Richard Herring Press

Christ On A Bike Preview - Bath University Tuesday 26 March 2002

Christ on a bike!
Arts Lecture Theatre, 23rd Feb
By   The Aquarium -  Bath University Comedy Society

When mentioning the forthcoming Richard Herring Christ On a Bike gig (ALT, 23rd February, in case you're interested), the most common response has been "Who?".

Upon elaboration on our part, the majority of these quizzical responses have then altered to "Oh, him..."

So, just who is this 'Fat middle-class white bloke, from Cheddar in Somerset'? I would like, if I may, to take you on a strange journey. Well, not entirely strange. In fact, it's really a rather conventional path into the minefield that is light entertainment. Or 'comedy', if you will.

Herring is best known for his partnership with Stewart Lee. This unholy union began in the late 1980s at Oxford University, where the pair performed in several student groups, mainly The Seven Raymonds, which also featured Emma Williams (now Emma Kennedy of C4's The Real Holiday Show and ITV2's Soap Fever, amongst other televisual gems) and the Oxford Revue.

After leaving university, the pair continued working together and ended up writing for Weekending, a now defunct topical Radio4 comedy programme, which launched the careers of many well known performers. Following this, they worked with Armando Iannucci (if you've got this far, I'm assuming you know who he is) on Lionel Nimrod's Inexplicable World, going on to be part of the phenomenal creative force behind the award-winning On The Hour (which went on to become BBC2's The Day Today, presented by the evil/paedophile-sympathising/devil-worshipping/Godlike Genius [delete as applicable, depending on which newspaper you read] Chris Morris).

Their propulsion to a state which can only be described as 'vague recognition', occurred when they got their own show on Radio 1 which over its various series' was known as Fist of Fun and Lee and Herring respectively.

Then, telly. When Fist of Fun transferred to Tuesday night BBC2, it began to amass a larger fanbase, leading to major UK stand-up tours in 1995 and 1996 (when, incidentally, the second series of FOF was aired in a coveted Friday night slot). Fans may be interested to note that merchandise on sale during these tours is now available in a remainder bookshop near you for approximately 1/10th of the price charged at the time.

In a random move, after the success of FOF2 in its prime time slot, the controller of BBC2 then decided that the best possible thing to do would be to allow Herring and Lee a reasonably free rein to broadcast live for 45 minutes on a Sunday lunchtime (and, to be fair, they weren't exactly competing for an audience with Songs of Praise), the edited highlights of which would be shown in a Friday night post-pub slot. After this, another tour, another series, etc. which would be their last work for the BBC to date. They are currently exclusively working on separate projects, though this is not to say that the partnership has permanently folded.

Rich is currently writing an uncountable (if you run out of fingers and toes) number of episodes of Sky TV's Time Gentlemen Please (with Al Murray) and is coming to Bath University this Saturday.

Stew isn't.

He has, however, recently had a novel published and has co-written the eye-popping spectacle that is Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Having written and performed in four successful Edinburgh Fringe plays in four years, Christ on a Bike marks Herring's departure from the play format, being his first one-man show. It opened in 2001 to critical acclaim, gaining excellent reviews across the board and even achieved a short west-end run in the autumn.

Saturday's show is part of a select (i.e. brief) tour, and Bath students are lucky to be able to see the show at around half the price of every other venue. Aquarium members are even luckier, as they get an extra pound off.

Tickets are available from the Box Office (at the Plug Bar). 6.50 for NUS, 9 public. Any problems with acquiring a ticket should be addressed to the Aquarium, su1fish@bath.ac.uk

We're the new comedy society, by the way. Pleased to meet you. I've got a brand new combine harvester. And I'll give you the key. We're nice like that.

For more info, visit out website at http://www.bath.ac.uk/~su1fish/