Brighton comedy night remembers tragic "special talent" stand-up who died aged 42 – SussexWorld

Brighton comedy night remembers tragic "special talent" stand-up who died aged 42 – SussexWorld

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Angela Barnes, Carl Donnelly, Joe Foster, Kerry Godliman, Mark Steel, Michael Fabbri, Romesh Ranganathan, Seann Walsh and Tom Allen will all take to the stage on Sunday, September 18 at 7.30pm.
And as Angela says, each and every one of them was genuinely a friend of Phil’s – and not just in an “airy friend you never met” showbiz kind of way.
Angela, who lives in Brighton, just as Phil did, said: “It will be just over a year since we lost Phil and it is still really hard.
“I still keep expecting him to turn up or if I see something that’s funny or that I want to talk about, he’s still the first person that I want to text.
“Of course, you know he has gone but your subconscious mind still takes some time to catch up.
“And of course, the evening will be sad because of that but it’s a comedy night and we want it to be a joyful occasion. Raising money for Sarcoma UK is just so important and it’s something that Phil started doing when he was alive. You can’t just wallow. You want to do something positive. Phil was very positive.
“He didn’t start doing stand-up comedy until he was in his 30s. I think he was kind of like the eternal student, the Masters, the PhD and then working for a publisher.
“I honestly don’t know why he didn’t do it before, but I guess you just hit your 30s and you realise this is not going to go on forever and it was something he really wanted to do.
“Of course, he was not finished with comedy, but I just think thank goodness that he did do it, that he did follow that dream.
“He was something that was very rare in comedy and I mean this 100 per cent. But I never met a person that had a bad word to say about Phil.
“We’ve all got massive egos. We can all be pains in the backside in different ways but I never heard anyone say anything against Phil.
“He never showboated and he always helped other comedians. He was a very generous performer I always thought of working with him as collaborating. He was my support act but I always felt that it was our show, that we were working together.
“He really was a collaborator.
“You can see that when you look at what he did. When you are doing topical shows like Mock The Week, it is quite a quick turn around and you need to write with someone.
“It’s very difficult to write in isolation, and Phil was brilliant at that.
“He was a really good editor. Sometimes you would be writing something but you just couldn’t see the wood for the trees, and Phil was great at just looking at something that you are struggling with and saying ‘Why don’t you do this this and this?’ and then suddenly it would work and it would be great.
“He really was a very special talent.”
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