New year's eve laughs with Live at The Apollo stars in Horndean

See out 2019 with a smile on your face as Comedy All Stars brings a brace of A-grade comics to town.

Saturday, 21st December 2019, 6:00 am
Comedian James Alderson is hosting the new year's eve party

The popular stand-up night is moving from its regular home of Horndean College to nearby Merchistoun Hall just for this new year’s eve party.

Stephen Bailey and Paul McCaffrey, plus local award-winning funny man James Alderson as host, will be bringing the laughter, before Express FM DJ Darren Gamblen finishes the night off with some tunes to get everyone on the dancefloor.

‘Stephen Bailey is everywhere at the moment,’ says James. ‘He’s been on loads of TV shows, and Paul McCaffrey was on Live at The Apollo last week. At the beginning of the year he was supporting Kevin Bridges on his huge 20,000-seat arena tour.

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‘New year’s eve is a tricky one, it's a gamble trying to get people to listen when they’ve had a few Bacardis. But these two guys, and not to blow my own trumpet, the three of us, will definitely hold our own in front of an audience who've had a few, and we will have an absolute blast on that night.

‘It will be absolutely brilliant because we’ll have a ball on stage, and then it’s all dancing and booze.’

The night runs through until 12.45am.

‘Let’s be honest, by about 11.15pm we’re slumped in front of the TV watching Robbie Williams mime something, and wishing that we hadn’t invited that couple… This way you can listen to other people make you laugh.

‘And you get a free glass of proper bubbly when you turn up. It should be a foolproof night out​​​​​​​.’

It’s not the only time James is out and about over the period though, he was compering his Festive Friends night at The Ashcroft in Fareham on Thursday. And then on Monday, James Alderson Presents… is at The Spring in Havant with Julian Deane, Jake Lambert and Tom Lucy.

In the new year he will be performing his latest solo show Bring Back The ’80s, which had a successful run at The Edinburgh Fringe in the summer and has played to sold-out houses around Hampshire.

‘It’s been brilliant. Big comedians do these nationwide tours and they sell out everywhere and I couldn't do that. I know my limit!’

He will be performing the show at Portsmouth Guildhall Studio on January 17, The Ashcroft on February 1 and The Spring on February 8.

‘I know that obviously a lot of people in the central south coast me know me, and they've been wanting to see me do a show for some years, but I've never really done anything locally, gone to the festivals before and other festivals with my own show, but I've never said all right, I'm going to chuck in seven or eight dates and let's see how it goes.

‘I'm very pleased with how well it's sold and how well it's been received.

‘The idea was to do a show that people who liked my style of comedy would enjoy and would also feel like it's not just me standing there with a microphone,

‘I wanted to really do an immersive couple of hours, I wanted to do something for our age group where they felt like they had a real fun night, but I wanted to stop short of it being cabaret.

‘But I wanted to do more than just jokes for an hour and a half. And I think people felt like I'd achieved it because there's loads going on apart from just reminiscing and nostalgia.

‘It is definitely comedy – it has got a lot of jokes, it is a lot of fun and there’s the audience interaction.

‘I wanted it to be a really great evenings entertainment about the 80s, on a comedic level, not educational. Although there have been some age groups at the shows and I just thought: “Christ, this is like a history lesson for you”.

‘It is difficult to do something about a specific era and also make it within reach of people who weren't there.

‘It really is great though, to stand in front of 150 people and to laugh together about all of the things they’ve forgotten from their own childhoods.’


Merchistoun Hall, Horndean

Tuesday, December 31