Comedian Mark Steel to appear at Saffron Walden Town Hall speaking on two divorces - Brexit and his own

PUBLISHED: 14:55 06 February 2019

Mark Steel will be at Saffron Walden Town Hall

Mark Steel will be at Saffron Walden Town Hall


Everyone should get divorced says Mark Steel. “It’s one of life’s experiences”.

“Everyone should be arrested, get robbed, they should get so drunk as a teenager that their parents have to fetch them and take them to A&E - and if they don’t get divorced, they are missing out on ‘all the fun of mediation’.”

The people who mediate are “evil” he says. “They are the least suitable people to do it.

“Donald Trump would do it better. It’s done with such pomposity. They are patronising, sneering, condescending.”

He immitates the cut glass, reedy voice of a woman, you might associate with arranging the flowers in church speaking to a toddler who has just peed on the sacred floor.

“Saying: (irritatingly softly) ‘There is no right or wrong, and refering to ‘Different interpretations of the same incident.’

“You’d be better off asking nearest person in Wetherspoons to do it.

“He’d say (In a gruff voice) ‘You are talking shit and YOU are a greedy bastard, now I’m going back to my pint’.”

His show, Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright, coming to Saffron Walden Town Hall, is a reflection on the state of the nation.

It deals with Brexit, the election of Trump and, as a microcosm of this global unrest, his own divorce.

But it’s the process he describes. He’s not having pot shots at his wife.

“I’m not going to moan about her. We’re alright now.”

“It’s not like the comics of years ago, then I would have said: I’m not saying she’s a bad cook but the mice eat out...”

Things have a way of working themselves out, he says.

“There is chaos and you think this is never going to get better but they work out in the end.

“At first it’s completely bonkers. You make irrational decisions but then things settle down.”

He walked out of the mediation process in the end though.

“You are supposed to go through eight sessions. It encourages people to be at their worst.

“It was just so, so awful, you think I can’t take any more. It’s like when you are sitting watching a bad film - I have never walked out of a film because I love cinema - but you think I don’t have to be here.”

Brexit, too will work out ultimately, he thinks.

“I’m not saying it’s not bad, but I don’t hold with the apocalyptic prophesies that we are all going to be eating each other and having to live by burrowing underdground like moles.

“It (Brexit) is a load of old cobblers, it has been driven by a lot of angry people, but human beings will still resist unpleasant dictats.

If they scrap all the health and safety legislation, people will resist that.

“People may say they don’t want other people over here but when all the radiators are leaking and the place is flooded, they will decide they do need them over here. The demands of humanity will play a part.”

Of course, he says, Brexit won’t solve the things that people are angry about.

“All it does is shuffle decisions down the road.”

But then he laughs and says on most of his forecasts he has been “spectacularly, wildly wrong.”

“But one thing I did get right from the start was that Brexit will not resolve the things it was meant to do.

“It’s much more complex than just in or out. There are a million ways to leave the EU. It’s not just about spring onion tariffs.”

He’s 58 and remembers what sounds like a golden childhood in a much more settled time.

“This why Brexit happened.

“My dad just collected insurance, it was a working class job.

“My mum very occasionaly worked, as a lollipop lady, here and there ...and on those jobs my dad bought a bungalow with gardens back and front, in a little town in Kent and they brought me up.

“Sometimes we would be a bit short of money but never so desperately that we had to water down the soup.

“Now doing that (on one salary) is absolutely inconceivable, even for people in quite prestigeous jobs.

“That’s why we had Brexit because people are poor in real terms and they are angry about it.”

Every Little Thing’s Gonna Be Alright is at Saffron Walden Town Hall on Wednesday, March 27. Doors 7pm. Show 8pm. Age 14+. Tickets, £17.50 from Saffron Walden Tourist Information in the Market Square 01799 524002.

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