Ben Verth talks about his comedy hero, Peter Richardson
Edinburgh comic Verth reveres the architect behind The Comic Strip club and TV series
My comedy hero is Peter Richardson. 'Who?' I hear you ask. Richardson was the driving force behind London’s Comic Strip club during the early 80s Alternative Comedy boom, and was the main writer and director of, and actor in, its spin-off TV show, The Comic Strip Presents. The show aired on Channel 4 and the BBC in the 80s and 90s, giving us great short comedy films like Five Go Mad in Dorset, The GLC, The Bad News Tour and A Fistful of Traveller’s Cheques.
But while the other brilliant members of that modern Carry On gang have become household names – French and Saunders, Rik Mayall and Ade Edmondson, Alexei Sayle – the architect of The Comic Strip has never really received the recognition he deserves. Hopefully with you reading this I can contribute towards changing that.
But as well as recognition I’d also like here to offer him my thanks. It was Peter and The Comic Strip’s cinematic, committed, intelligent and imaginative films that first made me want to be a comedian. They made comedy not just funny but a beautiful and attractive world that I wanted to be part of. From then on I strove to make it a part of my life. Now, ten years after first seeing The Strike, I have the privilege of comedy being my profession and I love every minute of the writing and performing and the being and doing of it. Thank you, Peter, for helping me to the best job in the world!
Ben Verth appears as part of Thursday Notebook, Beehive Inn, Edinburgh, every Thu; Beehive Comedy Club, Beehive Inn, Edinburgh, every Fri & Sat; The Broken Windows Policy, The Stand, Edinburgh, Mon 29 Apr (as part of Red Raw) & Wed 1 May.