Looking for reaction to the State Memorial Service on social media I found that Dame Edna Everage had written an obituary for Barry Humphries in The Daily Telegraph:

Dame Edna Everage writes: Barry Humphries was an unknown aspiring actor and would-be comedian when I first met him in the early 1950s. It is true that he put me on stage for the first time in December 1955, but it was in order to belittle me and get cheap laughs at my expense and ridicule the great Australian way of life.

How the tables were turned! I became the star and he merely a footnote to my spectacular career. His tragedy was his desire to be an artist and we know what happens to failed artists - Hitler, for example - they either become interior decorators or mass murderers. Barry was spared this fate. He became rich due to my efforts and signed me up to a contract that bound me for life.

He had a lovely family and my heart goes out to them as well as to his unfortunate wives and numerous stage-struck research assistants.

If these words seem uncharitable in the context of an obituary, I am fortunate that The Daily Telegraph, unsurprisingly, was eager to publish them.

Rumours that Dame Edna, Sir Les and Sandy are living out their twilight years in the comfort of a Monte Carlo retirement facility are entirely unfounded.

State Memorial Service

Barry Humphries was remembered in a state memorial service at Sydney Opera House this morning.

King Charles sent a message saying that “no-one was safe” from his wit, Humphries was a man who elicited both “fear and fun” in his subjects.

“Barry Humphries, through his creations, poked and prodded us, exposed pretensions, punctured pomposity, surfaced insecurities, but most of all, made us laugh at ourselves,” he wrote.

“Like so many, I have been deeply saddened by his passing. Life really won’t be the same without him.”

Humphries' son, Rupert said, “Before each show started, I would sit in his dressing room as he applied makeup, wigs and fake teeth and then watch him either step into a sequined frock or a totally disturbing fat suit that he wore for [his character] Les, with its huge appendage attached.

“Most nights my brother and I would sit on the back row of an auditorium, praying, always praying that this wasn’t going to be the show where he went too far and said something completely unforgivable.

“But he never did. He loved to torment his audiences but it was from a place of love.”

Many news outlets reported on the event:

ABC have posted video of the service on YouTube and also on their iview streaming service.

State Memorial

The The Daily Mail and 9 News have reported that the State Memorial for Barry Humphries will take place at the Sydney Opera House at 11am on Friday, December 15.

Limited free tickets will be made available to the general public at 2pm AEDT on Friday 17 November.

For those who are not able to attend The Daily Mail and NSW Government report that the event will be streamed online by ABC TV in Australia.

The NSW Government have said:

The State Memorial will bring together dignitaries, family, friends and fans of Mr Humphries from across Australia and around the world to celebrate his extraordinary career and achievements.

Barry Humphries honoured in King’s birthday list

From The Guardian:

The late Barry Humphries has been awarded the highest accolade in the King’s birthday honours list, as the prizes achieve gender parity for the first time in their five-decade history.

Humphries was one of six Australians to be made a Companion of the Order of Australia (AC), alongside former premier of Western Australia Colin Barnett, Parkinson’s researcher Glenda Margaret Halliday and former Labor minister Jenny Macklin.

The late performer’s AC was made for his “eminent service to the arts as a comedian, actor, author, satirist and entertainer, to the promotion of Australian culture, and as a patron of organisations.”

Barry Humphries at the BBC

Barry Humphries at the BBC, which was broadcast last night on BBC TWO, is now available on the BBC iPlayer for the next 11 months.

Footage of Sir Les, recorded back in 1977 on The Barry Humphries Show, starts at the 39 minute mark. This was back when he was just Les ‘Fine Arts Spokesman’ and before he developed an over active saliva duct, an affliction which would plague him his entire life.

State Memorial Service

Many news outlets are reporting that a memorial will take place on December 15th at Sydney Opera House:

Barry Humphries will receive a state funeral in Australia

Anthony Albanese, prime minister of Australia, said during a visit to Britain, “Barry Humphries was the quintessential Australian character,” he told Talk TV.

“We’ll be paying tribute to him at a state funeral. He’s someone who has given an enormous amount of pleasure to generations of Australians.”

Barry Humphries has died aged 89

Barry Humphries, the Australian comedian and actor best known for his creations Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson, has died aged 89.

This is a list of websites announcing the news:

Artistic insights from Sir Les

Sir Les has refilled his fountain pen and written a piece for The Australian reflecting on the Australia Yartz Council’s generosity to it’s artists.

