BBC Northampton presenter donates all profits from sell-out stage show to charity

Cheque presentation for Childen in Need with Ashley Bishop from the Royal and Derngate and BBC Radio Northampton's Bernie Keith
Cheque presentation for Childen in Need with Ashley Bishop from the Royal and Derngate and BBC Radio Northampton's Bernie Keith

A Northampton radio presenter has handed over a cheque for almost £3,500 to Children in Need after raising the money with his first sell-out comedy show.

Bernie Keith, well known for his presence on BBC Radio Northampton, raised £3408.52 for the charity after his Q&A style show ‘An Evening With Bernie Keith’ filled Northampton’s Royal theatre to capacity.

Tickets sold out within the first few hours of sale in October last year, with the surge of customers crashing the theatre’s phone exchange system.

But despite regularly entertaining listeners with his wit over the radiowaves, the 52-year-old said he was very shy when it came to the thought of performing on stage.

He said: “It was an unreal experience; I had never done anything like it before.

“People have been telling me to do something like this for years but I was always much too nervous. To stand there and see people in front of you is terrifying.

“But they were all laughing on the night, and it’s quite something to make people laugh solidly for more than two hours.”

Mr Keith answered questions about his life in front of a sell-out audience of 500 accompanied by his dog, Riley, and fellow BBC presenter, Rob Adcock, who organised the show.

In preparation for the main event, the trio tested out the material in front a smaller, non-paying audience to huge success.

Commenting on the content of the show, which involved Mr Keith miming a prostate exam, he said: “It’s not like your usual mainstream BBC material.

“I was just inspired by my own life and work, and what people really find funny on air. I also used a bit of influence from people I found funny growing up: Frankie Howerd, Kenneth Williams and, more recently, Northampton’s very own Alan Carr.”

All profits from the £11 tickets were donated to the BBC’s affiliated charity, Children in Need. But one of the highlights of the show for audience members was the free cupcakes Mr Keith baked for the occasion - enough for one each.

“So the moral is,” he said, “if you want people to laugh at your jokes, give them free cake.”