Show’s popularity is all Greek to Angelos

HIS tour’s selling so well extra dates have been added; so why is comedian Angelos Epithemiou so angry?

“I can’t believe it! The bigwigs are making me go and do more of these shows. Apparently because loads of people are coming to the first lot,” he snarls.

“I’m gutted because I’ve just bought a video player and I’ve loads of things to watch I got off the telly like New Tricks and I also got a copy of Deathwish with Charles Bronson I found in the hospice shop.”

“I thought I got away with doing them ones at Christmas, then they said no you’re not finished yet; you got to go and do it again! Well, I went mad and then they said they’d buy me Death Wish 2 on video if I did them and I couldn’t say no after that.”

With his score-keeping gig on the Beeb’s hit panel show Shooting Stars, surely he can afford a DVD player? Turns out he got one, but chucked it away because he couldn’t get his videos to play.

The hour-and-a-half show is a variety show spectacular, at least his idea of one. There’s plenty of laughs, singing, dancing and a even a quiz offering the chance of a backstage tour with the man himself.

It’s clear he’d rather be doing something else.

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“I would prefer to be doing ANYTHING ELSE,” he stresses. “Mostly I’d prefer to be at home with my feet up with a Magnum, even in the winter, watching all my video tapes of Crimewatch.”

He’s been recording the show since it started.

“I’m up to about 1989 at the moment and there’s some good stuff going on, but I’ve got to take a break now.”

He likes the idea of his show replacing the annual Royal Variety Performance.

“I could go round the royals’ house and do it there. It would save them having to hire that big theatre and then they can just give me the money.”

He’s not a fan of travelling though, doing as much of it as possible with his eyes closed so he doesn’t have to see the surrounding area.

“Then when you get to these places it’s a joke; like Newcastle. I can tell you there hasn’t been a new castle built there for hundreds of years so that’s a lie for a start.”

Never seen without his Rainforest Alliance shop anorak and a plastic bag, the ex-Greek burger van owner - it’s long gone, “blown up by mysterious forces” - is most known for replacing George Dawes on Shooting Stars.

Angelos met co-host Bob Mortimer when picking up the award for Mobile Caterer of the Year.

“This fella gave me this award, what was long overdue in my opinion, and then we was talking and he said come on the telly. I said no, then he said why not and I said I dunno. He asked me again and I said alright.

“It’s alright I suppose, but they only got me because Johnny Depp couldn’t do it. I said I’d do it at the last minute, which meant I had to cancel going on Dragons Den with my new egg chucker.”

Attempts to shed light on him and what’s he doing when I call fail - “I’m doing this, what are you on about,” he snaps.

Instead I turn to close friend and fellow comedian Dan Renton Skinner who describes him as a very serious idiot.

“I see me as a very serious ‘person’. I’m gonna have it out with him; he likes to dress up like me and copy me, so who’s the idiot now,” he says omniously.

Back to the show, why should people come to see him?

“If it’s a bad telly night and you want to see me do one joke, an impression and a dance padded out over an hour-and-a-half, if that’s your sort of thing, come along. I couldn’t care less. It’ll be a bit of fun.”

There’s one question I’m begging to ask; just why does he always carry a plastic bag and what’s in it?

“Because it’s the best way to transport my things. What’s in it right now? Never you mind you nosey git.”

And with that, he’s gone.

Angelos Epithemios and Friends come to the Ipswich Corn Exchange on February 18.

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