The passing of the comedian Jim Bowen last month was keenly felt in our neck of the woods. He became a household name in the 1980s as the presenter of ‘Bullseye’, but he was known to Lancastrians in the 1970s as a teacher at several schools in the area. Younger Lancastrians may remember him for different reasons.
In the early 90s, some bright spark Bowland social secretary had the idea of booking the notoriously ‘blue’ comic to perform in the college bar. Bowen didn’t manage many, err, ‘off-colour’ gags before he was booed off the stage. After having a drink poured over him by a Sikh in the audience, Bowen asked the head bouncer to provide an escort. He obliged, and called over his very large, very black colleague to assist. Bowen, recognising his awkward situation, allegedly asked if he could expect any help if it all kicked off, to which the answer was a very confident ‘no’. Bowen was wished well in his escape.
Some time later, the unfortunate Jim Bowen, who lived in a converted railway station, received a phone call from a ‘representative of British Regional Railways’ (actually Louis Barfe, doing a wind-up for University Radio Bailrigg). Those wanting to listen to Bowen advising on how best to market a railway line as a tourist attraction using his likeness and trademarks can do so here: www.soundcloud.com/louis-barfe/full-frontal-crudity-jim-bowen