Comedy fans were left disappointed this week when Scouse stand-up Freddie Starr pulled out of a performance at the town hall due to “complete exhaustion”.
After a healthy sale of tickets for his only Borders show, the 69-year-old received medical advice to postpone his spring tour following a performance at Chesterfield on Sunday night, after which fans said Starr had looked unwell .
Event promotor Bill Lothian, born and bred in Denholm and a former captain and manager of Hawick Royal Albert in the 1970s and 1980s, only learned of the cancellation of Wednesday’s show on Monday morning. He maintains ambitions for his Wigwam Concert Promotions company to lure big-name acts, such as Starr, to the town in the future. “We will have to wait and see what his management come up with when they get back to me,” said Mr Lothian. “I certainly have intentions to bring other shows to Hawick, having already done so some time ago. There are others in the pipeline – varied acts, known names.
“There were a lot of local people helping out with the Freddie Starr gig – including ILF Imaging and Border Events with the selling of tickets – and I’d like to thank them for their efforts.”
Steven Lloyd, whose promotions company is managing Mr Starr’s spring and autumn tours this year, told the Hawick News that processing refunds for fans was a priority.
“It’s a huge disappointment and I had no idea what was going on,” he said. “Hawick was quite well-sold, with just over 200 tickets bought. The obvious thing is to ensure people get their money back.
“There was a huge promotion going on, but I suppose these things happen.
When asked if the gig is likely to be rescheduled, Mr Lloyd said: “We are going to try because the gig was selling well. But, because of Freddie’s age, we don’t want to put on too many shows. We’re doing an autumn tour, and we’re going to try and reschedule the Hawick gig. As soon as we know, we’ll be straight in touch with people.
“We had to pull two nights in Cannock [Staffordshire] because he was dehydrated. We did a few shows, and afterwards people were saying he didn’t look well at all.
“At the end of the day, though, it’s his call. He is extremely gutted, because once you start pulling shows it’s difficult to get back in. If we get a rescheduled date, we will come back. Why would we cancel a good-selling show for nothing?”