The Jockeys of Norfolk were a comedy revue group formed in the mid 1980’s by Andy Taylor, Hugh Grant and Chris Lang.
Fresh out of drama school and with a lot of free time on our hands between supporting roles at Nottingham Playhouse and the seventh brother from Joseph and the Amazing Technicoloured Dreamcoat, we band of handsome, well-spoken funsters decided to form a comedy trio and take Edinburgh by storm with our cleverly observed skits and sketch material.
Sadly we’d made this decision at a time when stand-up comedy was in the ascendant and anything that even smacked remotely of Oxbridge could get treated with a contemptuous disdain. In Hugh Grant we had one of the noblest of Toffly Poshingham actors I think I’ve ever met. For the first week or two in Edinburgh we failed to impress. Though our audience share did begin to climb, a leap from seven to forty two punters a night in a four hundred-seater didn’t exactly generate atmosphere. I developed a lifelong loathing of Edinburgh in those weeks and even today I can’t stand the smell of breweries.
But then .. we got a bit of a break. We got invited onto the Russel Harty show and did our Ealing Nativity sketch, a traditional rendition of the greatest story ever told, featuring Celia Johnson, Anthony Steel and Stanley Holloway. Harty loved us, course he did the old love, and The Jockeys of Norfolk sold out for the rest of the run. Lot of partys. Lot of fun. Excellent.
Came back to London and after a disappointing run at the Kings Head Islington, we started working for Mel Smith and Griff Rhys Jones’ Talback production company. Here we wrote a lot of radio campaigns and talked about doing another Jockey show but never did.
After that we sort of just, gave up on it. Still, I owe just about everything I’ve ever done and every contact I’ve ever made since then, to the Jockeys of Norfolk. It was the making of my life in the end.
And where are they now?
Chris Lang: Moved away from performing into writing where he now thrives as a highly respected television writer. If you’ve ever caught one of those ITV thrillers round about nine o’clock, with Sarah Parrish in it and that bloke out of Soldier Soldier (which Chris Lang also wrote on) in which there’s some sort of murder or abducted child and we all think it’s him, but then it starts to look like it was her, except maybe it was him, oh no it was her, or maybe it was them both, no it was him, Agh! No, no, it was HER!
Chances are it was written by Chris Lang.
Hugh Grant: Very little known. Thought to be travelling.
THIS VIDEO IS IN QUICKTIME FORMAT
JOCKEYS OF NORFOLK
Ealing Nativity (Russell Harty Show)
The Chumps (Tyne Tees Special)