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Wem's one way traffic scheme is no joke for comic Greg Davies

By Toby Neal | Theatre & Comedy | Published: | Last Updated:

The Royal Variety Performance, prospects of an Inbetweeners reunion... and the one way system in Wem.

Greg Davies at Theatre Severn, Shrewsbury

And Greg Davies' view? It's no joke – he doesn't like being shoved up Station Road.

The comedian who hails from Wem waded into the big town debate as he was interviewed on Greg James' show on Radio One.

The interview was just hours before tonight's broadcast of the pre-recorded Royal Variety Performance on ITV, in which Davies starred before Harry and Meghan.

And as the two Gregs chatted about the calls he had taken from listeners in the show's "phone room," James revealed he also has a Shropshire family connection.

GD: "A man called Chris who lives in my home town in Shropshire rang me up genuinely to ask my views on the proposed one way system in Wem."

GJ: "Is that anywhere near Bridgnorth? My family are from there."

GD: "Wem is the sort of upmarket Bridgnorth."

GJ: "Do you remember a sports shop called Hardwicks? That was my great uncle's sports shop."

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Davies had not heard of Hardwick's in Bridgnorth, and when pressed for his answer to Wem's "one way system thing" replied: "I didn't like it but my mum did. So as a family we're tight. I didn't like being forced up Station Road."

Greg James - host of the Radio One Breakfast Show

GJ: "That's the level of the conversation (in the phone room) you had?"

GD: "Man, if you're from Wem that's big news. I hope I'm not causing controversy in Wem by the way – do what you want in terms of the one way system.

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"I'm just saying for me personally going to my mum's house the Station Road bypass was a little bit time consuming, and does not work for me nor, I should imagine, for the residents of Station Road.

"But there is an alternative view that it minimises traffic in the town and therefore makes the town a more pleasant place to be. It's horses for courses, isn't it?"

His mum turned out to have given him advice about last night's performance before the royals.

"There's not one sentence of my existing standup that I could use in that show. I said yes to impress my mum and then realised I had no material whatsoever. So I had to start from scratch.

"So that's why I largely spoke about my mum in the show as a punishment for her.

"My mum said you shouldn't be panicking about the royal variety because the royal family are just people at the end of the day, at the end of the day the Queen is just Harry's nan.

"It really made me laugh that, so I've written a song comparing my nan to Harry's nan. I sang it in front of them. Prince Harry was tapping his knee at one point. When I met him afterwards he promised me that he would play the song to his nan. That's a result isn't it?"

Then there's "Aunty Pat" – actually his mum's best friend – whose romantic hopes were allegedly dashed by the royal wedding.

"When we watched it my mum said 'Doesn't Harry look handsome?' and then Pat said 'Yes, I think all of us single ladies were a bit disappointed when Harry got taken.' Well, Pat is 78! I just loved the idea she thinks she's in with a shout."

Questioned about rumours of an Inbetweeners reunion – Davies plays the sarcastic teacher Mr Gilbert – he said he would be involved "for sure" and he praised Inbetweeners co-star Emily Atack for doing well in I'm A Celebrity, although he admitted: "I haven't been watching it."

Toby Neal

By Toby Neal
Feature Writer

A journalist in Shropshire for 40 years, mainly writes features and columns, especially about aspects of Shropshire history. Lives in Telford and is based at the Ketley headquarters.

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