The Knight's 2018 thank you honours list (and first blog post EVER)...
Updated: Jan 12, 2019
2018 has been a massive year of discovery for me, I've had my own show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I've made new friends, I've been to new places, I've learnt new things and much more besides... and it seems only right that as I'm a Knight (and just like the Queen - although I'm more of a kween) I have a New Year's honours list! I want to say thanks to everyone that's helped me in 2018 - by starting my 2019 Blog with this - so here goes!
This is a MASSIVE thank you list to a lot of people... And to be clear – in no particular order (I know what you’re all like!)...
Andre Vincent for being the best director and friend I could ever have and for starting the FB campaign. And for coming in to sort out the ending for the first show because I ran out of time in my previews and for giving me the courage to do it for the first time IN EDINBURGH.
Karen Bayley for sitting through a run through in my front room. And for making me believe in myself again. The work we’re writing at the moment is fantastic and bitches had better watch out because the old birds are coming!
Susan Murray for being one of the few people to give me a preview. And has been a stalwart supporter and top egg.
Peter Vincent for being the only other person to give me a preview. And for filling my diary this year when I was broke.
Steve Day for being such a laugh to be around when we were trying out new material. And for being such a massive support on-line and in person during Edinburgh.
Alistair Barrie for coming and bringing a friend to swell the numbers and being so sweet to me.
Pierre Balai for being such a support and telling people about my show AND being very cross on my behalf that hardly anyone was coming.
Charmian Hughes for being the best pal and company anyone could EVER have up in Edinburgh. For making me laugh, think and feel talented and loved.
Alistair Williams for bringing such love and a beaming face to my show and for being a talented top bloke.
Scott Bennett for taking the trouble to think about my show and send me a review personally.
Phil Jupitus for being a pal, and using his celebrity to get people in. And for giving me such a brilliant review to use for future reference.
Raymond Timpkins for being true friends and staunch supporters. For never giving up on me even though they were terrified of me through the 90’s.
Jen Brister who lent forward throughout the whole show and whose stunning face, charisma and kindness pulled me through.
Che Burnley who didn’t come to the show but did come to see it at Hot Water and swelled the audience into double-figures. And for one of the best nights out I had in Edinburgh!
Eleanor Tiernan whose open and lovely face in the crowd lifted my soul and for saying to me… “You were born to be on stage.” And also for saying to me one night at the Comedy Store (where we met for the first time) “You know what you are don’t you…?” I had to fight back the temptation to say, “An old hack clinging on by my finger nails?” But before I could answer, she said, “You’re like a naughty Tinkerbell spreading comedy mischief.” Made my hear soar!
Keith Dover for being my closest friend for years. For reminding I’m funny and telling me when I’ve said really funny things socially.
Linda Colin for being soooooooo supportive and kind.
Alan Davies for coming to the show and letting me Instagram a picture (so people know who they are dealing with). And for being my friend over the years – even in the darkest days.
Imran Yusuf for making me believe. For telling me that my story needs to be heard and that it has value and power. For validating me as an artist.
Jimmy McGhie for encouraging me to try again way before I decided to go. For calling me The Guvnor for (always when I’m with him) making me feel invincible.
Jim Tavaré for being such an inspiration. For taking a show that changed my whole view of my time in Edinburgh and for still being with us – smashing it!
Markus Birdman who markedly showed his changed opinion of me and was delighted to see the Phoenix rise from the ashes. Yes, I do want a painting of that!
Pam Ford for coming TWICE! And bringing a friend and making me realise what the show can mean to people.
Alex Boardman Comedian without whom, I could NEVER have embarked on this journey. Thank you for your amazing jokes. Thank you for your skill and thank you for being my friend when I was sobbing and about to cancel the whole thing two months before going. I still have the photo of the subject cards spread out on my dining room table. Thank you for telling me I had more of a show than I realised.
Mick Ferry who gave me the inspiration to try and be the best I could be again. For tirelessly sending me ideas and great jokes (for no money) and for believing in The Dame. And to still be supporting me every time I see him.
Tom Stade for not only gathering his army around me, but for telling me in India 7 years ago, “Mandy if you think you have anything to lose when you’re on stage…You’re going to die alone in that red outfit.”
Adam Bloom for his friendship, fantastic jokes and funny texts. For being there when he really had much better paid work to do.
Carl Hutchinson for not letting me give up comedy when I wanted to. For taking the trouble to sit me down in a hotel and watch Jo Rivers being grateful for comedy. For showing me what a great life we have and what privilege it is to be a comic. For laughing in the dressing room about my birthday story and giving me the idea to base a show around it.
