Sunday 21 October 2012

A Visit to Graham Chapman's Local

To Preserve and Foster the Tradition of British Comedy
Graham Chapman 
"A very naughty boy"
8 January 1941 to 4 October 1989
Comedian and writer
Member of Monty Python's Flying Circus
Drank here often and copiously
The British Comedy Society
6 September 2012
What a stroke of PR genius it was to have The British Comedy Society put up a blue plaque for Graham Chapman to help promote his movie "A Liar's Autobiography" which goes on general release in the UK in January 2013.
"A Liar's Autobiography" flyer
Instead of putting the plaque on the house he lived in (that would have been far too ordinary), it was placed on a wall of his local pub - The Angel Inn, Highgate. After all, during his alcoholic years, he probably spent more time there than at home!

The Angel Inn, Highgate (you can just see the blue plaque to the left of the angel)
Unfortunately, my Monty Python "sources" didn't manage to tell me in advance about the plaque unveiling ceremony attended by Michael Palin, Terry Jones, Carol Cleveland and other celebs; I heard about it like everybody else did - on the news. Oh well, that's the way it goes sometimes. 
Soon to be The Chapman Corner
So, on the night of 16th October 2012, just before the UK premiere of "A Liar's Autobiography", (an appropriate night if ever there was one), I decided to go and see The Angel Inn for myself. I tried to visualise him being there in the 70s and 80s, probably doing crazy things and shouting a lot. The Angel's landlord, Ben Martin, told me he regularly got thrown out for being drunk, and would complain at the top of his voice in the street outside! Ben also told me that he will dedicate a corner of the pub to Graham, to be called (unsurprisingly) The Chapman Corner, where he will put some pictures of him. I'll definitely pop back one day for a photo of that! 
Graham Chapman as the Colonel: "Now, nobody likes a good laugh more than I do... except perhaps my wife... and some of her friends... oh, yes, and Captain Johnston. Come to think of it, most people like a good laugh more than I do, but that's beside the point."
News reports of the unveiling: 

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