On qualifying to be an Australian politician:

I had the ideal qualifications for an Australian politician: I have never had a job and I have never signed a cheque.

On his unwavering inclusivity:

I am as inclusive as buggery. Look at all the research assistants and Girl Fridays I have employed over the years at the expense of the grateful taxpayer. Inclusive isn’t the word. I had a nice little Kiwi lass (with a tattoo on her tongue), a Chinese cutie, a spunky Swede and a first Australian assistant on work experience. Due to climate change, quite a few of them were late for work.

On his daughter:

Young Karen, although she is not so young any more, God love her, is passing through a phase and she identifies as a stand-up comedian and also identifies as not very funny.

The Old Fella

Sir Les Patterson has been writing a column for the readership of British magazine The Oldie.

In July, in a piece entitled The woke wizard of Oz, Les wrote on a wide variety of subjects that befits a former elder statesman.

Upon the occasion of his birth:

When I was born in the maternity ward of the Little Sisters of Perpetual Chastity, Sydney, Australia, the nurse presented me to my wonderful mother.

She was lying in bed in the antenatal ward, quietly smoking and perusing the Woman’s Weekly.

‘It’s a boy, Mrs Patterson,’ the nurse said. ‘And, one day, he’s going to be very big.’

Boy, did she hit the nail on the head!

On sexual prejudice:

However, I yield to none in my abhorrence of sexual prejudice. As for some courageous folk who claim that they were born in the body of the wrong sex, Les Patterson has this to say: ‘I’ve been there, guys. I know. I need to get into the body of the opposite sex on a regular basis.’


It’s been a funny experience for me, staying at home for months on end. I’m such an international traveller at the expense of my old mate the Australian Taxpayer that it seems unnatural to be using the same toilet 24/7.

Lady Gwen Patterson and my good self have found a new intimacy watching the box every night on a beanbag together and, as an official diversity watchdog, I’m always on the lookout for any hint of discrimination in the media.

In the September issue, available digitally, Sir Les announced his retirement as Australia’s cultural attaché:

You’ve probably heard that I have retired from the cut and thrust of Australian diplomacy — I don’t get half-cut any more and my thrusting is strictly recreational.

On recent job offers:

The jobs I’ve been offered so far include: poetry editor of the Spectator, senior judge of the Turner Prize, transphobia watchdog, opening act on the Tony Blair lecture circuit and my latest — celebrity ghost-writer.

That last job has started up already, to be honest. Protocol forbids me to name the author but let’s just say he’s a ginger-haired, royal scallywag married to a very acceptable, diverse sheila and they want to share their journey with everyone.

On not having grandchildren:

To be honest, I’m a family man first and foremost — although my two kids, Craig and Karen, have been a bit of a letdown in respect of producing the patter of tiny Pattersons, to be honest.

Between you and me, I’ve got another little family in Bangkok, where I sometimes stop over on diplomatic missions to get the old rocket polished. There must be four or five of those kids by now, thanks to an exotic little massage therapist called Jam Yang.

Not a word to Lady Patterson, please — though she won’t be perusing this publication, that’s for sure. A woman can’t watch Embarrassing Bodies and read The Old Fella at the same time.

On sexual discrimination:

Young women who have worked under me will all vouch for my considerable tolerance and there has been the odd case of gender fluidity in my typing pool.

I’m perfectly comfortable with that, to be honest — though, in the past, I might have brushed a few sheilas up the wrong way.

I once said something that had the lezzo lynch mob up my blurter, but my tolerance is legendary, particularly to poor bastards who don’t like it plain and simple.

At The Oldie of the Year Awards 2021 on the 19th of October Barry Humphries accepted the Oldie Wizard from Oz of the Year award on behalf of Sir Les. Harry Mount, in a touching tribute, wrote that Les will be turning 80 next year.

The Oldie website doesn’t have a search function but anything Sir Les related can be found using the DuckDuckGo search engine.

Barry Humphries: 'I think Les might have adapted to new conditions'

Barry Humphries talks to The Guardian about the music of the Weimar Republic, Dame Edna and Sir Les does get more than a passing mention.

On playing Sir Les:

Humphries says none of his characters give him quite as much pleasure as Australian ambassador Sir Les, best known for his puce cheeks, huge appendage and formidable frothing. “I enjoy playing Les more than any other character because it release my inner vulgarity. It liberates my repressed ribaldry.” In 1999, Sir Les appeared with Kylie Minogue at Nick Cave’s Meltdown, in a duet that concluded with him chasing her round the stage and whipping out his famous (and thankfully fake) “frightener”. Sir Les is an acquired taste.

