One Foot in the Gravy

One Foot in the Gravy


The poet laureate of parochialism and the mundane, John Shuttleworth is on fine form with this show from 2001. Fans of the Radio 4 presenter and retired security guard are in for a treat with his analysis of impending disasters. Of course, while it could be a catalogue of misery, Shuttleworth habitually celebrates minor triumphs and finds the remarkable in the routine.

If flooding does affect his Sheffield home, he has absolute certainty that he’ll be able to use the car port as a jetty. And if things did go really wrong, he’d be happy to go caravanning. If, like Shuttleworth, you’re amazed by the convenience of contemporary living, you’ll find yourself agreeing with his tributes to fleeces and comfy footwear and singing along to his ode to the carvery, “Mary had a little lamb,green beans and new potatoes.”

Few performers have been able to wring such depths of emotion from a portable Yamaha electronic organ as Shuttleworth. Graham Fellows’s character is true one-off.


Graham Fellows' comic creation John Shuttleworth in a 2001 performance from London's Shepherd's Bush Empire, entertaining the audience with such songs as She Lives in Hope and dispensing advice on how to survive assorted catastrophes. Musicologist Brian Appleton also appears.