Thousands of people have flocked to the Capital this month to see world-class comedy but one pair of best friends had tickets for their own private set . . . in their living room.
Pals Russell Gunson, 33, and Patrick Clarke, 34, won the exclusive gig with the winner of ITV’s 2011 Show Me The Funny, Patrick Monahan, after pooling their resources at the charity auction, Gordon’s Fightback presents Stand Up Against MND.
The event, held at the Leith Dockers Club, raised more than £7000 for Better Together aide Gordon Aikman, 29, who was diagnosed with the terminal condition Motor Neurone Disease earlier this year.
And the men, who have been best friends for more than 15 years, admitted it was fierce competition for the gig with both competing against each other before they realised they were better off bidding as a team and winning Monahan for £200. “We began fighting with each other and then we just thought ‘Let’s pool our resources’, but it was a close call,” Mr Clarke, a teacher, explained.
But apart from revealing how much they’d spent on a comedian to their other halves, the pair said they were delighted with the win especially after they managed to get Monahan to bring cake and do some decorating in Mr Gunson’s new flat in Leith, where the gig was held on Saturday afternoon.
“We had to have a think about what we were going to get him to do with a couple of hours because it’s a bit weird having someone come round but he promised to bring cake and we put him to work with some DIY,” Mr Gunson, a charity worker, added. “It’s one of the more strange thing we have done as friends and if it had been a couple of weeks ago when I was the best man at his wedding then it would have made the best man’s speech!”
Friends and family flocked to the venue where everyone, including Mr Clarke’s four-month-old son Ruaridh eagerly awaited Monahan’s appearance. And despite being 45 minutes late, Monahan was greeted with a loud applause as he burst into the room to start his act especially because his first joke involved picking up Mr Clarke’s son and saying: “Let’s do the Lion King!”
Monahan said: “I’ve never been invited round to someone’s house before. One of the organisers said they were having the auction and I could do a signed DVD but that’s a bit boring and not very original, and then he said “What about we auction you off to someone?” and I thought it was really different.”
Monahan said he was glad he could make people feel “uplifted” considering the circumstances. “I read Gordon’s story and I thought Oh my God! Everyone in life gets different illnesses but I have never seen anything like this, it’s so horrific,” he said.