By Andrew Brown Stand Up For Southport
The world’s greatest prankster, Simon Brodkin, is about to phone me, and I’m nervously peering out of my window to check he’s not chucked any dubious looking golf balls across my lawn.
It’s a prank he pulled on former US President Donald Trump no less, at Turnberry Golf Club in Ayrshire in Scotland.
The most viewed British comedian on TikTok disguised himself as a journalist and pulled off an elaborate plan to scatter a load of swastika emblazoned golf balls onto the green next to Donald Trump in front of the world’s watching media.
“You don’t have to worry about getting pranked,” he told me when he called.
“I only like to target narcissistic, racist, misogynistic politicians!”
He picks his targets carefully.
Another ‘victim’ – if someone who causes others such misery can be called a victim – was former Top Shop, Arcadia and BHS supremo Phil Green.
Simon Brodkin gained worldwide attention (and acclaim) when he headed out to Philip Green’s monstrous superyacht and renamed it ‘BHS Destroyer’ with a sign on the side.
The former BHS and Arcadia workers in Southport would have enjoyed that one.
He pranked Volkswagen while dressed as a mechanic at the Geneva Motor Show amidst their emissions scandal; he crashed Kanye West’s set at Glastonbury; he threw wads of cash at former FIFA President Sepp Blatter during a press conference.
He’s become the Robin Hood of pranksters, taking joy from the rich and arrogant and giving laughter to the poor.
Simon Brodkin’s elaborate hoaxes have seen him take on a wide range of cunning disguises.
It’s something he’s become an expert at over the years, as he’s earned his stand up comedy legend status performing as the “well wicked” Lee Nelson, or Scouse footballer Jason Bent.
Between all his incredible characters, Simon Brodkin has earned himself worldwide acclaim and tens of millions of views and fans worldwide.
On Sunday 8th October, he will be performing live stand up comedy at the 2023 Southport Comedy Festival – as himself.
Fresh from his sold-out, critically-acclaimed Edinburgh Fringe run, In ‘Screwed Up’ Simon rips into celebrity culture, social media, the police, Putin, Prince Andrew and Jesus.
Nothing, and nobody, is off limits in this hilarious show, including his own mental health, his family, his five arrests and how he once found himself at an underground sex party.
“I have had a lot of fun doing all my pranks,” he says.
“When I tricked Donald Trump, I was very grateful that the Scottish Police arrested me before the CIA.
“There was a real tussle for my arrest, and the Scottish Police, who were lovely, insisted I was going with them.
“Thank God they got hold of me before the CIA did!
“I would still be living in Guantanamo Bay now!
“The Scottish police just sent me on my way, and deported me from Scotland. It could have been a lot worse!
“It’s fair to say that I’m not Donald Trump’s biggest fan, so I really enjoyed that one.
“There are a lot of us in the hate Trump category.
“He shows all the worst traits in human beings.
“When you read kids books to your children, the good characters always win in the end.
“But Trump shows that a lot of the time, real life’s not like that, and the bastard wins.
“I love the fact that he could become the first ever US President to move from the Oval office to prison.”
Simon has not been short of targets to prank.
“There are quite a lot of people like that about, sadly!” he says.
“If you are pranking someone you want to enjoy it.
“Who would I prank next? Our Prime Minister could be up there at the moment.
“You want to assess the feelings of the nation currently before you select a target.
“Captain Tom would not have been a good person to prank!
“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un would be up there.
“From what I hear he has a great sense of humour!
“There is only one person who I have tried to prank and it hasn’t come off.
“They will remain nameless, in case I try and get them again.
“Or I might wait until my autobiography comes out.
“Most of the pranks I try have come off. It’s been a mixture of careful planning and chutzpah!
“Some of them took lots of hard work. Donald Trump was always going to be tough because of all his security.
“Kanye West was a last minute one. That was about being at Glastonbury and finding a little gap behind a falafel stall and suddenly thinking ‘I could do this, I could get on stage with him!’”
Simon Brodkin has become in one sense a huge worldwide name, whose work has been seen by tens of millions of people – while at the same time, because of the number and variety of his characters, people coming to Southport Comedy Festival won’t know quite what – or who – to expect.
They will get the rare pleasure of meeting the great man himself.
Seeing the man who created the genius comedy character Lee Nelson is going to be well wicked.
Simon Brodkin said: “People don’t know what to expect, which is why I am honoured that they are coming.
“The tour has been rolling and rolling and due to the interest I have had to arrange a lot of extra dates which has been brilliant.
“What people coming can look forward to at my show is lots of laughs!
“I want people spending their money to go for a night out, people who have got a babysitter sorted, I want to make sure that they are going to have a really good night out!
“I do two halves with no support act. It’s just me on stage. I can talk about lots of things related to the real world.
“I’ll talk about Matt Hancock, about Prince Andrew, about Vladimir Putin, the Ayatollah, southerners, all kinds of people, they all get it, and of course me, if I’m laughing at other people I’ve got to laugh at myself too!
“I will also be talking as well about things like family, about parenting, about religion, about what’s going on in your brain!”
The final question, as he’s on his way to perform at a gig in Merseyside. Who was Simon’s inspiration for his Scouse footballer Jason Bent?
“It was a mixture of footballers!” he said. “Jamie Carragher, Steven Gerrard, Wayne Rooney, David Beckham, other Premier League footballers, I’ve taken bits of inspiration from all of them.
“I’ve always got some kind of connection with Liverpool!
“When I put on a football kit and followed the Manchester City players onto the pitch, I did that at Goodison Park.
“Merseyside Police didn’t see the funny side of that one!”
Simon Brodkin – Screwed Up
Sunday 8th October 2023
Venue: Southport Comedy Festival Under Canvas at Victoria Park in Southport, Esplanade,Southport,PR8 1RX
Tickets £22.50+ BF
Age restriction:14+ PG
- For tickets please visit: southportcomedyfestival.com