Comedian Phil Evans is from Ammanford. He is known as the man who puts the ‘cwtsh’ into comedy. This column appears in the South Wales Evening Post, Carmarthen Journal and Llanelli Star. Website – www.philevans.co.uk
It won’t have escaped you that there’s a new film on release about Laurel and Hardy’s British theatre tours of the late 40s/early 50s. It’s called “Stan and Ollie”.
They came over here when the Hollywood studios, which had made pots of money out of the duo in their heyday, turned their back on them.
Here’s a warning to anyone thinking of entering showbiz.
Buy yourself a warm overcoat, because there’ll be times when it can get terribly cold, even if you’re a comedy genius.
The two actors who play Stan (Steve Coogan) and Ollie (John.C. Reilly) have been tirelessly plugging the film all over the media.
In fact, they seem to have popped-up on almost every TV show in the schedules apart from Dancing On Ice– and that’s only because they had a prior commitment on the other side of London to bake a cake for Mary Berry.
Hats off to them for sounding so unflaggingly enthusiastic about the film, with no sign of ‘anecdote fatigue’ which can easily set in by the second day of back-to-back press junkets in a London hotel, with PR people timing each allotted 10-minute chat with a stop watch.
Although I – and I’m sure you, too – knew that Stan Laurel was born in Ulverston, Cumbria, some interviewers hadn’t realised that he was British until they’d seen a preview of the film.
Which makes me wonder if their knowledge of cinema history only goes back to Star Wars.
Until he went out of favour with studio bosses, Stan was one of the three most popular and influential comedians in Hollywood.
The other two were Charlie Chaplin and Bob Hope.
Bob famously said, “I left England at the age of four when I realised I’d never be King”.
He was wrong.
Hope, Chaplin and Stan Laurel all became Kings of Comedy.
Right. Clear off! You’ve had your 10 minutes with me.
And get me some fresh coffee!
These days, it’s not unusual to open the newspaper and see the NHS getting a bashing over something or other.
Social media is awash with negative stories, but how often do we see the absolutely amazing things that NHS staff do 24 hours a day, seven days a week?
I came across one such story this week that wouldn’t fail to melt even the coldest of hearts!
Morriston Hospital Patient Advice and Liaison Officer Nicci Evans and health care scrub support worker Kelly Elt came up with the fantastic idea of introducing a ‘Pets as Therapy’ dog, Jax, to the patients and staff at the hospital.
Jax is Kelly’s cockerpoo, known for his gentle nature.
After a chance meeting in the hospital, Nicci and Kelly came up with the idea of bringing Jax into the hospital as a therapy dog.
Jax was assessed by charity Pets as Therapy and passed with flying colours.
His visit went down so well with patients and staff alike, that the girls are now hoping to make it a regular event in the hospital.
It’s well known that our pets have a healing and therapeutic effect on us humans, and here is the proof. Well done!
You can follow Phil Evans on Twitter @philevanswales and www.philevans.co.uk