Comic Lee Nelson cheers up Telford hospital patients on way to Shrewsbury comedy fest - in pictures
He’s best known for being self-confessed massive legend Lee Nelson.
But Simon Brodkin left the famous blue hat at home for a visit to Princess Royal Hospital’s children’s ward.
The comedian stopped off in Telford to meet with families on his way through to the Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival, where he was compere.
“They asked me to come along and say hello to a few of the families, so I thought I’d come in say hello, bring a few smiles to the award and sign a few babies,” he said. “I was a doctor and this is the first time they let me back into an NHS building! I did a year as a junior doctor and I always had a huge respect for paediatrics – it’s hard enough looking after kids when they’re not ill.”
After the Shrewsbury gig the comic is heading for a spot at the Edinburgh Festival. It could be one of the last appearances of Lee Nelson for now.
The character rose to popularity on Lee Nelson’s Well Good Show and Lee Nelson’s Well Funny People.
But the hilarious chav will be taking a break. Instead Simon will be focussing on a stand-up tour as himself.
“I just finished a big tour as Lee, the gig at Shrewsbury was as Lee, but at the moment I’m doing stuff as myself. There’s a show called 100 per cent Simon Brodkin that I’m taking to the Edinburgh Festival We’ll see where it goes from there.”
Glenn Evans and Emma O’Callaghan were on the ward with their youngsters Louie and Indie when Simon arrived.
“It was a big surprise,” Emma said. “He came and told us about himself and asked us why we were here. It was very nice.
“It says a lot about him that he is down here using him time off to visit the hospital.”
After the visit to Princess Royal, Simon travelled to Theatre Severn to act as compere for the Shrewsbury International Comedy Festival – in character as Lee.
Previous comperes have included Greg Davies and Russell Kane.
Other acts at Sunday’s show included Katie Mulgrew, Larry Dean, Angelos Epithemiou, Abandoman, Loyiso Gola and David O’Doherty.
Now in its third year, the festival has become a staple of the town’s entertainment calendar and the Gala Show has established itself as the must see show of the year.
Severn Hospice was chosen as the festival’s charity partner this year.
While Simon might be best known for Lee Nelson, he has made national headlines more than once for his political pranks.
As a new Prime Minister is selected, almost every look back at Theresa May’s time in office has included the now famous image of Simon handing her a P45 unemployment notice at the Tory conference in October 2017.
Around the same time as he was led out by police, a tweet from his official Twitter account appeared, saying: “Hi @BorisJohnson, I gave Theresa her P45 just like you asked.”
Simon had been given permission to attend the conference. Security measures have since been updates to prevent similar pranks in the future.
In 2016 he pulled a similar prank on President of the United States Donald Trump.
At the re-opening of the then Presidential candidate’s Turnberry golf course in Scotland, Simon handed out Nazi golf balls.
“I was lucky not to have been shot,” Simon said later.
Other pranks have included stealing one of his own DVDs from HMV in Oxford Street, London as his character Lee Nelson. Real police officers were sent after him.
He famously managed to get on stage with Kanye West at Glastonbury Festival in 2015, added a sign saying “cheat box” to a Volkswagen during the emissions scandal while VW board member Jurgen Stackmann was making a speech and renamed Philip Green’s £100m super yacht to BHS Destroyer.