On Patterson’s enlarged saliva duct:

Does he still have sufficient saliva to play the dissolute ambassador? “Well, look, the same question was asked by Prince Charles.” Like Edna, Humphries is an accomplished name-dropper. “He said: ‘Do you have some kind of tube running down your mouth?’ and I said: ‘No, I produce it myself.’ It really is organic. I can expectorate six rows into the stalls.” He looks at me with undisguised pride. “That is an accomplishment, isn’t it? I can almost hit a target half a block away!” Does the royal family like Sir Les? “Prince Charles likes Les a lot,” he whispers lubriciously.

On not wanting to be Sir Les:

Perhaps Sir Les is a warning to himself of what he could have become. Would any part of him want to be Les? “No, I don’t want to be Les Patterson. I do rather admire him, though. He’s very genial. It would be therapeutic if Les was on TV constantly, reminding people there is another attitude to the fairer sex which doesn’t entirely displease them. I’ve noticed that people who laugh at Les’s most offensive, controversial, sexual sallies are old ladies. I have the lights up, and can see the old ladies on the front row. And they love it, as they used to love Max Miller.”

On the possible return to Britain of the Australian elder statesman:

That is why, he says, he is determined to bring Sir Les back to Britain for one last hurrah. “I think Les might have adapted to new conditions.” Is he less offensive? He guffaws. “No, he’s more offensive. He’s had to ramp it up.”

On the right to offend:

As we enter the lift, he tells me how lucky he has been and how much he is looking forward to the future – particularly reviving Sir Les. “I defend to the ultimate my right to give deep and profound offence.” He pauses. “So long as people laugh while they’re being offended.” And do they laugh as much nowadays? “Oh yes, of course they do.”

Sir Les and his Little Thingo

Sir Les can be seen fronting the campaign to promote the tablet and mobile editions of The Daily Telegraph, Herald Sun, The Courier-Mail and The Advertiser using News Corp’s tablet app.

To maintain my cultured, urbane and well-informed image I start my day with the tablet edition of The Daily Telegraph.

Love Songs for Sir Les

We knew that Sir Les Patterson wouldn’t stay out of the limelight for long. The Adelaide Cabaret Festival has announced a show called Love Songs for Sir Les reports The Australian. Our favourite cheese connoisseur has gathered a merry band of chanteuses, charmers and jesters.

“It’s Les as a sort of emcee, with a lot of very good artists singing love songs, and Les will be a jarring element, I should think,” Humphries says from Los Angeles, where he is currently on tour with Dame Edna Everage.

“I think Les is going to sing a couple of his own compositions, and he’s going to introduce the evening.”

For anyone in the Adelaide area the cabaret festival runs from June 5th to the 20th.

Les Get Cookin'

Chef Les

Last night was the final date on the Eat Pray Laugh! tour of the U.K. and our hero did not disappoint. Despite picking up a terrible case of the trots from a Mexican fact finding mission, Les battled on bravely.

With all the major and minor T.V. networks in the audience Les pitched his new culinary show Les Get Cookin'. Needing to impress Les cooked up his signature dish, Rissoles. Minced meat, onion, courgette and spices all mixed by fingers of a former Australian diplomat. Unfortunately, due to an enlarged saliva duct that he’s had since birth, the ingredients were a little moist, but a quick roll in the flour and it was onto the hot plate.

A couple were brought up from the audience to assist Sir Les. The woman seemed to be overcome standing so close to Leslie and she lunged at his trouser snake. Les was quick to react and kept her probing fingers out of harm’s way. As we know the Patterson appendage is reserved for Thai shelias, government sponsored ceiling inspectors and on a rare occasion, Lady Gwen.

Sir Les had to pay a second trip to the onstage lavatory and that was the last we saw of him. But surely the sight of his beckoning hand around the dunny door, gesturing for anything absorbent, can’t be the last we’ll see of him.

Rumours are that Barry Humphries will take Dame Edna on a U.S. leg of the Eat Pray Laugh! tour. We don’t know if the Sir Les combination of culture and cuisine will make it across the pond.

Sir Les at the London Palladium

The Eat Pray Laugh! tour of the U.K. will include a two-month residency at the London Palladium from November 13. Shows then continue around the country until March 2014.

