Doncaster business bosses all set to play it for laughs at charity show

Gearing up for the stand up comedy event, Funny Business, in aid of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity are (L-R) Mark Appleyard, Colin Gaffney, Richard Walsh, Jean Stewart, Garry Thickett, Mark Beresford and Arnie Shelley. Picture: Shaun Flannery
Gearing up for the stand up comedy event, Funny Business, in aid of Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity are (L-R) Mark Appleyard, Colin Gaffney, Richard Walsh, Jean Stewart, Garry Thickett, Mark Beresford and Arnie Shelley. Picture: Shaun Flannery
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They are used to meetings and making deals – but tomorrow night some of Doncaster’s leading business lights will be gearing up for gags and giggles as they take part in a fundraising comedy spectacular.

Eight businessmen will take to the stage at Doncaster Racecourse to raise money for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

The brave would-be comedians, including Mark Beresford, of Taylor Bracewell Solicitors, and Paul Fearn, of Forge Trade, have committed to swap the boardroom for the bright lights in an evening of comedy gold to raise funds for the local specialist cancer hospital.

Funny Business will see participants take to the stage to each deliver a 10-minute stand-up comedy routine.

Pennine Stone, managing director of Richard Walsh, said: “It’s been a rollercoaster of an experience, fuelled in part by the visit to Weston Park Hospital to see the building works for a new cancer research and treatment suite which is nearing completion.

“Preparing for a comedy stand-up performance is a very serious business, it has been surprisingly challenging, but the amount of money raised through the generosity of colleagues, friends and family has made it all worthwhile.”

Having almost completed a five-week training regime with policeman turned creative comic Alfie Moore, the group have honed their comedic pitch in good time before the big night.

Colin Gaffney, MD of The Natural Learning Company, who has a very poignant reason behind his involvement in the event, said: “This experience has been a real challenge but with the support of my fellow Doncaster business participants, I am helping to raise funds for the hospital where I was personally treated for cancer.”

Colin was diagnosed with a base of tongue tumour in July 2011 and received treatment at Weston Park.

The plucky participants are Mark Appleyard of Mark Appleyard Solicitors, Colin Gaffney, Richard Walsh, Paul Fearn. Arnie Shelley, owner of WPA, Garry Thickett, director of Garry Thickett Accountants and Mark Beresford and Jonathan Bucknall, of Business Doncaster.

* Tickets are £14 each. Visit Funny Business Doncaster or call the charity office on 0114 226 5370.

Contestants could try some of these gags...

Here’s a few funnies from a string of famous comics the contestants could drop into their rib-tickling routines...

Tim Vine, above: “He said ‘I’m going to chop off the bottom of one of your trouser legs and put it in a library.’ I thought ‘That’s a turn-up for the books’.”

Jimmy Carr: “When you eat a lot of spicy food, you can lose your taste. When I was in Mexico last summer, I was listening to a lot of Michael Bolton.”

Bob Monkhouse: “I want to die like my father, peacefully in his sleep, not screaming and terrified, like the passengers on his bus.”

Tommy Cooper: “Two aerials meet on a roof – fall in love – get married. The ceremony was rubbish, but the reception was brilliant.”

Stewart Francis: “You know who really gives kids a bad name? Posh and Becks.”