Following a successful start to Beyond The Title Live season, we now turn our attention to a totally different side of the entertainment landscape. If Arthur Smith represents the ardent anti establishment, anarchic side of comedy, then our following subject is the absolute antidote to this. The celebrated ventriloquist and Variety historian Steve Hewlett found fame in 2013 when he reached the grand final of ITV’s heavyweight talent show Britain’s Got Talent. This was just one of many highlights in a career which has seen him collaborating with some of the most prolific entertainers of our time from the late great Sir Ken Dodd, Sir Bruce Forsyth and Sir Terry Wogan. Yet his own story rivals any member of the showbiz elite.
Press play, below, to listen to the full interview
Described by the legendary Jimmy Cricket as “one of the experts on ventriloquism,” Steve has built a reputation for being one of the hardest working entertainers on the circuit. Whether it’s his renowned stage tours featuring a whole host of unforgettable characters alongside his regular stooge Arthur Lager or supporting The Osmonds on their international tour, it’s clear that Steve remains absolutely enthralled by the magic of entertainment. His contributions to the preservation of Variety and Vaudeville were rewarded earlier in the year when he was unveiled as a patron of the Max Miller Appreciate Society which meant a great deal to him. This aspect of his career remains one of the most fascinating aspects of Steve’s career and I’m really looking forward to hearing Steve’s passionate tributes to figures from yesteryear.
Figures including the late Keith Harris, Roger Decoursey and Rod Hull each left an indelible mark on Steve at a young age and helped him nurture his magical craft. The opportunity to pay tribute to some of the icons of his craft remains a lot to the entertainer who has spent his entire career reminding audiences of the great legacy of ventriloquism. Ahead of the release of his forthcoming book Ventriloquest celebrating his heroes, Steve will offer a detailed analysis of these entertainers and where they sit within the overarching story of Variety. Arguably there are few artists who can speak with the same authority and knowledge as Steve so as an audience we are incredibly lucky to have this unique insight from an unrivalled Variety powerhouse.
Beyond national stars, in light of the sad passing of the Isle of Wight’s very own entertainment legend John Hannam, we shall be devoting a section of the show to the man who inspired Beyond The Title. Ironically John had arranged to interview Steve back in the summer when he was performing at Norton Grange in Yarmouth. However, his poor health prohibited him from maintaining such a commitment which I know he would have been extremely sad about. We really wanted to acknowledge John’s passing within this show as a result of the huge influence he was to have in the developmental stages of Beyond The Title. Therefore John may be gone but his presence in the show will still be obvious and it will be great to celebrate his incredible career with someone who would have been so proud to have been featured on John Hannam Meets.
It’s extraordinary to learn that despite Steve’s vast and wide-ranging achievements he’s never taken part in an interview style show and so an opportunity to reflect upon his career is extremely unique. On Saturday 16th October I have the ambition to put this right as the accomplished entertainer takes to the floor at Gurnard Pines on the Isle of Wight for what promises to be an unforgettable evening of entertainment. I feel incredibly honoured to have this exclusive show as part of Beyond The Title Live and really hope to welcome as many people as possible to this great venue to witness a masterclass of comedy courtesy of the versatile performer. After the eighteen months we’ve all endured, we all need a good laugh and who better to deliver such laughter than one of Britain’s leading ventriloquists.
To purchase your tickets for this special show please click on the link below and hope to see you there for a night to remember:
https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/beyond-the-title-presents-an-evening-with-steve-hewlett-tickets-148039099933 As the writer and producer of this show, I’m understandably extremely passionate about it and consequently somewhat biased. Yet to see the great Steve Hewlett in full command of an audience is something to behold and I can’t wait to be able to share his unique talent with as many people as possible. At the end of each and every interview, I ask my guest to reflect upon their proudest achievement. If this show is a success, I believe it shall be among my greatest accolades to date and can only thank everyone who has helped me to make such a concept a reality. If you can make it you won’t regret it!