Sir Les 2013-2014 U.K. Tour

Chef Les

The Eat Pray Laugh! dates have now been announced on the tour web-site.

Sir Les will be whipping up authentic Australian tucker across the length and breadth of these British Isles.

Sir Les Returns to the U.K. in 2013

The Eat Pray Laugh! tour finally arrives in the U.K. for a string of dates in autumn 2013.

  • Milton Keynes Theatre - October 23rd to 26th
  • Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff - October 30th to November 2nd
  • Edinburgh’s Festival Theatre - November 5th to 9th
  • Final transfer for a season in the West End, venue to be announced

Let’s hope that Sir Les, now a celebrity chef, can get his barbie through customs.

(via Mail Online, Broadway World and Playbill.com)

Eat Pray Laugh!

Chef Les

Finally reviews of the Eat Pray Laugh! tour have started to dribble in.

The shows opens with Sir Les Patterson, undaunted by chronic diarrhoea, conducting a celebrity cooking segment in his backyard. He’s as uproarious and politically incorrect as ever: the trouser-snake, the creamy saliva, the demented overbite, and the unabashed political incorrectness; this supreme incarnation of all that’s dire about the Australian male hasn’t changed a whit. And the packed auditorium went wild for it.

WA Today

When it premiered in Sydney two weeks ago, Sir Les had returned from the Mexico City G20 Summit with an upset stomach (“Montezuma’s revenge”) and an ambition to become a celebrity chef. “Since when did diarrhoea interfere with gourmet cooking?” he croaks, his dribble sizzling on the barbecue with his rissoles.

More spice with that? Les has got plenty, some past its use-by date: “I can live without turmeric,” he slobbers over one of the girls from his quartet of hot-bod dancer-helpers, “but I won’t say no to cumin.”

The Age

Alas there are no photos of Les’s brother Father Gerard, the Catholic priest who has “touched everyone he has ever met”. I’d wager that Gerard has the same rugged good looks of his former diplomat, now celebrity chef, brother Les.

Barry Humphries to Retire

According to reports in The Telegraph, Herald Sun, Adelaide Now and The Courier-Mail Barry Humphries will retire after his Eat Pray Laugh! tour.

What this means for Sir Les is uncertain, Humphries says:

Les has become a celebrity chef. We’ll have a kitchen on stage and Les working away, clearly preparing a meal for political colleagues.

What are the odds on Sir Les cooking with cheese. Fondue anyone?

Update: Footage of Dame Edna, Barry Humphries and Sir Les, announcing their collective retirement has surfaced on YouTube. The woman presenter correctly classifies Sir Les as the “thinking woman’s bit of crumpet”. (Thanks Mike).

Also there is an official Eat Pray Laugh! website.

The Traveller's Tool ENLARGED

The Traveller's Tool ENLARGED

This announcement from Sir Les himself has just been posted on YouTube:

Hi there my old mate the Australian taxpayer, Sir Les Patterson here.

Now if anybody should be the voice of Australia Day it should be bloody me, diplomat and mate of the Australian taxpayer. So this Australia Day I’m releasing something special, my new comedy CD and book, The Traveller’s Tool ENLARGED. It’s packed with practical advice for the modern man on the move and the woman who waits on him hand and foot.

Get yourself a load of Sir Les. Come on Australia!

Sir Les Backstage

Footage of Sir Les backstage at The Priority One Concert has surfaced on YouTube.

This shows our hero ‘shredding’ - as I believe the youngsters call it - on his ‘hot pink’ instrument. Strange that Sir Les chose that particular guitar to warm up on as he generally favours a Fender Stratocaster.

Sir Les at Christmas

Sir Les at Christmas

Another clip of Sir Les on Parkinson has been uploaded to YouTube. This time Sir Les is in a festive mood with fellow guests Martine McCutcheon, Tom Jones and Alistair McGowan. It appears that only Sir Les was appropriately dressed for the season.

As usual Sir Les is full of facts gleaned from years in the diplomatic community. Who would have known that Astrid was Scandinavian for astride!

But it’s Lady Gwen who becomes the main topic of conversation.

She’s nice but she’s boring. She could bore the arse-hole in a wooden horse my wife. I mean that lovingly.

Because she gets lonely Sir Les bought her a little dog. Over time the dog stopped responding to her whistle due to an excess of hair in it’s ears. Sir Les suggested buying some hair removal cream from the chemist. Before Gwen could explain the chemist said:

“If you’re using it on your legs, plenty of soap and water because it’s caustic. If it’s for the armpits more soap and water. And if you’re using it on your face Lady Patterson, really you better wash it off quick.” She said, “Actually it’s for my Schnauzer.” He said, “In that case don’t ride a bike for a fortnight.”

