Interview: This Is Wiltshire Feb 2015

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Count on Arthur to be in fine form
This Is Wiltshire: Thursday 12th February 2015

“I CAN’T do anything else these days and, if I did, it would sound like Arthur.”

Fifteen years ago, Steve Delaney fashioned Arthur Strong, a Quixotic and highly deluded comedic character whose confabulations know no bounds.

Arthur’s non-sequiturs and delusions of grandeur reached a broader audience when Count Arthur Strong’s Radio Show launched on the BBC airwaves.

The second series of Count Arthur Strong is now in full swing on BBC2, and yet Steve has no plans to take a break from the ‘bonkers old bloke’ or give Arthur a rest.

He will be bringing the northerner’s antics and tribulations to the Swindon stage, as befits his creation, old friend and alter ego. After all, touring is how it all began.

“I’ve been going since 1999,” said Steve. “I started out live really. Up until the TV series I had been touring. I wanted to stay true to the touring nature of the show.”

As Arthur’s pathological inability to get the obvious and predilection towards the absurd work best when colliding with the more rational viewpoint of his fellow human beings, Terry Kilkelly and Dave Plimmer (who plays Eggy in the television sitcom) will join him on stage for some nutty banter.

“I realised that Arthur’s interaction with other people is very funny and interesting. People don’t want to hear me rattle on for 90 minutes. The dynamic of the show works much better with other people in it.”

Arthur is a hotchpotch of personality traits and drunken behaviours observed by Steve as a child growing up in Leeds. But his dandyism and eccentricities owe a lot to Steve’s godfather and neighbour; a theatre electrician with a peculiar sense of dress. “There’s quite a lot of him in Arthur. We used to live in a slumming old back street but he was always dressed like a city gent.

“From a caricature, Arthur has grown tremendously over the years and still continues to surprise and inspire his creator. I think we are scratching the surface of the things Arthur can do. That keeps me going.”



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