Marissa Burgess meets comedians
Ray Peacock and Ed Gamble
and discovers why their on-stage
antics are mimicking real life

Hero image

In their latest show, Heart-throbs, there was a moment when the expression on Ray Peacock’s face changes after his double act partner, and oft-time carer, Ed Gamble has to stop him from doing a routine featuring Jimmy Savile by breaking the news of the recent revelations about his Jim’ll Fix It hero. It’s hilarious as Peacock’s little, beardy face crumples, then transforms to one of horror. The sketch encapsulates Peacock’s childlike naivety as Gamble takes on his regular role of putting the stops on the man-child’s antics.

It’s a double-act dynamic that has worked across three Edinburgh shows and their subsequent tours as well as the original podcast from which the shows grew.

The premise of this show is that the pair have finally been talent spotted, in Japan of all places. Though for unknown reasons Peacock (pictured right) is the more popular one, as Gamble (left) explains.

“We’ve spent the last year in Japan becoming absolute mega stars. This is our triumphant return to these shores to tell everyone what we’ve been up to and also to promote Yuki butter. But within the show it becomes clear that Ray’s become more famous and there’s a bit of conflict with that. That’s the framework of the show but it gives us plenty of room to act like absolute idiots as we normally do.”

They’ve been acting like idiots for some time now after meeting when Gamble was at university and Peacock compered a student show that Gamble was in. “We hired Ray to compere a big charity event we were doing. I stayed in contact and became mates with him. In 2007 when he started doing the podcast he asked me to come and guest on one of them.”

Gamble was to join him on a permanent basis and the dynamic that evolved was a weird father/son one – especially odd as the chiselled, smart and sensible Gamble is over a decade younger than the hairy, dishevelled Peacock.

“I think that’s a way more interesting dynamic than me being the excitable immature one; by switching it on its head it makes us stand out a little bit more. And to be honest that was the natural way for us to go anyway. In our real lives he’s the one who misbehaves the most and I’m far more sensible. I like to believe that we deliberately selected it because it was the most offbeat way of approaching things but in reality it’s just the way we write and the way that he is in real life – very mischievous.”

That said though, Gamble is pretty easily led too. “Since we started to do the double act I think now he feels he’s got more of a licence to act even more like an idiot in real life because it generates material. We’ve been ejected from the London Dungeon and Blackpool Pleasure Beach. He just gets really giddy and quite often when I’m with him, I’ll get giddy as well. I try and take the fatherly role but a lot of the time I just go along with it. They’ve got a lot of folks going through every day so to get thrown out is pretty impressive.”

So on stage have they ever gone too far and been confronted with a disapproving audience? “We’ve done one kids’ gig together and it worked really well but I think by the end the kids were quite disapproving of what we were doing. Children were returning to their mums saying, look even we know this isn’t sensible behaviour.”

Disapproving children aside, it’s working as a fun, knockabout double act with a natural and easy connection between the two so obviously born of friendship.

“Essentially my job at the moment,” notes Gamble, “is dicking about with my mate and getting paid for it, which is all you can ask for in life, I think.”

Peacock and Gamble: Heart-throbs, 23 October, The Studio, Bradford

Interact: Responses to Preview:

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published.