Kevin Day and Jim Piddock look forward to Crystal Palace FC comedy festival

Kevin Day: "I want to try stuff out for my Edinburgh show"

Jim Piddock: "It's more important sometimes to be seen to be crying, than to actually cry."

Eddie Izzard

First published in News
Last updated
Streatham Guardian: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Crystal Palace fans have had a laugh this year and now they can laugh right on into the summer with the club’s latest comedy night.

The club’s annual comedy night is taking place at Fairfield Halls and features comedians Eddie Izzard, Mark Steel, Holly Walsh and others.

Comedian and TV presenter Kevin Day and actor-writer-producer Jim Piddock, who both happen to be massive Palace fans, will be hosting the evening.

Proceeds from the event will go to the Crystal Palace academy.

Day, who presented Palace’s end of season awards, says he is looking forward to the night with the prospect of sharing a stage with Eddie Izzard too good to turn down.

He says: “Unlike previous years when I had to be bribed, cajoled, blackmailed and threatened, this time I wasn't roped in at all. I was only too willing to get involved.

“Basically, as a comedian, whether it's for Palace or not, if Eddie Izzard asks if you fancy sharing a stage with him then the answer will be yes. If Terry Byfield had asked me I would have had to think about it.

“Although to be fair Eddie insists that this isn't his night, he's just one part of the bill.

Day continues: “I hope to be doing a lot of new material. Partly because it's professional, partly because I want to try stuff out for my Edinburgh show and partly because Steve Browett has seen a lot of my gigs and is on me like a hawk if I do old stuff.

“I'm hoping that, as usual, the vast majority of the audience will be Palace fans so that I can do Palace stuff. It is a rare joy to be able to get laughs from jokes and references that would mystify anyone else.

“For example, at Player of the Year event, being able to point out that Gerry Francis and Steve Parish look like the same man 25 years apart, only worked because of the happy coincidence that they were sat next to each other and everyone in the room was a Palace fan.

“If I was doing a normal gig and said "hey, has anyone noticed that Gerry Francis and Steve Parish look like the same man 25 years apart" it would be met with stony silence.

“Although if I ever do start a sentence on stage with the words "hey, has anyone noticed" I would deserve everything I got.

“I have two funniest moments of the season. I hope Kayla will forgive me for laughing at her disappearing on a gust of wind over the Arthur Waite on New Year's Day-but my absolute favourite comedy moment was Chris Kamara praising Keith Millen by saying "4 points from 4 games, it doesn't get better than that".

“If pressed, a part of me I don't like will confess to laughing very much at the sight of Luis Suarez crying. I'm not proud of it but I have kept it on Sky Plus.”

Piddock, who co-wrote and produced Family Tree, lives in LA but has made it to a few Palace games this season and is looking forward to the show.

He says: "It was after the Cardiff away win (on April 5). I'd just got back to LA from London and Eddie called me to talk about the great result and all things Palace.

"During that conversation, we talked about wanting to give something back to the club and he came up with idea of doing a gig after the season.

"When we started planning it in more detail with Phil Alexander and Steve Browett, it ended up in the slot that previous comedy nights had been in, albeit a little later in the off-season."

He adds: "I'm not a stand-up comedian, I'm just an extraordinarily humble actor who has appeared in more comedies than most people could ever dream of in their lifetime, so I won't be doing any material as such.

"In truth, I'd have actually been happy to stay behind the scenes and help produce the evening, but Eddie wanted me to appear in some fashion, so I ended up as co-host with the very brilliant Kevin Day.

"I'm delighted Kevin's also doing it because he's done a lot more MC stuff than I have, so I can ride on his coat tails. I'm happy to be his straight man, if need be."

Piddock, also reflected on his funny moments of the season, with the Liverpool game last week high on his list.

He says: "I thought Suarez was very funny.

"Two minutes before the final whistle, with the score already at 3-3, he was smiling and laughing about something. But at the final whistle, he was suddenly so "overcome with grief" that he pulled his shirt over his face to hide his "tears".

"Call me cynical, but I don't believe for a moment that Luis Suarez is someone who'd hide any emotion from his adoring public if they were actually genuine.

"And, as an actor, I also know only too well that it's more important sometimes to be seen to be crying, than to actually cry.

"The only thing that would have made it even better would have been if none of his teammates had helped guide him off and he'd walked off in the wrong direction towards the Whitehorse, with his shirt still pulled over his face."

Crystal Palace Comedy Night, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, July 17, 7.30pm, £30 to £35, call 020868889291 or visit Fairfield.co.uk for more information.


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