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Jeremy Nicholas' After-Dinner Stories (from My Disastrous Broadcasting Career)

Filed: Monday, 25th June 2018
By: Gordon Thrower

You’ll remember Jeremy Nicholas from his days as the match announcer at the Boleyn – his was also the voice behind the infamous “Mr Moon” announcements that alerted staff to potential problems in the stadium.

Those of you into your gaming may also recognise Jem’s voice as stadium announcer on the FIFA games. In amongst all that he’s had a (not nearly as disastrous as he makes out) career in broadcasting and, more recently, he has been prominent in the world of after-dinner speaking and as a sought-after events compere.

So what’s this show all about then? Well, for a start, what it’s not about is West Ham.

Though Jem’s spell behind the mic at the Boleyn is referenced – and there’s probably an hour’s worth of material in his encounters with Martin Allen over the years alone - as the show’s subtitle suggests, the source material for Jem’s hour or so on stage is aimed at a more general audience.

Instead the content is drawn from spells with such broadcasting centres of excellence as Hull’s Viking Radio, BBC Radio Nottingham and the genuinely innovative and (in these parts anyway) much-missed GLR.

Along the way Jem has been party to a host of incidents which are for the main part amusing, interesting and – more often than not - downright bizarre. For example you’ll learn how a man might become frightened of coat hangers, how to speak “Hull” and why it’s probably best not to ask Jem for advice if you have a TV format idea potentially worth millions.

Mind you it’s not all daftness. The evening does take on a more sombre tone for a while as Jem recalls the Hillsborough disaster at which he was part of the commentary team for BBC Radio Nottingham.

The painful events of that afternoon are all too evident on Jem’s face as he describes the conflict between the horrors he witnessed that day and the messages of congratulations received for his professionalism in the aftermath.

In the context of the overall show the Hillsborough section is, arguably, a brave interruption to the generally light-hearted tone of the evening. However, it does represent a significant event in the course of Jeremy’s career and, brave or not, the show is all the better for its inclusion.

However, the general focus of the show is on the odd, weird and wonderful things that take place in the world of broadcasting and it isn’t long before Jem returns to less weighty subject matter, such as a visit from Jesus and the connections between Garth Crooks and Pamela Anderson and between Elvis Presley and a Leicestershire dairy.

Along the way we also learn of the - quite literally - painful trials and tribulations of dealing with a certain Nottingham-based football manager (spoiler alert: It’s not Jimmy Sirrell).

The whole thing is wrapped up in Jeremy’s own self-deprecating style ("you’ll notice how many people I worked with over the years actually went on to be successful….") and, as the man himself points out, there’s no swearing so you can safely take the more sensitive members of your family along.

The show is lined up for a 27 date engagement at the Gilded Balloon at the Edinburgh Festival but Jem is road testing and fine-tuning the material at a series of dates closer to home so why not pop along – they also serve beer I understand!

Jeremy Nicholas – After-Dinner Stories (From My Disastrous Broadcasting Career) Dates
(Tickets available from the venue)

June 26: Hen & Chickens, Islington
June 30: Quay Theatre, Sudbury, Suffolk
July 4: Turk’s Head, Twickenham
July 20: Hen & Chickens, Islington
July 26: Bread & Roses, Clapham
August 1-27: The Gilded Balloon – Edinburgh

Please note that the opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of, nor should be attributed to, KUMB.com.

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