This Autumn it seems us northern English are supremely lucky to be in receipt of a series of talks from professional Frenchman, Marcel Lucont.

Lucont has spent a number of years now doing missionary work (paid of course), raising the cultural level of the English so it’s almost on a par with the French. After a particularly difficult time spent trying to culture-fy the south of England, and in particular London, he’ll probably find it easier up here in the North. I myself have attended one of his one-on-one workshops demonstrating the correct way to eat cheese with a rind of mold without gagging in polite company and the appropriate way to approach a tin of escargot (from behind in case you were wondering).

“I play shows (his term for these talks of high importance) wherever a higher level of entertainment and cultural observation is required, and a great majority of my shows recently have been in the UK. You can make of this what you will,” he notes, nose aloft. “The English are not difficult to entertain. The difficulty comes in persuading them to aim higher with their standards of entertainment. Often the mentality is quite insular, but I am here to help. I am an altruist at heart, for the right amount of money.”

The show is more a mélange of his last three shows/talks, Sexual Metro, Encore and Gallic Symbol.

What does he feel, as a Frenchman, that he can offer the English? “My show has something for everyone – dry wit, bawdy chansons, love advice, world-class sex poetry. In times of economic woe, it is heartening for the English to know they really only need see one show this year.” He truly is a man of many talents, a Serge Gainsbourg of motivational therapy and un homme who can whip up an omelette to rival Raymond Blanc’s – in fact Blanc’s still not talking to him because of that.

Marcel LucontSo you’re travelling extensively on this tour, are you looking forward to it? “Of course,” he states, waving his arms in a slightly dismissive manner. “If only to see if some of the more exotic town names tally with their residents. In one weekend I am playing Maidenhead, Cockermouth and Darlington. From hearsay I feel none of these will live up to their appellations, but can only discover this by going there oneself.”

But the most pressing question people would like to know is this: what’s your favourite cheese?

“I feel one must go far to try to beat a good Roquefort. It is disheartening how difficult this can be to find in Britain. And yet mild cheddar is ubiquitous. If you are choosing mild cheddar you have given up on life. A good cheese should live on in the mouth and mind for days.”

True. True. When my own Grandfather swapped his usual cheshire cheese for a mild cheddar I instinctively knew his days were numbered. Other than cheese advice have you, for those unfortunate enough not to be able to get to your talks, any final, important tips or advice for your average Englishwo/man?

“Mais oui. Women, do not fear your own eyebrows. How are we supposed to follow your ever-changing moods if you must re-paint them on your face for each expression you require? And men, this metrosexual look must end – if the jeans get any tighter surely it is a matter of surgically attaching them. This is no look for a straight man. It is no wonder the English have no masculine and feminine tenses for their verbs – the lines are somewhat blurred.”

Despite the hours he has put in to his important missionary work, rumours doggedly persist in following him wherever he goes, suggesting that he is a stand-up who was born in Buckinghamshire, lives in London and whose name might not actually be Marcel. One day the nay-sayers will be silenced.

By Marissa Burgess


What: Marcel Lucont

Where: October 5, Lincoln Comedy Festival; October 6, The Lowry, Salford; October 10, Hilton Hotel, Sheffield; October 11, The Brindley, Runcorn; October 12, Harrogate Comedy Festival; October 15, The Stand, Newcastle; November 22, The Carriageworks, Leeds.

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