Stand up comic Damian Kingsley - who lives in Sedlescombe - has reached the end of his challenging Knock Knock Stand Up comedy tour from Land’s End to Edinburgh for the bad housing and homeless charity Shelter.
The final show was at the Voodoo Rooms in Edinburgh and he was joined by Tom Stade, Eddy Brimson, Ro Campbell and Gary Sansome.
The initial fundraising target was £7,000 but he’s raised over £17,500.
Since March 24, Damian has been gigging from Lands End to raise money for Shelter and has been given places to stay, food and lifts all the way up the country – in return he’s been telling jokes to anyone anywhere - pubs, theatres, working men’s clubs and even a fruit farm.
He cut up his credit cards at the start of his journey and, unable to use any money or public transport, had then to rely on being offered accommodation, food and lifts along the way.
Damian said: “I feel privileged to have had the opportunity to do this for Shelter. It’s been a phenomenal advernture and I’m overwhelmed by the kindness and generoristy of all the people who’ve helped me along the way.
“It’s been tough at times. I’ve had days where I’ve not eaten and have often had no idea where I’d end up sleeping but my experience is obviously no more than a small insight into what homeless people go through every day of their lives.
“I couldn’t have done this without all the help I’ve had from other comics, comedy promoters and agents. We tend to hear a lot of negativity on the circuit but this has shown me how supportive it can be and how we can work together to acheive something really worthwhile.”
Julie Bolt, Shelter’s Head of Community and Events, said: “We’re hugely thankful to Damian for undertaking such an extraordinary challenge to raise funds for Shelter. All of the money he raises will go directly towards making sure no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.”
Although Damian is back to using money and public transport again he will be performing Knock Knock, his debut solo show which is about the events that led to him going on the penniless tour, as part of the free festival in Edinburgh at Bar 50, Cowgate, from August 4-28 at 3.30pm - with all donations from that also going to Shelter.
Damian has enjoyed making people laugh since he was young: “I did a couple of review shows at sixth form that went well but it was much later, in my late 20s, that I regained my initial confidence and decided to do stand up.”
He did his first few gigs in Tokyo where he lived for eight years as an English teacher and translator. In 2009 he returned to the UK and has been performing all over the country. Damian always picks up his ideas for his routine from his day to day life: “Normally in conversation. Being quite disagreeable and irritable, I have quite a lot of minor arguments that I then expand into routines.”
If you would like to donate to the tour, a link to the virgin money giving page is http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/knockknocktour
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