Stephen and Mark

Evening Express (City Final) - The Guide - - ARTS AND STAGE -

For each of his shows on his UK tour he metic­u­lously re­searches the town he’s play­ing and works it into his ma­te­rial. The aim is to make each show unique while putting the quirk­i­ness and in­ter­est­ing as­pects of the town in the spot­light. He said: “As the armies un­leashed by Tesco, chain stores and as­sorted call cen­tres con­tinue in their ef­fort to make ev­ery­where mis­er­ably iden­ti­cal, I come with a mis­sion to save civil­i­sa­tion.” Not that it al­ways goes as smoothly for the co­me­dian, who fronted the Bafta award-win­ning Mark Steel Lec­tures on BBC 2. “In the North York­shire farm­ing town of Skip­ton, I told the au­di­ence I’d seen a sign for Keigh­ley and won­dered whether it was Skip­ton’s ri­val town,” he said. “It went chill­ingly quiet and one woman called out with calm men­ace ’Keigh­ley is a sink of evil’.” So he’d bet­ter not men­tion Dundee tonight, then.

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