Dame Edna EverageNo, it’s not one of those ITV series where a well-known personality performs to a star filled celebrity audience. Can you really see Ken Livingstone telling jokes like Ken Dodd, reeling with one-liners as Dame Edna (pictured) manages or singing like Shirley Bassey? It is however a series of theatre nights where the British public can get up close with the former Mayor of London and Labour MP.

With An Audience With Ken Livingstone it looks as though Ken may be heading into the lions’ den when he appears for the very first time intimate with the general public at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre in Guildford on Wednesday 20th February.

Deep in the Surrey heartland, Tory and Lib Dem stockbroker country, the evening includes a no holds barred question and answer session – a lively debate is guaranteed at this evening staged by Clive Conway Productions.

There will be plenty of interest in what Ken Livingstone, 67-year-old newt-fancier, former London Mayor and one-time leader of the Greater London Council has to say. Beyond politics, there are quite a few surprising facts about Ken that might come up.

Some Ken Facts:

  • When Ken left school he wanted to become a zookeeper.
  • Ken as a child he used to keep a python, other snakes and tropical frogs in his bedroom.
  • Ken once saved a baby ostrich from being eaten.
  • Kate Bush once wrote a song about him, called ‘Ken’!
  • In the 1980s he had a ginger ‘tash, but that had nothing to do with his nickname ‘red Ken’.
  • Ken presents an LBC Saturday morning radio show with Tory David Mellor.

One topic may be the revelation that Ken turned down a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list. It was offered in recognition of his work in securing the London 2012 Olympics. He refused it saying that he did not believe politicians should get honours.

An Audience With Ken Livingstone tour dates are as follows: Wed 20th February Yvonne Arnaud Theatre, Guildford, 12th May 2013 The Fowey Festival, Cornwall, Sat 15th June Lincoln Drill Hall, Thurs 24th October Customs House, South Shields.

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