Being Johnny Vegas, Gilded Balloon

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The Independent Culture

It was going so well. Johnny, jacket open to reveal his heroic torso, was sharing his secrets with a packed, uncomfortably close house, digressing only to pick on a hapless "dad and lad" at the front for a solid quarter of an hour, when darkness fell.

It was going so well. Johnny, jacket open to reveal his heroic torso, was sharing his secrets with a packed, uncomfortably close house, digressing only to pick on a hapless "dad and lad" at the front for a solid quarter of an hour, when darkness fell. Perhaps it was the crowd's fault, for failing to respond when he asked, nay, beseeched us to offer our views on his general situation.

Maybe the heckler who replied "An eclipse?" when Johnny enquired what we saw when we saw him was a little harsh. Why, he had to compose himself with a long slug of beer, and everyone knew where that would lead.

But after revealing his identification with Evita, ("It's not talent that got me here, it's my looks") and his horrified response on seeing Madonna play Argentina's national heroine ("Evita was a slag!"), Vegas, one of a handful of performers who can genuinely stun a room into silence, never really roused them again.

The singalong of George Michael's greatest moments and Band Aid cheered everyone up, especially Johnny. But it was all a bit perplexing, even for Vegas.

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