One Friday evening in 2019, I was a little merry with him on the other sofa watching Have I Got News For You, which is our custom, and one of the guest panelists was Gyles Brandreth. I remembered him from being a friend of Mad Lizzie on TV-AM with Anne Diamond and Nick in the 1980’s, and that Gyles was overly fond of a hand-knitted jumper (way, way, WAY before Christmas jumpers were acceptable attire).
On HIGNFY, Gyles was funny and we giggled along, enjoying his cheeky repertoire. I knew he was funny, he’s always been witty and had great stories to tell so – in a fit of merriness – I discovered that he was on tour. Tickets I did buy.
The venue was now open, Gyles is still alive and the new date was a goer. Mr booked a self-catering studio that was part of a hotel, as Bury St Edmunds isn’t next door to my house (I think I mentioned we’d been drinking when I booked it!). We decided to leave the youth’s home alone. Here’s a tip, tell them you are going out for lunch. Then at about 7pm call and say “would you mind if we stay out? Oh and Granny said she’s going to pop by as she has xxxx for me.”
I digress… the kids were briefed with strict instructions not to breathe a word of home-alone-ness to man or beast or especially teenagers, and we headed to the venue hoping for the best, The Apex in the centre of the very lovely Bury. The Abbey Gardens are marvellous and the old, winding streets with independent and chain shops are a refreshing mooching ground.
Gyles didn’t disappoint. I hadn’t expected much but I had a most fantastic time. It was like being in a room with a friend that chatters and makes you laugh. It was warmly humorous and very enjoyable. At one point, Gyles mentioned going to The Royal Variety Performance with The Queen and Prince Philip, then looked around and you could just see what he was thinking… Sunday night in The Apex, how?
It was funny, he was so self-deprecating, intelligent and interesting. Story after story with little insights and side-notes. I could have stayed for hours more. I would 100% recommend booking to see him if ever you get the chance (dates are still available). It’s clear why he’s been a TV fav since I can remember and has outlasted so many other chat show celebrities. He’s ‘a character’ as they say. I want to be his friend so I can hear more.
After the show we went to The Giggling Squid which I was really excited about as I’d heard good things and had never been. This did disappoint. Our food wasn’t good, however, to be fair, the manager was very apologetic and tried to rectify it, I think it was a bad day in the Bury branch and not a reflection of The Giggling Squid as a whole. I’ll not bore you with the details but you might want to let a different branch take your Squid virginity!
In the morning, there was a knock on our apartment door and the breakfast tray we had pre-ordered the night before arrived. It was like a miracle as I had totally forgotten about it. The studio was lovely and it was a shame that we had to leave early, but we ate and then rushed home to ensure that our non-party-mum-and-dad-away-house had remained just that. Phew! Thankfully, it was all fine and one of them had even remembered to feed the dog! All round, a winner evening.