Martine in shock

It’s only when Parky is winding things up that Martine glances over at our hero and cops an eyeful of his trouser snake. Are you with me?

Tom’s got a bit of competition tonight.


Sir Les & 'Woges'

Yes, ‘Entertainment’ is the word on most of Sir Les Patterson’s cheque stubs. This is according to the man himself, announcing the 1984 BAFTA for Best Comedy Series, live from the Grosvenor Hotel in London.

Sir Les kept the celebrity audience entertained by telling a historic joke that had never been told in mixed company before. Thankfully it was suitable for primetime and concerned a little old lady in King’s Cross and three Australian drag queens.

Good old Terry ‘Woges’ Wogan managed to keep it together even when Sir Les announced that he was going to ‘open something up and whip something out’. That would be the winner of the BAFTA for Best Comedy Series, Paul Jackson for The Young Ones.

I’ve got a bit of a cold tonight so if I cough, put your hands over your mouths will you.

According to the BAFTA Awards Database is appears to be 1984 and not 1985 as titled by BlocksVideos on YouTube.

An Address on Australia Day

Sir Les sends a stirring and heartfelt message to fellow Australians via the Herald Sun.

Our hero discusses his position as Australian icon, a title that he’s resisted so as not to appear ‘up himself’. He has recently used his charm and a package from the Australian taxpayer to get Oprah Winfrey Down Under. She seemed to be amazed at the variation of muff munchers and shirtlifters but was not overwhelmed by the official gifts.

Sir Les is now busy grooming the current Prime Minister of Australia for the international stage. Les is an expert in this field as he once provided charisma coaching to John Major.

I am as proud as buggery to represent this magnificent land of ours overseas.

God Bless Australia - I only wish we owned it.

More No News

With news of Sir Les being practically non-existent, it’s thanks to YouTube user iano444 for uploading an interview with Mike Parkinson. Apart from ‘circa 1985’ in the title there’s no other description. It must have been a show that Mike did down-under as the other guests were: Barry Jones), Australian politician and Jackie Weaver, Australian actress.

Sir Les is impeccably dressed in a new ‘bag of fruit’ from a new tailor in Kowlo who supplies them a half dozen at a time. He is still championing Australia around the globe, always dipping into his slush fund whilst suffering from permanent jetlag.

Mike probes our hero and learns that Sir Les will indeed be attending the Royal Wedding at St. Paul’s Abbey, which seems to indicate the wedding of Andrew and Sarah in 1986.

Of course no interview is complete without a plug for The Australian Cheese Board. This time a fine Tasmanian Stilton had been in for a sniffing, the only way to appreciate fine cheese.

The best was saved until last and this beautiful:

Ode to Parky
by Sir Les

There’s a bloke who’s keenly watched and widely read
Who always hits the nail on the head
In the UK he started his career
Now he’s hit the jackpot over here

If he gets nervous, well it’s never showed
His face is like a mile of rugged road
His crows feet are the dried up beds of smiles
And his best friends are aware that he’s got piles…
of charm, pazazz and british spunk and phlegm

Of TV interviewers he’s the gem
He could interview a Zulu or Iraqi and make it interesting
His name is Parky

This bloke can conjure laughter and applause
In the wake of ratbags, puffs and crashing bores
And if he’s pushed for spicy dialog
He’ll ask you if you’ve ever nudged the grog

The TV critics here are chippy guys
They’ll try to chop old Parky down to size
A few might say, “Go back where you’ve come from”
“We won’t be taught charisma by a pom”

But he knows the average Aussie journalist
Is following orders, jealous or half pissed
He smiles, he does his job, he doesn’t care
When you’re the ace, where do you go from there

So whether you be Hun or Nip or Darkie
Raise your glass of lager, rum or Saki
And drink to my old cobber
Dear old Parky

Brings a tear to the eye doesn’t it.

No News

Yes, the latest Sir Les news is that there is no news. Since the shows in Australia last December there have been no reported sightings of our hero. We can only assume that he is championing Australian culture, yartz and fillums around the globe.

The Sir Les Patterson page on Wikipedia has been updated by a group of people who know more about him than I do. His origins, appearances on stage and screen, a biography, published works and an exhaustive list of his professional career. It’s well worth a read.

