These nervous business professionals are hoping the joke won’t be on them when they take to the stage for a night of charity stand-up.
Chief executives, managing directors – and even a pair of policewomen – will put themselves in the spotlight later this year to raise funds for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.
Ch Supt Rachel Barber and Ch Insp Caroline Rollitt, from South Yorkshire Police, will form the only comedy duo taking part in the charity night at Sheffield City Hall in November.
“We did what we thought was a serious talk to a women’s group and somebody said we’d be perfect for this event, so I’m not really sure how to take that,” laughed Rachel. “We’re pleased to be doing this together though – safety in numbers!”
Karen added: “We’ve no idea what we’re going to do, I’m already having sleepless nights over it.”
Jacqui Copley, managing director of Elite Swim and one of nine professionals taking part, admitted: “I’m absolutely scared stiff the closer it gets. I’ve done amateur dramatics before and when a friend asked me to take part I thought it would be fun – I must have been mad.”
The Funny Business event has been organised by Sheffield Chamber of Commerce & Industry and this is the second year it will be held in the city.
As part of the event, each of the nine participants will receive training from Sheffield comic Alfie Moore, which will conclude with the hopefuls performing to a crowd of 600.
David Grey, managing director of OSL Group, admitted the idea was daunting.
“My family and friends don’t think I’m funny at all, but I think they’ll be polite and laugh along on the night, so my plan is to buy lots of tickets and stuff the audience with as many obligatory laughers as possible!” said the 56-year-old, of Nether Edge.
Also taking up the comedy challenge are Professor Graham Honeyman, chief executive at Forgemasters, Arif Munir, leasing manager at Lombard Nat West, Steve Brailey, managing director at Sheffield International Venues, Jill White, partner at Andy Hanselman consultancy in Sheffield, and Steve Coulson, managing director at Martek Marine in Rotherham.
Tickets for Funny Business, on Thursday, November 7, are available from www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk