Manchester Comedy Festival: Boddingtons Dream Tent, Manchester, 1996
The News Quiz (BBC Radio recording): BBC Radio Theatre, London, various dates between 2007 and 2011
I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue Live: Royal Festival Hall, London, 2010
Barry Cryer and Friends: An 80th Birthday Celebration: Palace Theatre, London, 2015
Arnold Brown’s 80th Birthday Bash: The Comedy Store, London, 2016
Stand Up for Jeremy Hardy: Hammersmith Apollo, London, 2021
The comedy world was shocked in February 2019 by the untimely passing of Jeremy Hardy who tragically died from cancer aged just 57 years old. Hardy was a legendary stand-up who was a very thoughtful comedic analyst with a loyally socialist political voice.
He was a mainstay of British comedy for over thirty years after becoming an early winner of the Edinburgh Comedy Award (known then as the Perrier Award) at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1988. He appeared on TV in shows such as Blackadder and Have I Got News For You and on radio The News Quiz and probably most memorably as a regular guest on BBC Radio 4’s I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue where on the highlights was always his extremely bad singing in various different styles which became legendary to listeners.
I was very lucky to see him many times on stage which began an early performance in Manchester in 1988 where he was about to embark on his tour Jeremy Hardy Speaks To The Nation which later became another successful radio series. I attended many radio recordings where he was to feature and every time, he always seemed to be really enjoying himself, which reflected through to the audience. I saw him deliver two bitingly witty and heartfelt speeches in honour of his work colleagues and friends Barry Cryer (for his 80th birthday celebration in 2015) and Arnold Brown (for his 80th Birthday Bash in 2016).
In January 2022, a two-year postponed memorial evening for Hardy finally went ahead, and at the Hammersmith Apollo in London. Jack Dee and Mark Steel hosted Stand Up for Jeremy Hardy with special guests Angela Barnes, Rich Hall, Seann Walsh, Imran Yusuf, Miles Jupp, Shaparak Korshandi, Eddie Izzard and the cast of I’m Sorry I Haven’t A Clue (the long running radio 4 ‘antidote to panel games where Hardy was a regular guest and Dee hosted). The evening had many laughs and memories of the incredible wordsmith comic talent that was Hardy. I was so pleased to attend as I had just finished reading the amazing book Jeremy Hardy Speak Volumes (compiled by producer David Tyler and Hardy’s wife Katie Barlow). It is a wonderful book and it was a brilliant memorial show for an outstanding comedian.
Whilst reading about his life at the time of his death, not only was he extremely funny but he appeared to be a very kind and generous man as well often helping comedians start out with their careers. Hardy is a great loss and will be sorely missed.