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Laid-back stand-up is Alan's other job.


BEFORE the hit television show, the duffel coat and the Abbey National advert, the curls of Alan Davies were only seen in late night comedy clubs.

And now, with the success of Jonathan Creek behind him, it seems right that Alan shows his new-found fans his other job.

If you caught his stand-up show, Urban Trauma, at this summer's Edinburgh Festival, you will have seen much of the material already.

If you didn't, here's your chance to catch up with what you missed.

The BBC filmed the same show at London's Duchess Theatre.

And for those of you who are used to him eating apples and looking all rumply as Jonathan, alongside Caroline Quentin, you're in for a shock.

He may have made housewives quiver in the title role of Jonathan Creek but Alan Davies is a wee boy at heart.

Take the range of subjects in his stand-up routine - bodily functions, the Queen Mum and the size of girls' knickers.

This is hardly the high-brow comedy of Rory Bremner or Ben Elton.

His comedy comes from observing the panic of amoebic dysentery and the incredible shrinking phenomenon of women's underwear. As the man says himself: "He's not like this on the telly."

He styles himself in the same vein as Eddie Izzard in that he takes a normal subject and adds a surreal twist.

But there is no urban trauma in this set.

He doesn't talk crack, hip hop or life on the streets.

He is more laid-back than stand-up and his delivery shows that he is easily as good a comic as he is an actor.

Take his sketch about the crafty cows faking BSE so that they aren't turned into beef burgers.

The said cows decide to stand still rather than sit down with the smell of impending rain - very uncowlike indeed.

One cow says: "That is a masterstroke. That is the maddest thing imaginable."

Then what about his cat capturing mice just to show him how fast the rodents can run.

"Alan," they cry. "Get a bucket and we'll do a wall of death."

Alan, who lives in Islington with girlfriend Catherine Porter, has had a busy year.

As well as a sell-out tour of Urban Trauma he also found time to star in the Radio 4 series The Alan Davies Show, in May.

For fans of BAFTA-winning Jonathan Creek there is good news. A Christmas special has been made.

And if you missed seeing Urban Trauma in Edinburgh and enjoy the television version, Alan will be back next year with another stand-up tour.

It's no wonder he looks like a cute Old English Sheepdog - you just can't keep this good man down.

DRAMAof the week

Triangle trouble for doc?

WILL Dangerfield's dashing doc ever make his move on chilly cop DI Cramer?

Dr Paige (Nigel Havers) and DI Cramer (Jane Gurnett) have been striking sparks off each other since the series began.

But their love-hate attraction has so far failed to blossom and the doctor now has a girlfriend, journalist Beth (Lynsey Baxter).

And now there are signs of a triangle in the offing when Cramer runs into Beth.

The atmosphere is distinctly frosty between the pair and it appears that cool career detective Cramer could be feeling some pangs of jealousy.

On the work front, Paige is involved in a disturbing case.

A woman is killed in a fall from the roof of her home.

Her husband Dave (Joe McGann) is behaving very oddly, withdrawing after her death and refusing to attend her funeral.

He rejects the doctor's offer of help but when Dave's son Jason (Felix Bell) turns to Paige for help, he is determined to get to the bottom of the widower's odd behaviour.


FILMof the week

STORYVILLE: KURT AND COURTNEY, Saturday, BBC2, 9.30pm-11.05pm

THERE'S not a whole lot of Love in one of the darkest works by documentary maker Nick Broomfield.

Intrigued by the rumours about the death of Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain at his home near Seattle in April 1994, Broomfield set out to clear up the mystery.

He soon found himself making a film about the bizarre world of Cobain, his wife Courtney Love and their camp followers.

Storyville, the series which showcases the best in international documentaries, returns with a double-bill: Kurt and Courtney followed by the classic rock and roll film, Don't Look Back, which chronicled Bob Dylan's 1965 tour of Britain.

SOAPof the week

EASTENDERS, Monday 8pm, Tuesday, Thursday, 7.30pm, BBC1

ALEX the vicar has been missing a love interest since Kaffy sailed off into the sunset to Sarf Africa.

Come to think of it, half the men in Albert Square are missing a love interest since Kaffy left Walford and her caff behind.

They're so hard-up that the Mitchell brothers have both been pursuing the same woman ... again.

But now there's a little mystery - if not necessarily romance - coming into Alex's (Richard Driscoll) life.

During an explosive fireworks night in Walford, he comes face to face with Albert Square newcomer Melanie (Tamzin Outhwaite) for the first time.

The pair clearly have some sort of a history and meeting again is a shock for Alex.

So just who is the mystery woman?
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Copyright 1998 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Features
Author:Fulton, Rick
Publication:Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Oct 31, 1998
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