Fresh Meat Feast On Campus

The cast of Fresh Meat’s comedy lecture didn’t live up to all it was hyped to be, writes KAY ANUCHA


The semester is now in its most advanced stages, with glazy-eyed students exhibiting all the symptoms of enfeebled sexagenarians, wrestling day and night with a seriously bad case of dissertation.

Its time for some laughs on campus and time to reminisce about better and boozier days, which is why the comedy lecture delivered by the cast of fresh meat this Friday was such a godsend.

Predictably it was a sell out; the conference auditorium – usually being a venue for academic lectures –  has probably never been so full. The queue was filled with FM fan girls and boys, in a state of delirious excitement at the prospect of being the vicinity of the eton mess on Jack Whitehall’s head. Leeds RAG did a great job getting students together in aid of comic relief, but, lets face it, the real reason I came into campus on my day off was to get a load of this:

He arrived fashionably late, with fellow cast members Greg McHugh, Zawe Ashton and Kimberley Nixon (that’s Howard, Vod and Josie to you) in tow.

As the famous quiff appeared amidst a flurry of cameramen and boompoles, an enormous cheer went up from the crowd, all thoughts of our 40-minute wait forgotten. In the queue students were given the opportunity to enter a raffle for the chance to participate in the live action (oo-errr) and ask questions after each celebrity’s comedy lecture.

It was a nice touch that actually worked quite well, revealing some aspiring comics hidden in the crowd. ‘My favourite shark is a great white, what’s jaws?’ one student asked, to universal groans. Another student put Zawe on the spot with the simple question ‘what do you think of Jack’s new stand-up?’ Awkward.

Greg kicked off with a typically nerdy homage to the 1992 film Jaws. It was gratifying to discover that the dumpy Howard actually translates to a bit of a babe in the flesh, much to my surprise.

Kimberley followed, and, bless her, she was obviously terrified by the baying crowds of students piled high in the stalls. Her ‘comedy’ lecture focused on the great Agatha Christie’s Hercule Poirot, who, for those of you who don’t know is a hairier, shorter French version of Sherlock Holmes (in a hat). Jack delivered a moving speech on the greatness of Chris Akabusi, scattered with inspirational (and not so inspirational) quotes from the athlete’s twitter feed. Zawe sealed things off with a look at some of the more bizarre examples of 90’s music, reminding us what a weird time it was for everyone.

The audience participation was the high point in what was obviously a comedy conveyer belt tour. It’s admirable that these famous faces are taking part in such a great charity initiative, but it might have been nice if students had got some tighter comic material for their money.

For all the hype, Jack Whitehall’s lecture was something of a flop, but perhaps for the best as he and his assistant were clad in skintight lycra leotards.