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Norman Lovett and Chris Difford head for Bradford
Stand-up comic Norman Lovett has teamed up with Squeeze singer-songwriter Chris Difford for a series of music and comedy shows due to go on the road next week.
Perhaps best known for his role as Holly, the spaceship computer in the BBC2 cult comedy series Red Dwarf, Norman later had his own BBC2 sitcom for a season, I, Lovett, where he played an eccentric inventor.
The comedian and the double Ivor Novello award-winner co-writer of songs such as Cool For Cats and Up The Junction for Squeeze, have known each other for years, as Norman explains.
“We’ve known each from the days of the Tunnel Club in London. Those raucous Sunday nights with Jools (Holland), Chris (Difford) and Glenn (Tilbrook). I got to know them. There’s always a crossover between comedy and music. Some musicians think they’re funny,” he says.
“I don’t do any singing, but I love music. In spite of being a pensioner, I listen to Radio 6 all day and for the last two years I’ve done Glastonbury. Last year I was performing on the Saturday night.”
In August he and Chris will be performing their show for the whole of the month at the Gilded Balloon as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.
It all started in February when Norman agreed to front Chris’s show at the Half Moon in Putney.
“The Who played there. It was packed out. I felt, well, it’s not a comedy crowd, but I went down really well. It was then that the promoter asked if we fancied a tour,” Norman adds.
The show coming to Bradford on May 31 will be a mixture of Squeeze songs, film footage shot by Chris and Norman’s largely-improvised, conversational comedy. Examples of this can be seen on his DVDs Bags And Biscuits and Out Of The Box.
He also uses props. On Bags And Biscuits he uses clothes pegs to make a point about class and an empty plastic bag.
“I started using props some years ago. I was doing a gig in Hampstead. I saw a plastic bag and took it on stage. I filled it with air and just let it float.
“The audience was intrigued. I want to do things that no-one else is doing.
“I feel I am still learning. If you think you know everything, you’re an idiot and should stop,” he says.
* The show is at St George’s Hall on Thursday, May 31, starting at 7.30pm. For tickets, ring (01274) 432000.