The full interview with Mike Parkinson has been added to YouTube by RettroKunk. Sir Les is deftly probed by Parky about his image, the Australian film industry and the strain of staying faithful to Lady Patterson. With thoughts of his wife being half a world away he sings a delicate pean to Gwen called ‘My Old Lady’. The only thing that spoils the video footage is the occasional glimpses of Brian Humphries sat in the audience.

Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?

The reviews for the Australian shows, in Sydney and Melbourne, seem to be positive compared to those of the U.K. Barry Humphries spoke to The Sydney Morning Herald before the concerts and said of our hero, “So far there has been no resistance to the idea of having Sir Les appear… but there is sure to be a whole body of resistance afterwards.”

In the second half the urbane intelligence of Humphries made way for the carefully honed repulsiveness of Sir Les Patterson, who led an audience rendition of O'Hagan’s Along the Road to Gundagai.

The Sydney Morning Herald

We sang along to the 1922 classic, the theme to the Dad and Dave radio show, Along the Road to Gundagai and cringed, ogled and applauded as Sir Les hammed up the Humphries’s original Chardonnay, a waltz cum drinking song in supremely bad taste.

Guest pianist Dejan Lazic, who was onstage for Sir Les’s act, was one of the few who looked bemused that such a repellent character was a star attraction.

Australian Stage

The Patterson song cycle paid tribute to Peter Dawson, Australian jazzman Graeme Bell (still going strong at 95) and Rod Stewart, with Sir Les’s seminal version of Do Ya Think I’m Sexy? finding the ACO in disco mode.

Mt Druitt Standard

The second half was given over to Sir Les and Dame Edna. Spitting profusely and groping his “trouser-snake”, Sir Les’s blue-streaked banter was more compelling than his Rex Harrison-like speech-singing in a bracket of classic popular songs.

The Australian

Then it was time for the gloriously repulsive Sir Les Patterson to take charge of the show. He was full of booze-fuelled enthusiasm and the front row probably wished they had been issued disposable ponchos to protect them from the shower of fragrant spittle that rained down.

Equally delightful were his renditions of songs including The Stockriders' Song and Along The Road To Gundagai, as well as fabulously cringe-worthy versions of Chardonnay and Do Ya Think I’m Sexy?.

Daily Telegraph

The Last Night of the Poms Soundtrack

Amazon.co.uk has a double CD of The Last Night of the Poms listed on their web-site. The release date is 4th September 2009 so it can’t be an audio recording of the recent performances. Unfortunately there is very little information other than it’s a 2009 digital remaster that is labeled as being an ‘import’. It is also available as an MP3 download. The Sir Les related tracks are :-

You could just buy those 3 Sir Les tracks for £7.37 but you may as well buy them all for just £8.69.

This audio is also available on iTunes for £9.99.

Too many notes...

Sir Les at the Royal Albert Hall

The first performance of the Last Night Of The Poms tour was held at the Royal Albert Hall in London yesterday. With the monologues, by both Sir Les and Dame Edna, being well received it seems that reviewers took a dislike to the musical passages.

A dishevelled Sir Les continually sprayed the front row with spittle as he swigged from a whiskey glass and remarked of the poor weather outside: “dampness is not always a bad thing is it fellas?” Claiming to have been as “busy as a Baghdad bricklayer” this gaudy buffoon gave The Secret Policeman’s Ball a run for its money when it came to subjecting the regal surrounds of the Albert Hall to filth and puerility. It was joyous to behold but so sadly short.

The Independent

The first [half] opens with an irresistible 10 minutes from Sir Les, who refines slobbering into an artform: the laughs flow according to the height hit by his spittle as it arcs towards the front row. It isn’t sophisticated, but it’s brilliantly disrespectful – as are Sir Les’s unreconstructed jokes about “little Thai sheilas” and Peter Mandelson’s urologist. So it feels plain wrong when Patterson’s patter cedes to his Prokofiev parody, Peter and the Shark. Neither the text, nor the music is funny – and the style of each is cramped by the other.

The Guardian

After a sweeping overture conducted by Carl Davis, Barry Humphries appeared in the guise of Sir Les Patterson, cultural attaché extraordinaire, dribbling more than a Roy Hattersley Spitting Image puppet. Patterson is a magnificent monster and his 75-year-old creator was on filthily fine form, insulting the stony-faced Sheilas in the front row and boorishly berating latecomers.

