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Road sweeper, dustman, teacher, burger salesman - the many lives of comedian Arthur Smith

By: stagedoorscribbler - August 7, 2017

Arthur Smith

Comedian, playwright, panelist and performer Arthur Smith will reflect on current projects and his life in humour when he plays the Mercury Theatre in Colchester tonight (Monday 8th August)

After more than three decades on the comedy scene this stalwart of the Edinburgh Festival has a positive treasure-chest of surreal memories to draw on.

Hear how, after working variously as a road sweeper, dustman, market researcher, teacher and seller of supermarket chicken burgers....dressed as a fox, the young Arthur Smith concluded that a career in comedy seemed the only way forward.

He was one of many stand-up performers on the alternative comedy scene in the Eighties. More than 30 years later he’s still at it though ‘alternative’ has become mainstream and, perhaps ironically, he now describes himself as a "semi-professional" comedian.

To BBC radio and TV audiences, his career has been split between appearing on top quiz shows and fronting the funny section in Loose Ends. On TV, he's been a regular on Grumpy Old Men and a Countdown wordsmith.

His plays include the award-winning An Evening with Gary Lineker, My Summer with Des and The Bed Show. He has presented Radio 4’s Excess Baggage and Radio 2’s The Smith Lectures and is a regular guest on Loose Ends. He describes himself as Radio 4’s “bit of rough”.

An Audience with Arthur Smith is at The Mercury Theatre, Colchester, tonight (Monday 8th August)