Thursday, 3 November 2011

#4: Arthur “Art” Popperwell & Martin Krafts

So yes, the rumours are true! We’re taking the old act back on the road! Too soon after Martin’s accident? Well, that’s for the audience to judge isn’t it?

Of course, many felt Martin would never perform again after he drove those poor pensioners into the lake. Most assume that a man who watched a mini-bus full of human beings drown would give up comedy. And to be fair, Martin has clearly had some doubts, difficulties even. I was shocked when I found out what he'd done to those badgers, of course I was. But as far as I’m concerned the local press went way over the top with their reporting. “Mutilated” is a very strong word.  Anyway, it’s not the Martin I know, that’s for sure.

But all those messages he daubed in the flat; “Please don’t make me Arthur!” and “Arthur, help me to die!” - these were just entrail-clotted cries for help back onto the straight and narrow. Help I’m only too glad to provide.

He’s wracked with that survivors guilt. “Why did I survive?” “Could I have done more?” Even when the answer is almost certainly yes, it wasn’t his fault the brakes failed, was it? It really was an absolute tragedy. Just as we were starting to get those really nice Jongelers gigs again. Of course, it’s a shame for everyone involved.

The act? Well it’s changed a little, of course it has. It’s been a good few years since our heyday. And of course, Martin won’t take off his “chicken face”. So yes, it’s a little different from our appearance on “Russ Abbot’s Madhouse”. But we both feel it’s important to fight on, as much for the victims as anything else. They wouldn’t want more lives ruined by what happened would they? Especially the life of someone who wasn’t even there and had nothing to do with it. Someone who still has to earn a living. Where’s the fair in that?

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