This is London

In support, Humphries’s cultural attaché Sir Les Patterson suffers the same problems. His musical piece is Peter And The Shark, an Australianised version of the Prokofiev piece, with various instruments illustrating various characters drawn from antipodean fauna in a tedious gag-light story, slowed to a wearying pace by the soloists’ interludes.

Yet again, when he’s left to his own devices, Patterson’s a delight. Sure, a lot of the comedy comes from Strine slang such as ‘budgie smugglers’ for Speedos or other cheap innuendo, but he does it excellently, with all the exaggerated flair of a pantomime grotesque.

But mostly, he’s funny for no more sophisticated reason that the arching waterfalls of phlegm that spew from his mouth and over the audience every time he hits a plosive ‘p’ sound, which seems to occur with undue frequency. If the front row had dipped into the Royal Albert Hall merely to avoid the downpour outside, they would have found themselves more drenched inside the building than out.

Chortle: The UK Comedy Guide

It started well with Les Patterson delivering 15 minutes of the kind of filth we have grown to love him for - but then it all went wrong. He then proceeded to deliver a rambling monologue, accompanied by a full orchestra, about a story called “Peter and the Shark”. It wasn’t funny, it wasn’t memorable. In fact, it wasn’t anything.

Iain Dale’s Diary

Good News

But only for Australians during December. Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson will be performing with the Australian Chamber Orchestra according to the ACO web-site :-

  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney - Monday December 14th
  • Sydney Opera House, Sydney - Tuesday December 15th
  • The Arts Centre, Melbourne - Wednesday December 16th

Bad News

According to the Manchester Evening News web-site the Last Night Of The Poms tour won’t be visiting Manchester with 8 of the 13 dates being removed from the schedule. This has been put down to ‘to unforeseen circumstances’ which translates to poor ticket sales.

Due to the size of the production it could only be staged in arenas, instead of the more traditional theatre circuit for such a show. The tour could come back next year albeit scaled down.

Sir Les a Mancunian?

He could well be. That’s according to an interview with Barry Humphries and the Manchester Evening News.

I’ve always thought of myself as a northern comedian, because the further north I go the more comfortable I tend to feel.

Barry says that Sir Les has yet to make an appearance on American soil.

I’ve not really tried him out on the Americans yet, because Les has a kind of music hall vulgarity that might offend the survivors of Plymouth Rock, the inheritors of that Puritan tradition. Every now and then, I look into an American audience and right at the back I can see some tall black hats.

Sir Les, being a diplomat, just wants to increase the bond between England and Australia.

He doesn’t feel you need to know anything more about culture, so he’s concentrating on cheese. He’s chairman of the Australian Cheese Board and he does a lot of cheese promotion. He will be discussing cheese in the presence of a full orchestra when he comes to Manchester. His recommendation? Tasmanian mauve vein. It comes in a cylindrical form.

When Sir Les hits the stage in Manchester on Wednesday, September 16, a whiff of Australia’s finest cheese is sure to follow.

Wife Gwen is Cheesist

In an article entitled Put Your Faith In Cheeses for The Spectator (Australian branch), Sir Les confesses that his lady wife Gwen wouldn’t allow any cheese into the marital home. For a connoisseur and ambassador for the Australian cheese industry, such as Sir Les, that must have put a terrible strain on their marriage. Fortunately, the ever resourceful, Les sought comfort near the cheese counters of supermarkets. On the look out for housewives who slip a Tasmanian camembert into their trolley.

From his love of Kraft cheese as a boy, to the Endeavour Blue that is served at all the Patterson functions, Sir Les certainly has his nose to the rind.

Sir Les and Dame Edna Tour the UK

Sir Les

Sir Les and Dame Edna will be touring venues in England, Scotland and Wales this autumn in a show billed as the Last Night Of The Poms.

  • SECC & Clyde Auditorium, Glasgow - Friday September 11th
  • Usher Hall, Edinburgh - Saturday September 12th
  • Royal Albert Hall, London - Tuesday September 15th
  • Manchester Evening News Arena, Manchester - Wednesday September 16th
  • Brighton Centre, Brighton - Friday September 18th
  • The National Indoor Arena, Birmingham - Tuesday September 22nd
  • Sheffield Arena, Sheffield - Wednesday September 23rd
  • Cardiff International Arena, Cardiff - Friday September 25th
  • Bournemouth International Centre, Bournemouth - Saturday September 26th
  • Odyssey Arena, Belfast - Tuesday September 29th
  • Liverpool Echo Arena, Liverpool - Friday October 2nd
  • Trent FM Arena Nottingham, Nottingham - Saturday October 3rd

Sir Les was conspicuous by his absence at the shows in San Francisco earlier this year. But now that President Barack Obama is safely in office he can resume his duties providing intimate lectures to arena audiences. Carl Davis CBE will also be present to conduct the band.

