Mark Watson plans 25-hour comedy gig for charity

So this comedian walks on to the stage and doesn't leave for more than a day...

It makes sitting in a bath of baked beans look, well, a bit silly.

Mark Watson (pictured) is preparing to do stand-up for 25 hours non-stop to raise money for the 25th Comic Relief.

The comedian will begin his marathon gig at 11pm on 28 February and finish at midnight on 1 March. He has previously performed 24-hour shows at the Edinburgh and Melbourne festivals but vowed in 2009 never to do it again. Then Comic Relief called. “You can't really turn them down,” he tells me.

“They wanted something a bit more underground, an alternative show. It's a not a well-drilled 25-hour comedy gala. I want to keep it reasonably shambolic and unplanned.”

Star guests are expected to drop into the show at London's Pleasance – Tim Minchin and Simon Amstell have showed up in the past – but the bulk of it will be improvised by Watson, who will only leave the stage for toilet breaks.

“The biggest challenge is the voice. After 16 hours, even talking at a conversational volume is a real strain,” he says. Audience members will be encouraged to stay the 25-hour course and to join in with challenges of their own. So far fans have offered to go on 25 dates in 25 hours and to walk from Birmingham to the North London gig during the show.

Further ideas are welcome at twentyfivehourshow@hotmail.com

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