Journalist stands up to be laughed at

Did you hear the one about the Irish journalist who turned into a stand-up comedian? Portadown Times reporter Niall Crozier has spent years covering acts at the local town hall – and now he is one of them.

Crozier, father of Belfast Telegraph columnist Lara Crozier, has booked the 275-seat capacity town hall for two nights to air his thoughts on modern life.

He said: “It basically amounts to a rant about the world.

“It’s about changes that I’ve noticed in my life; like the fact that kids won’t walk anywhere these days and how shopping has become a national obsession – things like that.”

The 5ft 2in newsman, whose show is called “What do you mean stand up?”, began his journalistic career 24 years ago at the Portadown Times.

Since then he has been editor of the Londonderry Sentinel, worked on numerous Morton publications and been rugby correspondent for the News Letter.

Now back at the Portadown Times, he was named Northern Ireland’s Weekly Regional Journalist of the Year at the 2001 IPR/BT Awards.

Crozier’s comedy career began by accident eight years ago when he was invited to give an after-dinner speech.

“I was telling a few yarns to a group of lads in a hotel bar and someone came up and said they wanted me to give an after-dinner speech for them.”

he said.

“I did it and at the end of the night he came up to me with an envelope and gave me £100.”

But stand-up comedy is a different ball game altogether, said Crozier.

“With after-dinner speeches it’s more straightforward, but with stand-up it’s just you and a microphone versus the audience.

“It’s a leap of faith because I live in the town and I don’t want to walk around with people saying that’s the guy who died on his arse. It’s definitely a lot safer writing copy.”

By Gareth Bethell

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