directly to Macmillan Cancer Support.  This year our goal is to raise £20,000.

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buying online at venue150.com.

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs), £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

Introducing this year’s special guest…hot damn, we’re excited!


You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buy online at: www.edfringe.com

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs): £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage)

Lisa Kudrow’s laughter will be there for you!

Just when we thought we were well and truly over Friends, along comes Lisa Kudrow’s huh-larious laughter and tickles our fancy raw!

Ok, if you insist on complete honesty, we weren’t over Friends at all. Despite reruns to the point where the show has virtually become the entertainment equivalent of white noise – and the fact that it reminds us of our real age – we do love us some Friends. In fact, we’re watching it as we type this. No really, we are.

Friends will be there for us – we know this as whenever the reruns end on one channel, they start up on another. And whether you like that particular brand of comedy or not,  denying Friends its place in the sitcom hall of fame would be calling Samantha Brick a humble, grounded feminist.

That said, there are only so many times you can watch the same episode of Friends in six months and still laugh at the jokes. So we were delighted to find the below YouTube clip of Lisa Kudrow bloopers, which had us in stitches, rekindling that warm, fuzzy, Friendly feeling.

The only thing we’re not quite sure about is why the Friends directors didn’t give Phoebe the gift of Lisa Kudrow’s real-life laugh. It’s pure comedy brilliance – check it out for yourself!


For more pure comedy brilliance, make sure you join us at Venue 150 on the 13th of August at 21:30 for The Big Comedy Gala 2012.

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buy online at: www.edfringe.com

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support. The show lasts for two hours and cost £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage).

Meet our Big C ticket give-away winner!

We recently ran a competition on Facebook, giving one lucky comedy fan the chance to win a pair of tickets to The Big Comedy Gala.

Imagine that…the world’s most awesome stand up gala event ever (we’re almost certain) at no cost! I guess we have to concede that the best things in life are free after all, despite what we wrote on here last week.

Well, on the 1st of May, our dashing volunteer Kevin pulled the name of Julia Morrison, 28, from Edinburgh, out of an envelope full of hopefuls, making her our winner and the envy of this season’s Fringe enthusiasts.

We took the opportunity to ask Julia a few questions to find out a bit more about her and rub the whole free tickets thing in everyone else’s face some more.

So, Julia, congratulations on your big win! Now tell us a bit about yourself…like what you do for a living and some weird quirk you have.

I think I have a super life. I’ve got a bunch of great friends and very few responsibilities. Long may it continue!

I work for a charity looking after their digital comms – websites, ebulletins and social media. My proudest achievement at work is becoming the keeper of the biscuits. This makes me the most popular member of the team.

Having consulted with my sister, apparently I have no quirks. I’m completely bland.

Ouch! Well, you’re quite hot at least – are you funny?

Why, thank you. You are pretty handsome yourself. I’m fairly clumsy so maybe that makes me slapstick? Is slapstick funny?

Erm…let’s answer your question with another question: Is it more important to be hot or funny?

I surround myself with people who are sexy and amusing in equal measure. One without the other is a sad state of affairs.

Do you think our volunteer Kevin is hot or funny or both?

In the 22 second video of Kevin he doesn’t display any comic genius – I will form an opinion on that once presented with more evidence.

However, Kevin is clearly hot and talented. Only a man of genius could pull MY name out of an envelope.

Tough – he’s gay and married so hands off! Who’s the funniest person in your life?

It is hard to choose just one. But I suppose, if pushed, it would have to be my friend Charlotte. She is quick, imaginative and dexterous with words. A mini Oscar Wilde.

When you’re not hanging out with Charlotte what do you like to do?

Being Scottish, I seem to find myself in the pub a lot. But that is OK, I like it there. I can frequently be found having “just one more”.

I am also lucky in that I’m dating my own personal chef so we like to cook a lot. I say “we”, I peel the garlic and he does anything that involves culinary talent.

What did you think and / or shout when you found out you had won the Big C tickets?

I was alone in a changing cubicle at the swimming pool when I found out so I had a quiet smile to myself. I did not want to arouse any undue suspicion.

But I was super chuffed as I’ve never won any game of chance – not even the Christmas raffle. I hope this bodes well for my lottery ticket…

Yes, we’ll be expecting a hefty donation if you win! Who will you be taking with you to The Big C?

My boyfriend Paul will be getting the other freebie ticket – he deserves it! But since it is my birthday on 13 August I’ll be bringing an entourage of family and friends.

That’s what we like to hear! What makes The Big C an amazing event to you?

First off, it is a great opportunity to raise a lot of money and awareness for Macmillan Cancer Support. They do absolutely fantastic work!

I’m always really impressed to see how many comedians give their time freely to support the show. They can’t all be the sociopaths we imagine them to be.

And finally, cancer is an awful disease that touches so many lives. Comedy is a great way to celebrate the life we have. There is nothing better in life than having a good laugh with friends.

If you could choose one comedian or act that you would like to see in the Big Comedy Gala, who would you pick?

Last year I was fortunate enough to stumble across Marcel Lucont’s show at the Festival. He is my new comedy crush. He is suave, sexy, superior and doesn’t wear any shoes.

Well, thank you for your time Julia…we hope you and Paul enjoy the Big Comedy Gala 2012 – we’ll see you there!

Until then; keep laughing!

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Julia Morrison, Big C fan and our ticket give-away winner.

You can book tickets now by calling 0844 847 1639 or buy online at: www.edfringe.com

The Big Comedy Gala in aid of Macmillan Cancer Support, Monday 13 August 2012 at 21:30 (2hrs): £22 (subject to booking fee of £2 to £2.40 per ticket + postage)