The Comedy Vault – Count Arthur Strong Live.

Count Arthur Strong Brings You The Sound Of Mucus (2017)

Count Arthur Strong is a comedy character who has had his own show on the radio for many years, he also had his own sitcom on the TV for a while too, along with several stage shows. Arthur is someone who is a showbusiness veteran and he is much respected in the industry, he’s even got Barry Cryer on speed dial and everything, and you don’t get that privilege easily.

I recently discovered that the actor who plays Arthur appeared in an episode of All Creatures Great And Small way back in 1989. So when in his in-character memoir Through It All I’ve Always Laughed he wrote about what it was like to appear on the show alongside lots of sheep and “Timothy Christopher”, it seems that this was closer to the truth than I actually realised.

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Following his success, he has built up a fanbase and gone on tour often, and this stage show was released on DVD (I think that others have been too, but this is the only one that I currently have in my collection). This one featured Arthur’s special tribute to some of the famous musicals that he has known, especially The Sound Of Music, and sing his favourites, maybe one day he’ll get the title right.

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But he couldn’t do it all by himself. He would assisted by his team of Malcolm and Alan, so hopefully their endless hours of rehearsal and years of acting experience will come in useful for the big occasion. There’s no chance that this will descend into shambles. It wasn’t long before the sell-out theatre audience were rolling around (and they probably thought that it was rather funny too), and even the hard-to-please critics loved it all and got the giggles.

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Arthur really does love to perform live on stage, and he does remain ambitious all these years on, if he does well, he might even be able to perform in Doncaster, and that really would be a dream come true. You get a book that provides some insight into the making of the show, although the DVD itself contains no extras, but it’s Arthur doing his thing, that must be enough. And he does plan to go on the road again soon, if can remember where his glasses are.

The Comedy Vault – Count Arthur Strong.

Count Arthur Strong (BBC2, 2013, BBC1, 2015-2017)

A variety entertainer from the old school who talks nonsense and thinks that he is still a showbiz star even though he is clearly past his best? No, it’s not Peter Simon… it’s Count Arthur Strong! Arthur is a character who was created by Steve Delaney who is someone who bumbles through life and doesn’t realise that chaos that he is causing for everyone else around him.

Count Arthur Strong launched on BBC Radio 4 in 2005, and although I didn’t hear the earliest editions, I heard some repeats on Radio 4 Extra and found them rather enjoyable as Arthur manages to irritate everyone he meets with his odd outlook on life and bizarre turns of phrase, and in 2013 the show transferred to TV on BBC2, although there were a few differences to the format. vlcsnap-00013

The TV version was co-written and directed by Graham Linehan, who has worked on some very impressive comedy shows over the years including The Day Today, Father Ted, Big Train, and The IT Crowd. The TV version begins when Michael, the son of Arthur’s old comedy double-act partner, tracks him down to interview him for a biography that he is writing about his dad, and he soon realises that he is unable to get any meaningful anecdotes out of him. vlcsnap-00016

Michael meets Arthur in the cafe, which is run by the rather short-tempered Bulent and his sister Sinem. The only other regular customers seem to be Arthur’s old mates, and although there were some interesting characters some people felt that maybe having one eccentric in the show was enough. However, Michael soon befriends Arthur and meets him regularly, although he doesn’t seem to realise what he is letting himself in for, and often gets caught up in his plans. Also after a while Michael started to date Sinem. vlcsnap-00020

The second and third series were moved to BBC1. Just to pick a couple of examples of my favourite moments in the show. I liked the one where Arthur auditioned to appear in a TV advert for toffees and was completely useless and kept falling off his chair. I just enjoy the idea that Arthur still thinks that he is a useful talent but this is the only work that he can get. There was also another good one where Arthur’s old mate John Shuttleworth turned up. Arthur has also been performed in a stage show and recently he published his memoir Through It All I’ve Always Laughed which is lovely. vlcsnap-00012

Count Arthur Strong wasn’t a huge success on the TV, and you either find the character very enjoyable or immensely irritating. but there were some really good moments, however it was recently announced that there isn’t going to be a fourth series. This is rather a shame, but all three series have been released on DVD, and hopefully Arthur won’t leave us altogether and he will soon be back on the radio. To hear him again really will be mucus to my ears.