Bristol City should stay at Ashton Gate, says TV comedian Mark Watson
BRISTOL-born comedian Mark Watson has thrown his weight behind plans for a new Bristol City stadium at Ashton Gate.
In an interview with The Post ahead of a marathon uninterrupted comedy show for Red Nose Day, Mr Watson said he was pleased with the new solution which could end years of frustration.
The 33-year-old radio and TV regular and passionate City fan said: "This whole stadium thing just seems like it's been going on forever.
"But I think the new plan of developing the old ground is the way to go."
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Mr Watson, originally from Shirehampton, goes to City games when he returns home to visit his family in Henleaze. The comedian, best known for regular appearances on BBC Two's comedy panel show Mock The Week, said he also catches the odd away game while on tour.
He added: "If they could go ahead and do it at the old ground, it would be great. I'm totally in favour of it especially with the rugby club involved too.
"It feels like we have been waiting too long for the change. It seems like about ten years.
"I just want to see the team get it right this time with the stadium and good things will follow I'm sure."
He said he was still "hopeful" that the team could get out of the relegation zone and stay up.
Mr Watson's comments came as he geared up for a 25-hour comedy show, broadcast live for charity on Red Nose Day.
The comedian, who has done marathon live performance shows as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, said his latest attempt will be an unconventional mix of comedy.
"I've never done this kind of thing as a fundraising event so it will be a little unusual," he said.
He described the event as a "revolving door" of surprise comedy performers and charity fundraisers.
"It's the sort of thing you can dip in and out of. If you are hardcore comedy fans you might want to try and do the whole thing, if you think you can handle it. It's a big test of endurance for us and for the viewer."
He said he first started doing lengthy live shows as an experiment.
His Fringe shows drew praise from critics and large crowds of fans who would could come in and out.
In 2006 he won an if.comeddie award for Mark Watson's Seemingly Impossible 36-Hour Circuit Of The World show.
He said: "It starts off like doing a normal comedy experience but as it goes on it will get more and more strange as the tiredness sets in.
"As the day stretches on without any sleep you really start to lose your senses a bit. It's a bit like being drunk – which is funny, fortunately," he said.
He added there will be a host of well-known and not so well-known comedians appearing on the show which is recorded in Islington.
"It's a bit like a strange sort of house party," he said.
â Red Nose Day is back on Friday March 15 and, like Mark, you too can do something for money to benefit people living incredibly tough lives in Bristol, across the UK and in Africa.
There are lots of fundraising ideas – including holding a bake sale or being sponsored to dress up in 80s gear – visit rednoseday.com for more inspiration.