Latitude 2009

Countdown to Latitude: Mark Thomas

Michael Bonner

“If you’re not pissed off,” so says the banner on Mark Thomas’ website, “you’re not paying attention.” You could say, then, that Thomas has been professionally pissed off now for about 20 years.

From his early stand-up in the late Eighties through his controversial Channel 4 series, The Mark Thomas Comedy Product, up to his recent emergence as a published author, the self-styled “libertarian anarchist” has always used comedy to highlight serious, weighty issues ranging from human rights abuses to the arms trade. He’s placed a bounty of £4,320 on the head of George Bush, read out Michael Hestletine’s home address on television and holds the Guinness record for the most demonstrations held on one day (20).

We can only imagine what he might do at Latitude…


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Very taken with Africa Express' version of "In C", by Terry Riley, this week. I have a few takes on the piece (50 years old this month, incidentally), the latest being one by Portishead's Adrian Utley from a couple of years back, though I still probably default to what I think is the original...