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Jimmy Carr brings his ‘Terribly Funny’ tour to Swansea Arena

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With all new material for 2022/23, the star of the UK’s most streamed Netflix comedy special of 2021 heads to Swansea Arena on 31st March 2023.

The controversial comic is not afraid to joke about just about anything, which sometimes lands him in hot water with those of a sensitive nature.

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Swansea Arena issued a special warning to accompany the news of Jimmy’s gig saying: “Jimmy’s show contains jokes about all kinds of terrible things. Terrible things that might have affected you or people you know and love. But they’re just jokes – they are not the terrible things.

“Having political correctness at a comedy show is like having health and safety at a rodeo. Now you’ve been warned, buy a ticket.”

Jimmy Carr is heading to Swansea Arena on March 31, 2023

One of the biggest-selling comedy acts in the world, Jimmy consistently does stand-up to sell-out crowds across the globe, performing his shows at venues in over forty countries. His last tour, Best Of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits, sold over 480,000 tickets globally with current show, Terribly Funny, set to exceed that figure by the end of 2022.

Jimmy is a household name in UK television, well known for hosting Channel 4’s 8 Out Of 10 Cats, 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown and Big Fat Quiz Of The Year in addition to presenting Comedy Central’s Roast Battle UK and Your Face Or Mine.

He is a regular on all the top panel shows, including QI and A League Of Their Own, has performed as part of The Royal Variety Performance three times, is a judge on hit BBC1 entertainment series I Can See Your Voice and the host of brand-new Channel 4 gameshow I Literally Just Told You.

Jimmy is also a high-profile name in North America. He was the first UK comedian to sign a stand-up deal with streaming behemoth Netflix in 2015, releasing two specials on the platform, Funny Business (2016) and Best Of Ultimate Gold Greatest Hits (2017). He also presented and exec-produced an original panel show format for Netflix, The Fix, and has been a guest multiple times on US staples such The Tonight Show, The Late, Late Show and Late Night With Conan O’Brien. He has performed at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival since 2003 with more appearances than any other UK act in that time.

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Before making the move to streaming, Jimmy was one of the bestselling acts in the comedy DVD market, his eight titles (Live, Stand-Up, Comedian, In Concert, Telling Jokes, Making People Laugh, Being Funny and Laughing & Joking) selling over 1.2 million copies between them. These shows are now all available on Jimmy’s YouTube channel, where he has accrued over 634,000 subscribers and 170 million views since launching in 2018.

Jimmy is also a published author. He co-wrote The Naked Jape: Uncovering the Hidden World of Jokes in 2007 and his highly anticipated memoir Before & Laughter was released in September 2021, making the The Sunday Times Bestsellers list.

Presale tickets (available to Swansea Arena newsletter subscribers) will be available from 10:00 on Thursday 7th July, and tickets open to the general public at 10:00 on Friday 8th July.

Head to www.swansea-arena.co.uk for tickets, information, and access to priority booking.

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Carmarthen

Carmarthen comedian Rhod Gilbert announces cancer diagnosis

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Comedian and TV presenter, Rhod Gilbert has revealed that he is being treated for cancer.

The Carmarthen-born funnyman had cancelled a number of shows as part of his Book of John tour, including at Swansea Arena, due to problems with his throat.

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Rhod posted a picture of himself in hospital on facebook (Image: Rhod Gilbert / Facebook)

The 53 year-old said in a facebook post that he was being treated in Velindre Cancer Centre, a hospital that he is a patron and has fundraised for.

Rhod said: ” As a proud patron of Velindre Cancer Centre, I’ve trekked the world, hosted chaotic quizzes and star-studded comedy nights. I’ve met and made friends with so many inspirational staff, patients and their families. It has been a huge part of my life for the last ten years.

“So while I never imagined that I would be a patient here, I know better than anyone that I am in the best possible hands. The NHS care I’m receiving is incredible.

“I wouldn’t wish this on anyone…but who knows, maybe I’ll come out the other end with a new stand-up show and a 40 minute rant about orange squash.

“Thank you everyone for your support over the last few weeks and months (and years). I’ll be disappearing for a while and won’t be commenting further, at least not for now, whilst I focus on my recovery.”

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Rhod is a patron of Velindre Cancer Centre and has fundraised extensively for the hospital (Image: Rhod Gilbert / Facebook)

On their own facebook page, Velindre Cancer Centre said: “For over 10 years, Patron Rhod Gilbert has provided exceptional support for Velindre Cancer Charity and has always been an advocate for the passionate efforts of our Velindre Cancer Centre staff, donors and fundraisers.

“Rhod has become a special member of our Velindre Family and we are sure you will join us in sending him your very best wishes during this time.”

(Lead image: BBC)

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Comedy

Michael McIntyre to test out new material at surprise Swansea Arena gig

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Michael McIntyre is to play Swansea Arena on Friday 1 April the venue has announced.

The late addition to the new venue’s schedule was announced on social media this morning (Monday 14 March).

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The comedian and host of BBC quiz show The Wheel will be trying out new material.

McIntyre’s spot-on observational comedy and trademark mastery of turning everyday situations into masterclasses of human exasperation have struck a chord with millions of fans.

To date, he’s sold over three million tickets including sold-out arena shows all over the world.

Michael is the latest in a string on big name comedians to come to Swansea’s new Arena, with other names on their way including Rob Brydon, Bill Bailey, Rhod Gilbert and John Bishop, who will be the opening act for the venue on Tuesday 15 March.

Tickets for Michael McIntyre’s show are limited to four per household, and are available from ATG Ticket’s website on Wednesday 16 March.

