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Goodbye Mr. Chips?

Roy Walker Corn Exchange, 25/10/08

Tonight sees the return of Roy Walker, the ‘Catchphrase’ presenter turned stand-up comic. The opening soundtrack to ‘Catchphrase’ leaves the audience reeling with reminiscent excitement, and when Walker follows through with some genuinely funny jokes, he proves that there’s still life in this sixty eight-year-old yet.

However, as the show continues and Walker tells us that ‘not a lot of people know about me’, the show starts to wobble. The good foundation of the beginning seems to melt away into oblivion and instead of jokes we hear a life story where sound and exhilaration seems to have faded out to a few sparse, muffled laughs. You truly want to hear a joke and giggle; Walker teases you but doesn’t quite get there.

Walker stays true to his roots with the announcement of a game of ‘Catchphrase’ and the return of his animated sidekick Mr. Chips. All ears prick up at this point and the anticipation and suspense builds again while we all ‘say what we see’, and, with a Chris Moyles T-shirt for a prize, what could be better? This is Roy Walker at his best, and with Mr. Chips he is most comfortable and in his element.

At the beginning of the show, Walker makes a joke out of his famous saying from ‘Catchphrase’: ‘it’s good but it’s not right.’ This seems to sum up the performance; although it was indisputably a lot of fun, if he tweaked the middle it would be a really good show, and not just for those diehard catchphrase fans either.

Goodbye Mr. Chips? Walker comments that he will not go away; and even after all these years the show still seems to be supported by him.

Check out our interview with Roy Walker.

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