Jan 31, 2020: Showstopper!

We were trying to work out, a little earlier this evening, how many times we have seen Showstopper!

I think it’s somewhere in the 20s, even if it’s not, we’re not far off. And if you through in each of the episodes of the Radio 4 series, it’s definitely up there. Every year

It’s a lot, anyway.

And every one of them is different – despite what someone in the audience tonight was trying to make out – and every one of them is brilliant.

Part of Showstopper’s joy is in the rotation of the stars. When we first started seeing them, it was a much smaller group than it is now. You could almost always guess who you were going to come across. Nowadays, it’s a large cast of extremely talented people who are swapped out like the Pods in Thunderbird 2. And you always hope for Pod 4, because Thunderbird 4.

And Thunderbird 4 in this case is the delightful Ruth Bratt. Who, I will say now, is a friend and I love her to pieces.

But she’s ace.

Tonight was no exception. She was the one who dropped the f-bomb. She was the one who busted out the best accents through the whole night – playing both an Irish mammy and a Scottish mammy. In the same scene, in some instances. A Scottish mammy who couldn’t cry. But could laugh, uncontrollably, at her son’s name. Ach Blue. Because obviously that’s going to be a name of a Scottish child.

Ach Blue, former Irn Bru drinking champion of the world. Now reduced to nothing, and even his family cannot – or cannae – say his name without laughing.

And it’s just as well the didn’t draw any attention to Ruth’s laughing fits because that would just have been cruel and… nah, of course they did, and it was a great five minutes of stage time. Coming a close second to the check-in window for anyone leaving home and travelling with a bindle – the bindle window.

It was just madness this evening. An Irish pub in Glasgow, run by an Englishman and his Scottish family.


I sort of wish we’d gone to see them yesterday as well.

Roll on the next time…