Oliver Cross: You can’t solve a crisis with tai chi

The Duchess of Cornwall tries he hand at tai chi
The Duchess of Cornwall tries he hand at tai chi
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LAST week I said that whereas there were very many Lancashire comedians, the only Yorkshire comedians who came immediately to my mind were Charlie Williams, the Chuckle Brothers and Ernie Wise.

Which just shows what I know. In fact, as readers with no compunction about making me look like a clueless idiot have pointed out, the list of Yorkshire comedians also includes (deep breath and in no particular order): Vic Reeves, Alun Cochrane, John Shuttleworth, Count Arthur Strong, Billy Pearce, Daniel Kitson, Paul Tonkinson, Keith Lemon, Norman Collier, Duggie Brown, Harry Worth, Bobby Knutt, Johnnie Carson, Julian Barratt and Peter Wallis.

That’s quite an oversight, even if you discount the comics I’ve never heard of, but still, I really do think that Lancashire has made a bigger impact on comedy than Yorkshire.

It has even produced a special genre of entertainers called ‘Lancashire comedians’, often named after towns such as Formby, Morecambe and Clitheroe (as in The Clitheroe Kid, a very weird programme regularly repeated now on Radio 7 and starring Jimmy Clitheroe, a 4ft 3in middle-aged man playing a mischievous, very annoying, borderline-psychopathic boy who would now be on an Asbo or, even better, locked up for life).

Reader Ron Davies points out that the number of Lancashire comedian has been inflated because the county historically included the very special case of Liverpool, home to Arthur Askey, Ken Dodd, Alexei Sayle, Jimmy Tarbuck, Norman Vaughan and many, many others because, as we all know, everybody in Liverpool is a comedian, or at least thinks they are.

DANCE WITH DESTINY: Tom Holdsworth and Hannah Bateman of Northern Ballet at a Leeds2023 promotional event last year. PIC: Steve Riding

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