The funniest night of the month is almost upon us.
On Wednesday February 20 the Laughter Factory tour rolls into town once more, with another incredible line-up of comedians.
Gracing the Park Rotana’s stage will be multi-talented Lateef Lovejoy, witty Ria Lina and irrepressible Geordie John Fothergill.
Fothergill has been a regular on the Laughter Factory bill for around a decade now, and is looking forward to coming back again.
We caught up with him ahead of his visit to the UAE.
You seem to be here quite a lot, how many times have you been over?
Probably about four times, maybe. A bit more? Five in the last 10 years or so. I always enjoy myself. I was quite big in Abu Dhabi for a while… Well, that’s what it felt like. It was just every time I went there I had such a sweet gig, you know. We were playing in a pub, down below a hotel. It was really nice, I think it’s still the same venue as well. I’ve never actually been out into the desert, so I’d love to do that. Gail and Duncan [Laughter Factory founders] take us everywhere, but it’s usually nightclubs [laughs]. I can’t remember the names. Obviously we do the usual comics’ thing of going to waterparks and all that.
Where are you looking forward to checking out on this visit?
Well, the whole thing is pretty good. We obviously mix with a lot of expats, so you just get taken from one watering hole to another. Obviously we get to wander around the city and all that kind of thing, and I love the massive malls. We got stuck in Dubai for an extra week one year because of the volcano in Iceland, so we got to have a bit of a look around some of the sort of places we wouldn’t usually go, where the average tourist wouldn’t normally go… I almost got a job actually. I could think of worse places to be. The main thing I think is the audiences over there are just so cool. Even though you’re kind of restricted in what you can say about some things, it’s pretty open. I would say you can get away with more in front of British audiences in Dubai – if you wanted to.
You’re going to be performing in Dubai on Valentine’s Day, are you a fan?
I’m a bit of a romantic, yeah. I’ve been known to put little packs together… I don’t go spending a fortune mind, I’m not loaded.
What was your best Valentine’s ever?
I had a lovely Valentine’s weekend with my partner in Cheddar Gorge once. But we
were there babysitting. In a loft. So we were like, ‘You go out and play, we’ll explore the countryside…’ And they were never seen again.
What’s the least romantic gift you’ve ever given?
When I was about 17, I gave someone a cassette tape of old romantic songs, like really old 1920s and ’30s stuff, and so she put it in, probably expecting some lovely romance. I thought it was a great gift, but from her face she didn’t.
What did you want to be growing up?
When I was a young kid, I was obsessed with Fred Astaire, so I wanted to be a top-hat dancer.
Who’s the funniest person on the planet?
I would say Steve Martin, I love Steve Martin. Back in the ’80s, especially.
What’s your favourite place in the world?
Kyoto in Japan is absolutely beautiful, just the sweetest place in the world, but I love Abu Dhabi. It’s nice to be liked.
So, with that in mind. Let’s make sure he gets a reception worthy of such praise. We’ll see you in the front row.
Dhs160. Park Rotana Abu Dhabi, Khalifa Park area, www.800tickets.com.