Dominic Holland (and Sam) who unfailingly supported me every single night with words of encouragement and took the trouble to write a blog to help me get people in.
Steve Harris for always believing in me and for sorting out my first photos.
Paul McVeigh for making me who I am today. And for carrying me through the dark times.
Paul B. Edwards for kicking me up the arse and for helping me with my application and never letting off the hook.
The Voodoo Rooms for all their support and for running such a splendid venue.
Stuart Liam McConville for staying to watch the whole show is 2017 and then becoming my brilliant techy, but more than that, a true pal every day. Seeing that wee ginger face filled me with hope and joy. And you made the difficult nights bearable.
Peter Buckley Hill for making it possible for people like me to even be able to go. You have done that for so many. I am truly grateful.
Michael Smiley for championing me on Twitter.
Ricky Grover for Tweeting the shit out of it.
Jojo Sutherland for being so kind and such a support and frankly being more effective than Social Media.
Caroline Cooke for being a great support (on and off-line) and for bringing her lovely sister along.
Bruce Dessau who in his absence sent his crack reporter Claire Smith along. And for retweeting some of my recent tweets.
Lesley Byce – you know why you old slag. And Steven. To hear you both laughing and then taking the trouble to come to my solo show, meant the world. I felt funny again.
Dan Willis for giving such a wonderful start to 2019! I’m sooooooooo looking forward to it.
Spud MoonDog and Jay for turning up whenever I sent out a distress flare and for putting me in touch with David Mouchline. And David Johnson for the best brunches ever.
Craig Hill who has always had my back. Who nursed me through lines in hotels. And brings me constant joy and who sorted me the best accommodation ever!
Callum Thain for being soooooooooo brilliant EVERY SINGLE DAY.
Robin Bryson Jack and Barry for being such a support and helping me keep the faith.
Matt Richo for sitting on the floor to watch the show (only bloody day it sold out). And for being such a great pal and laugh. And for giving me the best birthday ever. I say in the show “I never had a birthday party.” But that one with you in Leicester makes up for any I never had.
Daliso Chaponda for patiently sitting through rehearsals with me. For putting me up when I was doing new material in Manchester.
Glenn Wool for laughing so loud and making it seem full. And for being a friend, confident and good son.
Copi Copstick who took the time to fight for me. To give me the review that meant the world. For making me feel alive again - I’ve put you at the end so no comic can say they closed the post!
Lou Hiden for being amazing in helping me move forward into this year. The best comms chick and great friend and making me do this sort of shit - it's taken bloody ages to find people!! And to Rob Hiden for being brill too!
Pete Harris for making it possible to go on Mervyn Stutter (the award really helped thank you) and for subsequently being such a strong advisor and support. And of course to the wonderful Boom. Let’s be honest, without her, we are both nothing!
Nick Wilty for dragging Fenella Fudge along to get the big ball rolling.
Josephine Enright for running the brilliant Rough Works at The Glee Club
Alistair Cunningham for laughing really loudly at the back during my new material.
Paul Blair for running an amazing new material night at Hot Water Comedy
The Stand Comedy Club, Newcastle for the wonderful Red Raw new material night.
Matt Reed for ALWAYS being there in the background. And for bringing me joy and making me feel funny.
Charlotte Smith for always knowing the right thing to say to me and for “holding Adam’s hand” through the show so he was OK.
Steve Ullathorne and Carl for the amazing photos and make-up. And for making me feel so comfortable and loved during the shoot.
Mike Leigh for coming as soon as I asked him and for all your support over the years. For being funny, kind and sweet.
and Paul McVeigh for making me who I am today. And for carrying me through the dark times.
I think I’ve mentioned everyone but if I have made a glaring oversight, please let me know!
We all know, the show was not an easy sell (who knew it would be more of a play), and how different Edinburgh was last year compared to the first year I went in 1994 with “Some of my best friends are ginger” (for one thing, I wouldn’t be allowed that title in this “I’m angry on behalf of somebody else,” day and age). I was nominated for Perrier Newcomer and TV and the press were all over me. But do you want to know the difference, in ’94 despite all the attention and accolades - I had never felt so alone!
As you know, my show was about not having a family. They say you can’t chose your family but you can chose your friends. Well, YOU ARE MY FAMILY and I chose you all day long!
If I can support or love any of you half as much as you have me – you’re in for a stonking 2019! HAPPY NEW YEAR! (But please don’t bother me for two months because I’m in Australia and I want to enjoy it).