‘My rule is laughter is all that counts’

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From left, Southampton City Council leader Simon Letts, Portsmouth City Council leader Donna Jones, and Isle of Wight Council leader Jonathan Bacon sign the formal application for a Solent Combined Authority in 2016

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Lee Nelson, who you may know as the chavtastic character in BBC3’s Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show and Well Funny People, is undergoing a bit of an image change.

Swapping the sports caps and tracksuits for a more sophisticated look, Lee aims for a change in direction.

He says: ‘I got sacked from Sports Direct so couldn’t get my discount there any more. I thought, this is my moment.’

Having presented Live at the Apollo, and appeared alongside the likes of Rod Woodward, Josh Groban and Meghan Trainor on Sunday Night At The Palladium, Lee felt it was time for a revamp.

‘It was time for a change. I’ve sent my shorts, t-shirt and caps to the charity shop, so there’s no return to that image.

‘This is it now, you can’t go back. You can’t look better and then go ‘‘I’m going to look not as good again’’. It feels good.’

Lee hopes that his new look will fit nicely alongside his new material.

He has recently broadened his horizons to discuss more serious topics such as politics, womens’ rights and global warming.

But has this affected the reaction of his audiences? ‘People don’t really mind what you talk about as long as you make them laugh and that’s always my rule.

‘It feels nice to be able to chat about a few different things and people respond to that. As long as they’re giggling that’s all that counts.

‘I want to make everyone feel welcome at my show. Some of the older people can look at the cap and the shorts and think ‘oh I’m not really sure’, but now I get people of all different ages.

‘ I had an 84-year-old gentleman come to my show the other day. The tour has done great for it. It’s all good vibes coming my way.’

Lee is hoping to continue these good vibes in Portsmouth when his Suited and Booted show comes to the Guildhall next week.

He says: ‘I have been to Portsmouth before and it’s a great place. You’ve got a mental building that looks like it’s in Dubai, and you’ve got the sea, which is great.

‘Portsmouth people are a very nice, welcoming bunch.

‘With TV shows, you record it, you edit it and then that’s it forever. But with stand-up, every show is a unique night and a different vibe, a different set of people, a different venue. That’s the beauty of it, that’s the buzz.

‘This time it’s not just about me, I’m stepping out and looking at all sorts of things, like whether we should believe politicians.’

Lee, who briefly stood as a candidate in the South Shields by-election in 2013, says: ‘I wanted to help ordinary members of the public, but mainly I wanted £100,000 a year, a second home and everything on expenses.

‘I felt I could be Prime Minister ever since David Cameron left his kid in the pub. I felt like I had what it takes.’

Lee Nelson - Suited and Booted will be at the Guildhall on Wednesday, May 20 at 7pm. Tickets cost £22 and can be bought by calling 0844 847 2362 or by visiting portsmouthguildhall.org.uk