Laughs over for comedy club kicked out of Chalk Farm home

The laughs will come to an end for one of London’s foremost comedy promoters this weekend when his club is turfed out its Chalk Farm home.

Monkey Business comedy club has pulled in some of the biggest names in the business during its six-year stint at the Sir Richard Steele pub - including Russell Howard, Harry Hill and Dara O’Brien.

But the pub’s new owners have called time on promoter Martin Besserman’s love affair with the Havertsock Hill venue and the club’s swansong will be this Saturday (October 29).

Mr Besserman, who ran comedy nights in Camden Town before settling in at Steele’s, said: “I’ve had everyone big in show business play in that pub.

“We’re talking about huge, huge names. They come to the venue because I am respected.

“They don’t do it for the money, they do it because they associate me with running a really good club with the right quality and the right personality – it has to have the right philosophy to pull in those kind of names.

“Why would they want to get rid of me? It really is upsetting and it has made me very emotional.”

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Mr Besserman, who has been a regular feature at Speaker’s Corner over the last few decades, claims he has been moved on because new owner Faucet Inn already has an arrangement with rivals Comedy Cafe.

He also said the rent-free arrangement he had with previous landlords might have been frowned upon by Faucet Inn.

Mick Taylor, of Comedy Cafe, told Chortle comedy guide: “We work closely with Faucet Inn on a number of projects, so naturally when they took on the Sir Richard Steele they asked us if we would like to run and supply the comedy to the upstairs room currently run as the Monkey Business comedy venue. We declined the offer.”

Faucet Inn were not available for comment as the Ham&High went to press.

Despite his sadness and frustration at leaving the Chalk Farm venue, Mr Besserman hopes to continue his comedy club’s success at The Oxford in Kentish Town where he already runs two comedy nights.

His final line-up at Steele’s features Simon Munnery and Little Britain’s Lenny Beigh, also of Orange advert fame.