BUDDING comedian Benji Brinkley has spoken of his dramatic exit from a new TV talent show whose audience pressed buzzers to send him flying into a brick wall.
Thankfully the brick wall was made of polystyrene – but to make matters worse Benji, a shelf stacker at Asda in Bedhampton, was then sent flying into the air on a harness.
The 31-year-old appeared on Sky 1’s Don’t Stop Me Now, a talent show with a cruel edge where the audience act as judge and jury with potentially stomach-churning consequences.
Each member of the studio audience is equipped with a buzzer and once 50 per cent of them have had enough of an act the performers are literally ejected from the show.
With the risk of a surprise exit via trap doors, horizontal bungees and exploding stages, it is a show that takes no prisoners.
Benji, who made it through the first round of auditions before going to Shepperton Studios in Surrey, lasted just 40 seconds before the audience decided his time was up.
Benji, of Sissinghurst Road, Portchester, said: ‘They attach the harness while you are on the stage, before you can tell your first joke.
‘They cut a little hole in the back of your shirt, so people can see it.
‘I got pulled back through the wall and straight up. The wall is polystyrene, but is made to look like a real wall.
‘I am not a lover of heights. It was scary, but enjoyable as you were not sure when it was going to happen.
‘It was quite good fun!’
Benji began his performance as he always does – explaining why he wears a shower cap.
He told the audience he had just returned from a tour of Bath.
He then went on to tell the joke: ‘I must say I don’t believe what it says in The Bible.
‘In The Bible it says that Joseph was a Carpenter. I can prove that he wasn’t as I’ve got all of their albums at home!’
His final joke was: ‘I was walking around London today and there was a man there selling The Big Issue.
‘I went up to him and said “Knock Knock”, he said “Who’s there?”. I said “Ha, I’ve caught you out – I thought you were homeless”.’
After those gags, the laughs were all about Benji’s dramatic ejection from the show.
Benji, who was featured in The News in 2004 when he turned up on the doorstep of his idol Freddie Starr to get some tips, said: ‘I had some really good jokes to tell. Even the producer said he was surprised I didn’t stay on longer.
‘I was the first comic on stage and I think people just want to see you go up in the air.’
But he said the calamitous experience on the show hadn’t put him off stand-up comedy.
‘I was hoping to get noticed, that’s why I went on the show,’ he said.
‘I am just going to keep on going until I get somewhere.
‘Something will happen eventually.
‘It’s going to happen when the time’s right.’