Who is Eric Batstrangler?

Eric Olivier St. Claire Batstrangler is an Enigma and he is also enigmatic. That really is all you need to know - but that wouldn't be much of a profile now would it?

It's a name you've heard but you may not know exactly where it was you heard it. The society pages, maybe, the gossip columns, definitely, the sport pages, never. Its safe to say that at some point you've eaten your Friday night fish supper out of newsprint that bears Eric's name.

Eric Batstrangler has in his time been described as Promoter, Producer, Svengali, Sven Goran-Erickson impersonator, Stand-up Comedian, One Man Band, Life Guard, Wholesale Butcher, Pippa Dee Party Organiser, Bejam Assistant-Manager, Hotelier, Pest Controller, Farmer .. the list goes on and on.

But it's his work in the arts that we want to concentrate on.

But let's go back to the beginning, not of time, that would take too long.

Eric Batstrangler was born Eli Barezovitch in Leipzig, East Germany in 1951 – except he wasn't. Some say that Eric created his own fictional birth heritage in order to establish himself in the pantheon of great Jewish entrepreneurial, entertainment businessmen. Others say he is just full of shit! What we do know is that he was actually born Eric Timothy Boothroyd in Pontefract, South Yorkshire to Clive and Mabel Boothroyd. Clive Boothroyd was Social Secretary and Barman/Bottleman of the local working mens club and Mabel Boothroyd was the Chancellor of the Exchequer under Winston Churchills second administration.

It was during Eric's frequent trips down from South Yorkshire to Downing Street that he developed his love for the theatre - he would, when time allowed, catch up to 37 different variety shows a week. A firm favourite was little Timmy Trigger the human cannon. Obviously an act that would fall foul of stringent health and safety regulations these days but in its time it was daring and innovative and one that remains firmly fixed in Eric's memory to this day. That said, watching a small man's rectum explode whilst trying to fire a whole cooked chicken into the stalls isn't something you forget in a hurry. Needless to say that Timmy Trigger did not survive the incident. Regardless of this tragedy, the young Eric Boothroyd was inspired by what he saw on the West End stages and took that inspiration back home to Yorkshire and developed his own unique brand of comedy.

He first emerged on the northern club circuit as 16 year old stand-up comedian Dick Upham, with a staple of blue humour and mother in law jokes, very much the zeitgeist of its day. He soon made a name for himself, with legendary club owner Denny Shade describing him in his autobiography, 'A Whiter Shade of Pale Ale', as 'reliable'. Compulsory military service would no doubt have interrupted Eric's fledgling career but the last National Service conscript was demobbed in 1963, when Eric was only 12 years old. So it's a mute point.

Then, just as his career seemed to be taking off, tragedy struck. His father, Clive, was arrested for stealing from the social club Christmas fund and was subsequently jailed for life. He had embezzled 10 pounds 5 shillings and 7 pence, which in todays money is close to £13 million euros. He invested it in a bootleg eggnog business which (I hardly need to say) failed. Unfortunately this meant that his mother had to leave her job as head of research at Britain's nuclear development programme and take a job as a char lady at the BBC. But, as they say in showbusiness, when you leave your job in nuclear research and take a job serving tea at the BBC a door is opened. For young Eric this was the opportunity he was looking for and before he knew it he had his own five night a week chat show called 'Wogan'. But it didn't last. Once again the fickle finger of fate intervened and following a disastrous live Friday night show in which a clearly drunk Eric encouraged hell raiser and Enfente Terrible of the Hit Parade Clive Dunn to swear on live TV (later known as 'fannygate'), Eric was shown the door. The very same door that I mentioned opening earlier. Coincidence? No.

For years Eric's whereabouts was unknown. As indeed were his whatbout, whyabout and whenabout. What we do know is that he kept busy. In fact he didn't stop working. Some say he worked mainly in the fish trade, some say he worked mainly in the Picadilly Circus area of London as a high class rent boy and others say that he was the man who sold potions in a travelling show. Either way, having saved five pence from every pound he earned between 1989 and 2021 he has now returned as promoter extraordinaire. He has chosen for his first new projects 'The Foxy Joggers' and 'The Algorithm Section'.

Please feel free to listen to the audio utterances of the above named acts. Eric hopes you like them and if you do please send money. Or fish. But not eggnog.