Comedian Jon Richardson picked a cracking weekend to come home and joked that he now believes Morecambe doesn’t need rescuing after all!
The TV star from Lancaster told a capacity crowd at the Winter Gardens that he’d roped in some of his comedy friends to perform for free in Morecambe by telling them the resort needed their help.
But then on the day of the charity gig, the town was at its finest with glorious sunshine and the heaving kite festival on the prom.
This led Richardson to quip that maybe he should be raising money for somewhere else more in need!
It was all in jest though as the ‘8 Out of 10 Cats’ star’s love for his home district was obvious during his two sold-out shows on Sunday.
This was the third year running that Richardson has performed to raise money for St John’s Hospice and the Winter Gardens.
Jon put a lot of material about the local area into his routine.
This included jokes about the link road, Heysham power stations, the flats at the former Kingsway baths in Lancaster, the Williamson Park play ‘The Hobbit’ and the wrestling show at the Winter Gardens on Saturday night.
He also joked about Skerton High School which has closed down and then said that he might go into the Ranch House for a drink after the show, pretending not to realise that this has also closed. He also had some banter with Debbie Ellershaw, former landlady of the Ranch, who was sitting in the front row in the audience.
Jon and his dad John used to drink in the Ranch and they both paid a visit to Debbie’s new pub The Exchange after the show where Jon posed for photos with other customers.
Fellow comedians Romesh Ranganathan, Matt Forde, Mike Newall and Rachel Fairburn also did stand-up at the fundraiser.
A St John’s Hospice spokesman said ticket sales for the Jon Richardson show generated £26,000 profit and the hospice donated just under £6,000 of that (£5 per ticket) to the Winter Gardens Preservation Trust.
Richardson and his fellow comics helped draw 1,700 people to the Winter Gardens over the weekend.
The comedian’s two charity gigs on Sunday were preceded by a pro wrestling show and a ‘Skaville’ ska music night on Saturday night.
“It was a brilliant weekend for us,” said Evelyn Archer, chairman of the Winter Gardens
“To see 600 people for both the afternoon and evening queuing down the prom to see Jon Richardson was wonderful.”