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The Arena, part of Swansea’s new £135 million Copr Bay destination was officially opened by First Minister Mark Drakeford on Thursday 3 March.

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Comedy

Stand-up Stuart Lee brings his ‘Snowflake / Tornado’ tour to Swansea Grand Theatre

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Comedian Stuart Lee brings his double-bill set Snowflake/Tornado to Swansea’s Grand Theatre on Sunday 12 March

Stewart Lee started out as a stand-up in 1988 at the age of 20 and won the Hackney Empire New Act of The Year award in 1990, thirty two years ago.

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He made four series of his own show, Stewart Lee’s Comedy Vehicle, for BBC2 and has been rewarded with Baftas, Oliviers, and British Comedy Awards.

As his delayed Snowflake Tornado tour rolls into Swansea Grand Theatre, Swansea Bay News asks what it feels like to be The Times newspaper’s “World’s Greatest Living Stand-Up Comedian.”

“It’s funny you should ask,” Lee cackles hysterically down the line from his North London home, contradicting his public persona as a grumpy contrarian, “because the Tornado half of the show is partly about the disconnect between that kind of critical acclaim, and not being exactly a household name.”

Lee’s modesty doesn’t ring true. Your gran may not have seen him trip the light fantastic on Strictly but his tours play to audiences of a quarter of a million. “Yes, but the internet is full of angry people saying ‘Who is he? I’ve never heard of him!’ To be honest, that suits me, as I can chatter away to strangers without being recognised. The current tour has a long bit based on a conversation I had with a woman about baked potatoes that I couldn’t have had if she’d known who I was.”

Despite his supposed avoidance of publicity, Lee has been all over social media this year. A comically obsessive critical list of everything he has seen, eaten, heard or read in the previous year, that he sends privately to his mailing list each Christmas, somehow leaked out causing unintended annoyance. It was condemned by the golf comedian John Robins as “something that Joseph McCarthy or The Stasi would recognize.” “I don’t really know what happened there,” Lee cackles again, “maybe The Stasi gave Jimmy Carr’s Netflix special a one star review as well!”

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The Snowflake section of Lee’s current show includes references to Jimmy Carr’s ongoing use of material about the Traveller and Roma communities, that recently saw calls for the 8 Out Of 10 Cats star to be prosecuted for incitement to racial hatred, something Lee sees as “a step too far, especially when he’s being condemned by members of the current government”.

Is the material still topical after a two-year layoff during the pandemic? “Well, believe it or not, the stuff making fun of Jimmy Carr for doing jokes about ‘gypsies’ has been in my show since 2019, as it’s the sort of thing he always does, so it’s just an indication of how he tends to hit the same shock buttons every time.

“The weird thing is that, because of the two-year downtime, lots of the material that was a bit ahead of the curve came into focus and goes down even better now. For example, everyone’s thought a lot more about the supposedly ‘woke’ ideas I endorse, what with Black Lives Matter and those leaked police e-mails about hating women. And Boris Johnson’s dishonesty and hypocrisy, which I discuss on stage, is undeniable now.

“The first half of the night, Tornado, is a long shaggy dog story about how I saw loads of rotisserie chickens being delivered to the American comedian Dave Chapelle’s dressing room in London in 2018, and more people know who he is now because he got in trouble with transgender people last year.

“Some material had to be ditched after lockdown though. I had twenty minutes in 2019 about what I imagined the new James Bond film would be like – but it’s out now. That said, dropping that bit and switching in some new stuff actually tightened the second half, which is largely about attempts by the right to weaponise a ‘culture war’ against liberals and minorities.”

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Presumably more people will have to see Lee live if they want to experience his unique humour, as he has controversially pulled his material off Spotify in solidarity with the Canadian rock star Neil Young, who opposed the comedian Joe Rogan’s factually inaccurate podcasts about covid vaccination. “Yes, that all went a bit wrong,” laughs Lee madly again.

“I do think it’s bad that internet platforms aren’t subject to the same kind of fact-checking that even I am when I do jokes on traditional media like TV and radio, or in newspapers. But I also thought it would be funny if the two people removing their stuff were unknown me and superstar Neil Young.

“And of course, it’s an easy stand to take, because you only get 0.003 cents a play on Spotify, so I only need to sell one DVD to make up a year’s Spotify dosh. But then loads of musicians pulled their stuff too and people said I was trying to get this Rogan bloke no-platformed, and he was a fellow comedian.

“First of all, I didn’t know he was a comedian – I thought he was a wrestler or from Ice Road Truckers or something – and I wasn’t saying he should be banned, just that the Youtube and Spotify and Facebook should be fact checked so they can’t use unverifiable sensationalism to drive their numbers. And I stand by that, especially when you have Boris Johnson spreading internet conspiracy theories about Jimmy Savile in parliament.

“As usual, the press release about little me pulling my comedy off this massive platform was full of jokes which got cut out by people that covered the story and made me look much more of misery than I am.”

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Does such misrepresentation bother Lee? “Not really,” he giggles, again, “people are paying to see a miserable and frustrated middle aged man wind himself up into a frenzy about everything, so it probably helps! Although the funny thing with this tour is that my obvious delight at being back on the boards can’t help but infect the audience. I’m just an old-fashioned entertainer at heart! Like Vera Lynn. Or that Emu.”

Stewart Lee tours SNOWFLAKE/TORNADO until July 2022. His new show BASIC LEE will open in London in Autumn 2022 and tour throughout the UK in 2023. See www.stewartlee.co.uk for details

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