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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
© Graham Andrews 2023 - with the exception of * © Andrews/Prentice 2023. ** © Andrews/Russell 2023. *** © Russell 2023.