Comic Damian takes on penniless tour to raise money for homeless charity

Comedian Damian Kingsley
Comedian Damian Kingsley

Stand-up comic Damian Kingsley is currently travelling penniless from Land’s End to Edinburgh on a 120-gig comedy tour in aid of bad housing and homelessness charity, Shelter.

Damian isn’t using any money or public transport, so he’s hoping to be given the basic necessities that so many people have to do without: shelter, food and maybe the odd lift. In return he’ll tell jokes to anyone anywhere, from the Nags Head to Granny’s front room. So far, he’s raised over £10,000.

With almost half his slots to be confirmed, Damian’s likely to end up performing on the street and mowing lawns in exchange for the use of a washing machine or somewhere to sleep.

Damian said: “It so important we raise money and awareness for Shelter, and I feel privileged to have the opportunity to do this. Gigs are mostly free entry (please check venue websites for details) but the whole point is to raise money for Shelter, so there will be a collection at the end of each gig.”

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Damian is playing at the Grapes Hotel in Newcastleton on Thursday July 7, in Hawick on Friday July 8 and in Kelso on Saturday July 9 – both at venues still to be confirmed – and on Sunday July 10 at Hemelvaart Bier Cafe in Ayton.

Damian said: “I am as worried as I am excited about the tour. Out of 120 gigs, lots of which don’t normally host comedy, I’m sure there will be some tough nights. I keep having these recurring visions of me dying onstage in a village in the middle of nowhere, trying and failing to sleep in a tent, worried that the farmer who owns the field I’m in will appear with a shotgun, then having to lug all my stuff 14 miles to the next gig like an unfunny wandering minstrel.”

Julie Bolt, Shelter’s Head of Community and Events, said: “We’re hugely thankful to Damian for undertaking such an extraordinary challenge to raise funds for Shelter. All of the money he raises will go directly towards making sure no one has to fight bad housing or homelessness on their own.

“We wish him the best of luck on the tour and encourage everyone to go along if they get the opportunity.” Damian will hold at least one gig every day, with travel between gigs of up 12 miles. 90% of the venues will be in country villages, with a few exceptions. From July 15 there’s a short break till August 4 while Damian performs the Knock Knock show as part of the free fringe in Edinburgh (with all donations from that also going to Shelter).

Keep up with Damian at, or via his Facebook and Twitter pages.