Christmas Lunch – And a Lot of Laughs

It’s not going to be a pantomime. But a Birmingham Hippodrome panto star will be one of the guests at this year’s Press Club Christmas lunch on 15 December. And with two Brummie comedians on board as well, there’s going to be lots of laughter.

Hosting the event will be comedian Andy Robinson, who is regarded as one of the top comperes on today’s comedy circuit. A regular at Birmingham’s Glee Club – the largest comedy club outside London - Andy has been delighting audience with his comedy routine for the last 15 years. And he plans to carry on that way until he weds into royalty!

A regular support act to Jo Brand, Andy has also appeared alongside comedy stars such as Rich Hall, Rhod Gilbert and Paddy McGuiness. At the Press Club Christmas lunch, however, he will be sharing the laughs with Birmingham Hippodrome panto star Matt Slack and Brummie comedian Jay Handley.

Matt, who has earned rave reviews for his previous panto appearances, is cast in the role of Idle Jack in this year’s panto, Dick Whittington, at Birmingham Hippodrome, which runs from 19 December until 29 January.

EastEnders star Steve McFadden, a close friend of Matt, who is appearing at the Hippodrome as King Rat said: “I’ve been to see Matt in panto here for the last three years and I can confidently say that Birmingham is home to one of the best pantomimes in the country.”

Also appearing in this year’s panto at the Hippodrome (www.birminghamhippodrome.com) will be musical theatre star John Barrowman, comedy duo The Krankies, actress and singer Jodie Prenger and Andrew Ryan, as the panto dame. Tickets can also be booked by calling 0844 338 5000.

Produced by Qdos Entertainment, the world’s biggest pantomime producer, Dick Whittington will be directed by  Michael Harrison  for the fifth year running.

Jay gave up a career as a furniture-maker to make jokes instead and, apart from appearing at comedy venues around the country, he has also performed six times at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. This year he presented his show – “You Want the Truth? You Can’t Handley the Truth!”

BBC radio producer Kevin Pashby, who is co-organising the lunch with fellow-Press Club director Sonya Bell, said: “There’ll be a new look to the event this year – but I have no doubt that everyone is in for a great time.”

The lunch is being held at the award-winning restaurant and bar at The Penthouse Suite at the Loft Lounge in Bromsgrove Street (B5 6RG) – not far from Birmingham Hippodrome.

Guests will be able to enjoy a sparkling drinks reception, a festive two-course lunch and entertainment. Individual tickets will cost £30 + VAT. But seeing as it’s Christmas we will let you book a table of ten for just £270 + VAT.

If you prefer a vegetarian option, don’t forget to say so when making your booking.

The fun gets underway at 12 noon.

To reserve your place please email Press Club directors Kevin Pashby (kevin.pashby@bbc.co.uk) or Sonya Bell (pickandmixmedia@gmail.com). Or if you prefer send a cheque, payable to Birmingham Press Club, to Press Club Vice-Chairman Fred Bromwich at 10, Dover Avenue, Worcester, WR4 0LA.