Shrewsbury School

Nick Hancock and Chums

Friday 2 February 2018

By Giles Bell

On the Saturday night of Coach Weekend there was a rather unusual Old Salopian charity event. It was called 'Saturday Night Detention with Nick Hancock' (I 1975-80). I hasten to say this is not because Nick is in any way an expert at giving out detention or because he has a long history of misbehaviour or imprisonment. The idea was to enable us to hold the event as cheaply as possible and hide behind a school theme, so that it took place in Kingsland Hall with a cheap and easy meal (sausages and mash followed by treacle puddings)! 

The evening began with Nick informing the assembled throng that Chris Conway was unfortunately too ill to give a presentation about the charity Restart Africa - which was the reason behind the whole evening - and that I would be doing it instead. At that moment Chris walked in to the room! However, as he had just got off a plane and was feeling under the weather, I tugged at the heart strings with some stories that are difficult to hear without wanting to immediately donate!

Restart Africa is a small charity which runs an orphanage in Gilgil, Kenya for 113 children. It is run by its founder Mary Coulson MBE who currently has four grandchildren at Shrewsbury. Do feel free to go to their website   http://www.restartafrica.org/  or Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/restartafrica/ and donate - or even better, sign up to give a monthly contribution.

Nick then supervised a game of 'True and False' which was followed by Joe Bell (I 2010-13, Rb 2014-15) strumming his guitar in a Harry Styles/Ed Sheeran-like manner. Joe can be seen at various venues in London plying his trade and he is always pleased to see Old Salopians amongst his fans. He goes under the name of Coryndon Bell as there are already some other Joe Bells on the circuit and he wanted something a little different!

Joe was followed by me cracking some awesome jokes (well, they made me laugh). I then introduced a Rising Star of Comedy in the shape of Kiran Morjaria who has been performing comedy on a regular basis in between training as a doctor. Kiran was fantastic and if you find yourself near the Comedy Store in Manchester, he quite often performs there.

After Kiran it was the turn of Nick Hancock to come and entertain the masses with stories from his time on TV and various shows. Despite suffering from the dreaded lurgy, Nick went through the pain-barrier and delivered some very entertaining anecdotes which were hugely appreciated by us all.

I tried very hard to find some dirt on both Kiran and Nick but could sadly find nothing worthy of note. I even turned to David Gee but he was unable to recall anything scurrilous about Nick. They are clearly true Salopians and had learnt to play the game (i.e. not get taught!). I could embarrass my son but I suspect my very existence does that!

I would like to publicly thank Nick, Kiran and Joe for giving up their time for a great cause and helping us to raise just over £6,000.

Giles Bell (Admissions Tutor, Philosophy & Theology Teacher, Comedian, Father and Legend - Ed)

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