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His ‘Thank You Baked Potato’ song raised hundreds of thousands for the FeedNHS charity, and he has been a massive hit this autumn on The Great British Bake Off, but when Matt Lucas appeared at Poole Arts Centre he was a teenage student who read the menu for an encore, as Funnybone Comedy Club co-founder Mick Callaghan remembers in this week’s #MondayMemories... 

“We started the club in 1992 in the Dorset and Branksea Rooms. Although we had a number of great acts there, including Jeremy Hardy and Dave Spikey, the most memorable was Matt Lucas. 

He was a 19-year-old student at Manchester University and travelled down on a Friday night to perform the middle spot at the club. He went under the character of Sir Bernard Chumley, a faded actor living in Sandi Toksvig House.  

With an audience of about 100 people he went down a storm, so much so that the audience would not let him leave. As compere, I asked him if he could go on for an encore. He looked decidedly scared and said he honestly did not have any more material.  

Eventually he went on, picked up the menu and delighted the audience by reading it as Sir Bernard Chumley. 

Matt was a lovely guy and chatted with the audience after the show before setting off back home. If you were in that audience that night, you would not be surprised at how well he has done since.” 

Published 7 December 2020