Comedy / Eastablishment Club

Establishment Club launches biggest-ever talent search in Bristol

By steve wright, Tuesday Aug 8, 2017

Bristol is to be the first stop on a new talent search by The Establishment Club, the legendary haven for satire founded by Peter Cook.

Fronted by Keith Allen, the Club will take the form of a Routemaster bus and will be travelling to 5 cities in search of talent to recruit for a new television show based on the Establishment Club format, to be broadcast on the television network RT.

The Establishment Club Road Trip, which makes its first stop in Bristol on Wednesday, August 9, is calling on the city’s sharp wits and brave performers to come along and show what they can do. Keith Allen will be judging along with a panel of Establishment Club greats, including Victor Lewis Smith and Mike O’Brien. The best of the performances will go up on the Establishment Club website. The bus will then travel to Brighton, Edinburgh, Manchester and Newcastle.

Keith Allen (pictured top with Stephen Fry at a recent Establishment Club revue) says: “The comedy circuit is in desperate need of a cattleprod in the bollocks, and to then be slapped about a bit with a fetid badger cadaver, just to make sure it’s fully alert. The Establishment Club is taking to the road to search for exciting new talent to deliver the beating the British comedy scene, kinky bugger that it is, so desperately craves.

“We want fresh voices: angry, passionate, original, razor-sharp. We want state-of-the-nation stuff – whether it’s anecdote or poetry, performance or something else that doesn’t fit any of the boxes. We aren’t interested in a dissertation on social justice, and if it’s a diatribe about the Daily Mail, it had better be stroke-inducingly funny.”

Those who are not able to make it to the bus are invited to submit their performances via the Establishment Club Road Trip website. The best performers will stand a chance of becoming a regular contributor on a new satire show to be produced by acclaimed filmmaker Victor Lewis Smith and broadcast on RT.

Lewis Smith says: “In recent years, mainstream broadcasters seem to have given up on investing in edgy and boundary-pushing satire. Instead, support for bold new voices in comedy has come from a seemingly unlikely source – RT. Tom Walker is known for his strangely compelling spoof rants as fictional news reporter Jonathan Pie, a role that he first platformed on RT. Satirical current affairs show News Thing makes Have I Got News For You look like Blue Peter.

“And now, The Establishment Club is delighted to be working with RT on a revival of its ground-breaking format. The legacy of Peter Cook has found a new home!”

The Bristol talent search takes place on Wednesday, August 9 in Anchor Square, from 10am-4pm. For more info, visit

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