Frank Lavender, comedian ‘par excellent’, hails from Rotherham, and Myra DuBois has said of him ‘Peter Sutcliffe was funnier’. He is dating Myra’s sister, Rose, loves ballroom dancing and believes he could have used his comedy to cheer up Hitler.
Where are you from originally?
Costa Del Rotherham LOL, just joking – got to laugh, eh? I’m from Rotherham and it’s not a coastal town so… that was a misleading bit of Spanish.
And where do you live now?
Still in Rotherham, which I find has got everything I need. Got the house to myself now since Mother passed away and sometimes I’ll stay with my good lady Rose. Hopefully she’ll move in eventually – I’ll keep asking! No pets as yet, if you don’t count our Rose LOL. She’ll kill me if she reads that, no just mucking around.
What was the first gay venue you visited?
Well now you’re asking, let me think. I reckon it would have been 2015 at the Vauxhall Tavern. Got myself a booking for ‘Duckies’ and it didn’t go completely well, but the booing stopped eventually.
How would you describe your act?
I would say that I am a comedian par excellent that tells good old fashioned jokes with nothing blue because that’s what the world needs right now isn’t it, a laugh?
Who are your comedy heroes?
John Bishop is a favourite of mine – the future sister-in-law Myra ‘DuBois’ worked with him so hoping to get an introduction, wish me luck LOL. Also a big Les Dawson fan, they don’t make them like that anymore.
What was the last theatre show you saw, where, and what did you think of it?
Took my good lady Rose to see The Wiz at the Rotherham Civic Theatre. All local kids it were, and let me tell you they were as good as any West End performer and their accents were spot on and definitely not racist.
What is your guilty pleasure?
Got to admit it’s the ballroom dancing. Me and our Rose go every week down the social club. You’ve not lived till you’ve tangoed to War of the Worlds played on a Wurlitzer Organ.
Rose LOL, just joking, she’ll go mad reading this. No seriously though, can’t spend enough money on the one’s you love can you? Saving up for a weekend in Blackpool for the Ballroom currently so buy tickets for my shows LOL.
Best gift you’ve ever received and why?
The best gift I ever received and continue to receive is the smile that our Rose puts on my face every day and if I can make audiences smile as much as she makes me smile I’d be a happy comedian. I’d prefer laughs mind you cos you can’t hear people smile so actually, laugh and clap.
What has been the highlight of your career so far and why?
This interview LOL! Only joking, got to laugh eh? I have to say being on stage at the Hackney Empire where some of the greats worked the boards was a real honour. Did it with ‘Jonny Woo’ for a night called ‘Un-Royal Variety’, which I thought might be unpatriotic but the theatre is called ‘The Empire’ and you can’t get more British than that.
If you could go back in time which year would you choose and why?
I’d go and do a comedy show for Hitler when he was still just a little Hitlette and cheer him up a bit. Things might have turned out different. Power of comedy!
What’s the best party you’ve ever been to and what made it so good?
Mother’s funeral was a lovely send off, got to say. Lorraine Lavender, RIP! The future sister-in-law – when Rose finally says ‘yes’ LOL – got up and sang “I can see clearly now Lorraine has gone…” Very moving.
What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
Minority groups can’t be comedy targets anymore LOL. No but seriously as long as no one’s hurting anyone and it’s legal I don’t mind what you are.
Who is your LGBT+ hero and why?
Isn’t that a sandwich LOL. Erm maybe Mr Humphries – “I’m free!” LOL. Nothing against the gays mind you, they’re not hurting anyone. Except maybe each other, I assume it hurts?
Who are the most entertaining people you follow on social media and why?
I can’t be doing with social media, I’ve got Twitter and Facebook accounts but I’m no expert. My late mother used to say “Facebook? I’ve still got me ration book!” LOL I get a lot of my humour from her.
Where in the world would you like to visit before you die and why?
The London Palladium but on the stage. Of course I could visit it whenever I like but I’d like very much to add my loafers to the list of shoes that have trodden those hallowed boards.
What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?
I wish I’d have known a publication at some point in the future would be asking me who my LGBT+ hero was so I could give a better answer, no offence.