Simon Brodkin, the well good prankster, headlines Dunmow Comedy Club
Bishops Stortford stand-up Paddy Lennoxs Dunmow Comedy Club returns to funny business this Friday (Sept 7) after the summer break with something of a scoop.
Simon Brodkin, who has made headlines for appearing as characters who have heckled Donald Trump, Theresa May and Sepp Blatter at public events, tops the bill as himself.
He will be supported by Ricky Gervais’s favourite comedian, Adam Bloom, and Anil Desai.
Brodkin, 40, is best known for playing cheerful chav Lee Nelson, but also performs as other characters. He has written for and appeared on TV’s Al Murray’s Multiple Personality Disorder, Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show and Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People.
He studied medicine at the University of Manchester, graduating in 2001, and worked in hospitals in the city until 2007, when he began performing stand-up comedy full-time. He performed his first solo show, Simon Brodkin: Everyone But Himself, at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2006.
Brodkin has been arrested several times for his pranks involving politicians, music stars, footballers and TV talent shows.
In March 2013, as thick Scouse footballer Jason Bent, he ran onto the pitch at Goodison Park and tried to warm up with the Manchester City team ahead of their Premier League match with Everton. He was arrested and charged, but when the case came to court the judge agreed to the charge being withdrawn and Brodkin was given a six-month conditional caution.
The following year, dressed as Bent in a suit, he briefly mixed with the England World Cup squad at Luton Airport before being removed by police.
In November 2014, during Stereo Kicks’ performance on The X Factor, Brodkin as Lee Nelson invaded the stage pretending to perform alongside them. He was escorted away by the show’s floor manager.
At Glastonbury 2015, again as Nelson, he ran onto the stage while rapper Kanye West was performing and proceeded to join in.
Brodkin’s most high-profile football jape came in July 2015 when he gatecrashed a press conference at FIFA’s HQ in Zurich amid the football governing body’s corruption scandal.
He walked onto the stage and threw a wad of dollar bills over FIFA president Sepp Blatter, claiming it was part of a bid to secure the 2026 World Cup for North Korea. Brodkin was arrested and charged with trespassing.
In January 2016, Brodkin, who is Jewish, auditioned on Britain’s Got Talent, dressed as a rabbi and pretended to be an awful rapper named Steven Goldblatt to prove his opinion that untalented acts do well on the show. He was selected for a judges’ audition where, proving his point, he was put through.
At the Geneva Motor Show in March that year, in a reference to the Volkswagen emissions scandal, he dressed as a VW engineer and tried to add a ‘cheat box’ to the car while VW board member Jürgen Stackmann was making a speech. “No-one is going to find out about this one,” Brodkin told the audience.
Three months later, at the reopening of Donald Trump’s Turnberry golf resort in Scotland, the US presidential candidate was about to take to the podium to give a speech when Brodkin interrupted and began giving out golf balls emblazoned with a Nazi swastika.
In September 2016, Philip Green, former owner of the collapsed BHS department stores, was the target of Brodkin’s prank.
While Green’s £100m super-yacht Lionheart was moored in Monaco, Brodkin and a small crew hired a dinghy, sailed out to it and, unnoticed by the yacht’s crew, unfurled a banner reading “BHS Destroyer” and attached it over the yacht’s actual name.
Then last October, he interrupted Prime Minister Theresa May’s speech to the Conservative Party conference, handing her a mocked-up P45 and telling her: “Boris [Johnson] asked me to give this to you.”
* Dunmow Comedy Club takes place at the Arts Centre Dunmow, Haslers Lane CM6 1XS, this Friday (Sept 7). Doors open at 7.30pm and the show starts at 8.30pm. Over-18s only. Tickets are £15 on the door or £14 online at http://bit.ly/DunmowTix. There is a cash-only bar and Paddy’s wife Annabel’s delicious home-made chilli nachos (beef or veggie) are available for £6.
More by this authorPaul Winspear