Comedy: Look out your tickets, finally, John Shuttleworth makes it back to Edinburgh on fourth attempt

To a generation, Graham Fellows will always be remembered as the lovelorn Jilted John who scored a Top 5 hit in 1978 and became the nemesis of Gordons everywhere with the song's much repeated refrain, 'Gordon is a moron.'

Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth
Graham Fellows as John Shuttleworth

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However, it's in his longest running role that the actor, musician and master of character comedy returns to the Capital later this month, for a long overdue date at the Queen's Hall, delayed like so many events by the pandemic.

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Still bemused by his appearances as a guest star on Count Arthur Strong's BBC sitcom, the Celebrity Antiques Roadshow and Pointless Celebrities, on which he got all the questions wrong and came last, although he later redeemed himself on UKTV's comedy documentary series Ricky and Ralph’s Very Northern Trip, Shuttleworth brings a revamped version of his hit 2020 tour - ‘John Shuttleworth's Back… is giving him trouble’ - to the Clerk Street venue on Friday, September 17.

Graham Fellows performing in Completely Out of Character

Billed as 'Sheffield's funniest man,' Fellow's creation is back on stage where he belongs, and this time with no bad back. Yes, it’s all about backs.

Furloughed by agent Ken Worthington for 80% of his petrol money, John used his lockdown wisely, to recuperate from his spinal ailments, and retrieve an old organ from his loft.

John’s beloved Yamaha PSS 680 will be familiar to fans as it’s the one upon which classic songs like Catch The Fox, The Christmas Orphan and Up and Down Like a Bride’s Nightie were composed, and now he is back to play them.

That’s not to forget his Yamaha PSS 51 which will be on stage too. Is the entertainer embracing the excesses of progressive rock as he bangs out favourite Shuttleworth ditties like Two Margarines, Y Reg and I Can’t Go Back to Savoury Now.

Expect to catch up with the adventures of Shuttleworth's entourage during the show too. Worthington has also been busy, practising his clarinet for the first time since coming last on New Faces in 1973, writing Haiku poetry and even baking sourdough bread.

Meanwhile, Shuttleworth’s Austin Ambassador is not well, having spent 18 months stood under his carport. But will Joan Chitty’s new hobby of water colour painting on large canvases mean she’s less amenable to selling John her Citroen Berlingo?

As ever, it’s all happening in Shuttleworth's world, even if not much is happening at all... although his trademark singalongs will still be there, just be prepared to punch the air on key phrases.

One of the UK’s finest character comedians, Fellows also used the lockdown wisely penning a new book, Two Margarines and other Domestic Dilemmas, the first Shuttleworth book in more than 20 years – signed copies will be available to buy at the show. He also appeared as himself on BBC TV's Celebrity Mastermind, toured the UK in his stage show Completely Out Of Character which, last Christmas, he turned it into a mini-series for BBC Radio 4. He has also released a critically acclaimed album of heartfelt indie-folk songs called Weird Town.

John Shuttleworth’s Back… is giving him trouble, Queen’s Hall, Clerk Street, September 17, 8pm (this is the show postponed from March 16, 2020 via 19 October 2020 and 7 April 2021). All tickets are valid for this new date, £17.50-£19.50, www.thequeenshall.net

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