The Hackney Empire in London, one of my favourite venues, always throws up a few surprises. I have already run over two punters on the way to a show there and on Sunday night there was more excitement in store. After the show I called a taxi to take me south of the river with a friend. A very cheery driver turned up and chatted away until, at some red traffic lights, we were shunted by the car behind. Our slightly irate driver exited to discuss the damage with the car behind. Our bloke asked the driver of the other car to pull in to the side of the road. As he got back in, our driver began muttering ominously: "He's going to do a runner." Sure enough the car behind swerved out to the side of us and set off at high speed into the bowels of Hackney.

"Oh well," I thought, "that's that, then." But our driver was made of sterner stuff and set off in hot pursuit, dodging in and out of traffic and jumping red lights, while simultaneously trying to radio base and prepare pen and paper to write down the escapee's registration number. Meanwhile we scaredy-cats in the back were desperately trying to fasten our seat-belts just in case we met a lamp post at higher speed than we wanted to.

Following a hair-raising chase round the back streets we finally lost our prey, as he managed to squeeze between a bus and a wall, the bus very helpfully then blocking our attempt to follow. It was the most fun I've had for a bit, but I thought the forty seven quid fare was a bit steep.

The tour marches ever onwards, taking in Halifax, where a rather weak joke I made about lack of water was not happily received, to Reading, where a brief perusal of the local papers revealed that a local bigwig was in trouble for calling a local gay and lesbian group "a bunch of queers". Obviously a popular theme in Reading, as a member of the audience directed a stream of homophobic invective towards Richard, the other act. Ironically, he's not even gay, but I suppose getting your facts right never bothers this sort of people.

The Big Breakfast is not an easy show to take part in, because at that time of the morning I am all but blinded by the bright colours and depressed by how alert everyone else is. My Dad just about summed it up when he left a message on my answerphone expressing surprise that, contrary to vampire etiquette, I had been spotted in the daylight hours. He was sure the whole thing must have been prerecorded as he felt convinced that not even a nuclear blast would eject me from my bed at that time of day.

Nice to see conservative housewives have got it together to have a world congress, throwing the jam-making and talks in the village hall about hats on one side for a week to travel to Buenos Aires.

This is apparently an attempt to make their point on a world scene they say is dominated by men and feminists. Well correct me if I'm wrong, but I never thought feminism and bringing up a family were mutually exclusive in the way that some silly old herberts suggest. The housewives might do better trying to have a chat with this group, "the feminists", rather than getting themselves into a position of antagonism with them. Remember, ladies, this is just where the men want us. Incidentally, in an article in the papers this week about where all the feminists have gone, the journalist called for a non-Caucasian thin Jo Brand. No chance. Well, not on the thin front, anyway.

A piece of research carried out recently confirmed a sneaking suspicion I'd had for some time - that the Tories would probably have lost the 1992 election had Sun readers read the Daily Mirror instead. Sun readers swung 8 per cent to Conservative in the three months before the election while Mirror readers stayed static. Given that Tone and Rupert seem to be good buddies these days, perhaps we will see Sun readers staying where they are at the next election. Still, reassuring in some ways to know that Sun readers aren't just looking at the pictures. Not so reassuring to know that, as a publicity stunt, some silly parents allowed their three- year-old daughter to be editor of the Sun for a week. Wonder what she thought of the chest on Page Three? Even with an IQ in the 150s, not a great introduction to journalism for a little girl. Still, she's probably got a Barbie doll with two torpedoes stuck on the front, so where's the harm?

The Rose West trial is splashed over all the papers again this week, giving us all the nasty details of what is said in court. I've stopped reading it because it's all too horrible to think about. So, it's really nice to be able to escape into the world of entertainment with Cracker and see a set of women being mutilated and murdered. Cheers you up, doesn't it?

I'm always accused of talking about periods all the time, despite the fact that over the years my act has only contained about a minute and a half on the subject, out of three or four hours. To reassure people, let me just mention an incident which involves the aforementioned hormonal state. Working as a compere at the Comedy Store recently I was caught short and was in desperate need of (how do the ads put it?) sanitary protection. As per usual, there were all men on the bill, but a new comic who was doing a try-out spot offered to nip out to the shops for me. (Hurrah for new men.)

Returning with the spoils, he said that he had thought for a split second that this might have been some horrible Comedy Store initiation ritual and while he was gone I was having a laugh at his expense. Can I just point out that, on the whole, I don't think women are quite that cruel.

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