Advertising

Fun and fireworks as Archbishop is a revelation

Staffordshire | News | Published:

Funnyman Tim Vine was quick to set the informal tone of a Parkinson-style interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the hallowed halls of Walsall's Banks's Stadium.

Funnyman Tim Vine was quick to set the informal tone of a Parkinson-style interview with the Archbishop of Canterbury in the hallowed halls of Walsall's Banks's Stadium.

"Let's go straight in with the heavyweight stuff — what's your favourite firework?" he asked the leader of the Anglican Church in fromt of 400 guests.

But the Most Reverend Rowan Williams was clearly eager to show that Vine was not the only comedian on stage last night.

"I think the wrong answer to that would be a Roman candle," came his most witty reply.

This led to a mild rebuke from Vine about being funnier than him — and so began one of the most bizarre double acts ever likely to share a spotlight.

The Question and Answer session concluded a packed first day of an extended pastoral tour of the diocese.

Earlier the Archbishop had visited Swinfen Young Offenders' Institution and St Giles Hospice in Lichfield. The Bescot gig was intended to be a more relaxing affair ahead of a visit to Telford today and Stafford tomorrow.

The comedian — a well-known Christian — relayed written questions from the audience submitted before the £10-a-head bangers and mash dinner. The inquiries ranged from what car the church leader drives to how he sees the Church in 50 years' time.

Advertising

They learned that he doesn't drive after two failed attempts behind the wheel and that he was just as disastrous on the sportsfield.

"I was one of those people who was always last to be chosen for teams at school," said the 60-year-old Welshman, to a chorus of sympathetic "aahhs".

"Was it the mitre that put them off?" quipped Vine. Asked about his hobbies, he revealed he enjoyed playing table-tennis, walking coastal paths and the theatre.

That was all very well, said Vine leaning in towards his interviewee for the killer question: "But do you watch Strictly or X Factor? You can be honest, you're among friends," said Vine.

The Archbishop revealed he watched the last 10 minutes. "Strictly between ourselves, it tells me everything I need to know."

* Programme of events for the Archbishop of Canterbury's visit tomorrow: 10.30am: Service with Archbishop Rowan and Bishop of Lichfield, The Rt Rev Jonathan Gledhill, Lichfield Cathedral; 3.30pm: Evensong at St Mary's Church in Stafford; 7.30pm: Youth event with music at Rising Brook Baptist Church, Stafford.

Sorry, we are not accepting comments on this article.

Advertising

Top Stories

Advertising

More from the Express & Star

UK & International News