Karen Koren: A fond hello and a sad farewell

Comedy agent Addison Cresswell. Pic: Comp
Comedy agent Addison Cresswell. Pic: Comp
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HAPPY New Year everyone. I’m feeling very positive after my short trip to Los Angeles; I had a really great time doing all the tourist things, seeing the sights and getting lots of ideas.

I caught up with some old friends and made some new ones. Had a lovely lunch with Tim Minchin and family - the kids and Tim performed a puppet show specially for us and I think his kids will probably follow him into showbusiness, by the standard of the show.

Also bumped into the lovely Greg Hemphill of Still Game fame and his wife Julie Wilson Nimmo (Balamory’s Miss Hoolie) who have been living in LA for the past year or so. They are returning soon as Greg will be reprising the role of Victor for the Still Game stage shows at the Hydro in September. I also had a few meetings with prospective shows for the Festival, which I am very excited about.

Shortly before I flew out I heard the sad news of the death of Addison Cresswell. He created the biggest comedy agency in the UK, Off The Kerb. He was very much responsible for creating the biggest names in comedy and making the genre more popular than ever, with Live at the Apollo and Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow. He was 53 years old and I knew him from the beginning of the 80s when we both started in the industry.

He was a force to be reckoned with, but fiercely loyal to his clients, who included Lee Evans, Jack Dee, Jonathan Ross, Kevin Bridges, Alan Carr, Michael McIntyre and many others.

He was like the Arthur Daly of the comedy world and it was hard to believe on meeting him that he was as successful as he was. He was kind and always helpful to me, though a terrible tease. He used to say “You never see Karen Koren and Eddie Izzard in the same room!” An insult, perhaps, but strangely affectionate.

He will be sorely missed.