Sean Collins is aiming to bring the funny back to Gosport
He's appeared on Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow and carved himself a national comedy career.
But Sean Collins is starting a new professional comedy club on his doorstep in Gosport.
The inaugural event takes place a week today. Sean will be compering and he has high hopes for the night.
‘We used to do it years ago at The Alverbank but it’s one of those things where you try and find the right venue that will work, and the right people behind it.
‘Believe it or not, the Grand Poobah of the Masons is involved with doing the extension on my house right now. We started talking, I asked how many their hall seats, he said 150, which is a good number to get in, so I went down to have a look at it with Tony Salmon from Raymond and Mr Timpkin’s Revue – we’re both working together on it, and it seemed fine. We’re going to give it a shot and if it works we’ll do it monthly.
‘I think Gosport needs it. Basically, if you want to do anything in Gosport, you have to leave. It needs something, so hopefully we can get a little community and build it up.’
And Sean has been embracing social media to get the word out there.
‘I’m learning more and more about social media and how to use it properly. Gone are the days of just printing posters and putting them up – we have done that too – but I’m basically blitzing it on social media and through Facebook. That seems to be the key.
‘And both the guys I’m bringing down are great, I’ve known them for years, Andy Askins has been on John Bishop’s show, and John Fothergill and I work at the Comedy Store all the time.
‘For it to survive, the quality has to stay up. We need to get the numbers in so we can pay the acts accordingly – no-one’s going to come to Gosport otherwise, certainly not for the shopping...’
Away from the clubs, Sean has started putting up clips from his old shows up on YouTube.
‘That’s part of me embracing social media, and monetising it. I’m going to be posting a lot more on my channel, breaking up my old DVDs and putting clips up there – I don’t think people buy them any more. People don’t have the attention span any more. They watch things for about 10 minutes and move on.’
And he’s got some more ideas in the pipeline – he’s going to be filming himself as an 85-year-old in a nursing home looking back on his career, and challenging his 10-year-old at video games.
‘As much as it annoys me, sometimes, some of the changes in the industry, people can now create for themselves. If you get a million views on YouTube, somebody might think, hey, let’s check this out.
‘One of my clips got 3.5m hits in a week but it got posted by someone else, so because he put it up... it’s just one of those things.’
‘If you don’t adapt, you’re just going to get left behind.
‘There’s no point in fighting it, you’ve got to embrace social media.’
‘Gone are the days when I can sit back and wait for my diary fill up. The younger people are doing podcasts and this and that. You can sit there and complain and be a dinosaur or try to go with it, and I’m trying to go with it.’
The night will also feature a raffle in aid of Lifelites, a charity helping life-limited and disabled children.
THE JOLLY LODGER COMEDY NIGHT
The Masonic Hall, Gosport
Friday, September 22