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Bad boys for life: Slim and Richard Blackwood are back at it

IN THEIR ELEMENT: Richard Blackwood, left, and Slim, on stage during their Bad Boys 2 show in 2016

SLIM AND Richard Blackwood have promised Life and Style they are going to bring that ‘funny’ when they hit the Hackney Empire stage for Bad Boys 2 at the end of July, nearly two years after they lit up the same venue with the first instalment of this stand up comedy show.

With a combined 50 years experience in the stand-up comedy industry between them, Blackwood and Slim felt the time was right to revisit Bad Boys following the success of the show in 2016 which saw the duo sell out the iconic east London venue twice in one day.

“I’m looking forward to July 28. It’s always great working with Richard,” Slim said.

“I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again, me and Richard, we kind of started off at the same time and like anybody, if you got a friend from secondary school and you started at the same time, you go through the motions, but 25 years later we are still here and relevant. Not just here, we’re still headline acts, so for that alone, to come out and showcase between the two of us, that’s 50 years’ worth of experience in comedy – we’re not rampin’.”

If you haven’t had the pleasure of seeing these two in action, it’s a must.

The synergy between them has all the hallmarks of a firm relationship, one that has transcended personal and professional peaks and troughs and one that Blackwood doesn’t take for granted.

He said: “This is a very fickle business and I understand that, I am not sensitive about the business anymore. When I was starting out, I was.

“I am a sensitive human being as it is, but with this business, it will definitely do that to you and then you become hard like stone. Because it’s not nice to you.

“Eastenders came at a time when there wasn’t really much happening for me and I knew when I signed on the dotted line, my career was going to change.

“Instinctively everybody was following me, friends that didn’t holler were hollering, it was a different time, but I knew who my people were, my people were always my people.

“Slim was always people from day one. He’ll never change.” Hosted by Eddie Kadi and including a special guest showing from Ayanna Witter-Johnson, Bad Boys 2 promises to be a very special stand-up comedy show. But what can the audience expect?

“One thing with us is we don’t cheat our audience,” Blackwood enthused.

“We are not knocking other comedians when I say that, because comedians are really sensitive.

“They will find a way to go, ‘mans referencing me’. Like Slim said, we are still relevant and part of that is because when we go out on the stage, we take no prisoners. We are healthy competition even for one another. Slim is probably, not probably, he is the only person that I’ll be nervous of when I’m on the same show.”

Hackney Empire has afforded the two some of their best nights ever in their careers with Slim referring to the venue as a ‘second home’.

Recalling some standout moments, Blackwood said: “The last Bad Boys is one of them. To be honest Slim says it’s been 25 years and we have done Hackney Empire probably about 25,000 times.

“What I will say about Hackney Empire is overall the audience that comes, comes there to give you energy. All they want you to do is just deliver. If you deliver, they won’t shortchange you, they will make sure that, if that joke was funny they are going to give you what you deserve.

“And because of the way that theatre is built when the cheers come in, it really engulfs you. So any comedian will tell you, it kind of amps you, the laughter amps you regardless, but there is something about the Hackney audience, if you tear it there, you feel somewhat invincible.”

It’s commonplace for comedy shows to present multiple acts in a bid to attract more fans but asked if there would be any other personalities performing on July 28, Blackwood said: “Does it need anybody else?

“Eddie Kidde is on. Eddie is my people. One of the things for me that I don’t like is that, when I see people, and this is just my opinion, when I see people doing a one-man show and there are six people on the bill.

“It’s not a one-man show. You only need so many warm ups. “At the end of the day, Slim can tell you, when I did my oneman show, Kat hosted it for the first half, which was about 30 minutes and I came out and did one hour and 45 minutes. “My thing is that people want to see you.”

See Richard Blackwood and Slim in Bad Boys 2 at the Hackney Empire on July 28. The show starts at 7.30pm. Life and Style has three pairs of tickets to give away for the Bad Boys 2 show at the Hackney Empire on July 28. To win answer this question: What character did Richard Blackwood play in Eastenders? Is it A. Vincent Hubbard, B. Carl Pascal or C. Johnny Rotten? All entries must be submitted by midday, July 23. Enter now by visiting: voice-online.co.uk/competitions

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