Colin Grainger

Stars come out for charity in a superb night of comedy

The stars came out for a special charity last night in a simply superb comedy night.

A packed audience at the Backyard Comedy Club had tears in their eyes all night long as Jo Brand and Alan Carr gave their time to help raise funds for the vital work of Canning Town charity Ambition, Aspire, Achieve.

The evening was the brainchild of comedian, actor and writer Ricky Grover, who joined them on stage with comedians Seann Walsh, Kelly Convey, Quincy Comedian and David Ward, who also compared the evening.

It was particularly important for Ricky, who became a patron of the charity last week and Quincy, as they are from Canning Town, where the charity is based.

The charity is helping to change the lives of disabled and disadvantaged people in Newham and East London.

All the stars gave their services for free and all money raised through ticket sales were donated by the Backyard Club in Bethnal Green.

I don’t think I have laughed as much in years.

From Jo Brand’s reflections on her charity sponsored walk: “It was a way of losing 6,000 calories a day. Trouble is, I eat 9,000 calories a day.”

To Alan Carr’s reflections on his appearance on Who Do You Think You Are? : “I’d seen celebrities jet off to  sun drenched islands – I only got as far as Streatham.”

It was simply brilliant.

Kelly was in magnificent form, David loving every minute and leaving the audience always wanting more. Quincy had us in stitches with his early days in Canning Town.

Ricky revealed his passion for our charity – and rightly gave glowing praise to Kevin Jenkins, Paula Blake and their team for how they are changing lives.

He then launched in to routine that brought the house down, and earned praise from his fellow comedians.

Seann finished the evening with a routine that will live long in the memory, in particular about the early days of downloading songs and movies – and also of illegal copying of films in the days of videos – and video shops.

As a trustee of the charity it was an honour to be part of evening.

Alan told me: “I am happy to be here for such a deserving cause. It’s an honour.”

Kelly said: “It was a superb evening and the audience were terrific.”

Jo, Quincy and Seann all said they were delighted to help out and Seann said: “Ricky was blinding. He is one of the funniest comics in the country.”

Ricky was breathless after the evening.

He said: “I just want to thank everyone who gave up their time to perform and come to see us to help raise funds for a charity I know does so much for young people. And thank you to everyone at the Backyard Club for all their efforts.”


David said: “No exaggeration, everyone smashed the Ambition, Aspire, Achieve charity night at the Backyard Comedy Club. Amazing audience. Never heard such noise when I introduced all the acts and when they came off. A real pleasure. Thank you .”

Ambition, Aspire, Aspire achieve founder Kevin Jenkins said: “It was a superb night and we are grateful to everyone for their support. We would especially like to thank Ricky Grover for making it happen and for all his support and belief in AAA.”


Pictures: Colin Grainger

One Comment

  1. Danny Ward
    February 24, 2021

    Dear Colin,
    I hope you are well, I am a comedian making a documentary about Ian Cognito. We cover the story about he and Ricky Grover from back in the day and we have Jo brand commenting on it too. I was wondering if we might be allowed to use the photo you have of Jo and Ricky back stage. It would be on screen for approx 5 seconds whilst Jo talks about her affection for Ricky. Do you think that would be okay? We would acknowledge you in the credits of course.

    Many thanks


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This article was written on 23 Oct 2017, and is filed under Ambition Aspire Achieve, Canning Town, Ricky Grover.

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