Frank Skinner: No holds barred

Frank Skinner at Ipswich Corn Exchange on SaturdayIt wasn't the greatest sporting weekend for Frank Skinner.He lost a few fans to the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday after seeing his Baggies turned over by Colchester United at Layer Road.

Dave Vincent

Frank Skinner at Ipswich Corn Exchange on Saturday

It wasn't the greatest sporting weekend for Frank Skinner.

He lost a few fans to the Rugby World Cup final on Saturday after seeing his Baggies turned over by Colchester United at Layer Road.


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But at least the West Bromwich Albion fan was able to get his audience roaring, with laughter, at Ipswich Corn Exchange.

Frank has returned to stand-up after a decade away as a television star along with David Baddiel, although Baddiel only had a brief mention in a ribald tale on Saturday.

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Stand-up has got to be the loneliest job in entertainment and Skinner seemed to ramble from story to comic story, exposing his own prejudices, sexual exploits and disasters.

He had some wicked observations, about the McCartneys, turning 50, millionaires, women and much more. It was all very funny - and often politically incorrect.

As he explored his sexual alphabet, occasionally there was a time delay, almost as if some of the audience were feeling a little guilty about laughing.

It was often graphic, near the knuckle and below the belt, especially when it came to his sexual confessions.

One of his funniest routines, I'll call it The Joy of Text, was about irrational jealousy and text dating.

It showed how much society has changed since he was last performing solo when, he reminded us, mobile phones weren't even about.

Ninety per cent of his material would never have made it into a television routine, of course.

Despite his football team losing at Colchester, the Us were only mildly mocked, for their soon-to-be-replaced wooden stadium that could be folded up and taken home afterwards.

Although Ipswich Town escaped the comic's jibes, Norwich City were less fortunate.

Frank slipped in a few one-liners about tractors for additional local colour but it wasn't really necessary.

The show was funny enough without it but needed an X-certificate.

And for his encore Skinner popped back out, with his banjo, to give us a comic ditty about a terrorist.

Yes, it was a strange but a very entertaining night.

David Vincent

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