Be warned that venues will not supply water-proofs to attendees in the first 4 rows during the lecture.

Latest reports suggest that the more fanatic Sir Les followers, known as ‘The Diplomats’, have already started camping outside venues 24 hours before tickets officially go on sale. But that maybe a lie.

Dame Edna Everage on her way to Liverpool for Last Night of the Poms - Liverpool Daily Post.co.uk
Good news, Possums! - Chortle : The UK Comedy Guide
Sir Les Patterson Tour Dates & Tickets - ents24.com

Dame Edna's almost last stand

There will, however, be the introduction to an American audience, for the very first time, of Sir Les Patterson. He’s a character that’s been in my repertoire for a long time. He’s a very overweight - or, as you say in the States, “heavyset” - gross Australian politician in a stained powder-blue suit, deeply stained tie, always carrying a drink, who’s now the Australian ambassador to the States. This will be an experiment to see how people take it, because he’s such a contrast to Edna. He’s very good for political comment.

That’s Barry Humphries describing Sir Les to the San Francisco Chronicle.

It appears that Sir Les has become the Australian ambassador to the United States of America. No doubt he’ll be involved in high-level talks with President-elect Barack Obama.

How not to damage Australia's image abroad

Our new Prime Minister, Kevin Rudd (the dentist), has had as many overseas trips at the taxpayers' expense as I have. Unlike a couple of his predecessors, he has not sought my advice about discreet rub-and-tug shops in Bangkok, though I would have been delighted to assist him should he be desirous of getting his rocket polished in a tasteful setting. He needs to watch his back, however, because Malcolm Turnbull - the next prime minister, incidentally - is waiting for the first opportunity to shaft him. Malcolm, like me, comes from a good old Irish-Australian background, but he once gave me a serve in the British press, accusing me of damaging Australia’s overseas image. I didn’t give a stuff because, quite frankly, I am Australia’s overseas image. But I had to hand it to old Mal. If you’re a nonentity, as he was at the time, the best way to get a bit of publicity is to impugn the patriotism of a bloke everyone knows and loves. I felt like shaking his hand, though my hand was pretty busy at the time. Are you with me?

Diary and Diplomatic Notebook both from The Spectator

On YouTube...

More footage of Sir Les has appeared on YouTube.

The Great Chinese Takeaway

Sir Les and The Great Chinese Takeaway

Finally the BBC2 documentary, made by Sir Les in 1997, called Sir Les and The Great Chinese Takeaway has been added to YouTube. Thanks to MaskedApple this rare historical footage has been saved for fellow Sir Les fans to study and enjoy.

This only begs the question, considering that it was uploaded at the beginning of the year, why has it taken me so long to find it?

Sir Les & Holly

The clip of the recent Channel 4 documentary, Barry Humphries: The Man Inside Dame Edna, that featured Sir Les has now been added onto the media page.

It shows Sir Les relaxing in an exclusive Melbourne bar, with a glass of scotch and a government sponsored research assistant called Holly close to his side.

I met Barry Humphries only about twice in my life, and it was two times too many. He’s up himself, and I don’t get the point of him. He’s not my type and he is not a good representative of Australia. That’s all I want to say, I’m saying no more.

Sir Les confesses that when he was younger he was worried that he was deformed, he also puts to rest the superstition that Australia doesn’t have any culture and that he hasn’t picked anything up in Bangkok that has lasted for very long. He also gives valuable advice on dry cleaning garments.

According to the Reuters news agency Barry Humphries has been ordered to rest for six months by his doctors after complications over his appendix surgery. This, of course, means that his North American tour and his appearance at the Magners Glasgow International Comedy Festival have both been cancelled.

The Man Inside Dame Edna

At last, and only a week or so later than previously mentioned, the documentary Barry Humphries: The Man Inside Dame Edna is being shown on Channel 4 in the UK next Wednesday at 10:00pm.

According to the TV Times Barry goes back to his roots during his 2007 tour or Australia, reflecting on the people and places that inspired his two most famous creations, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson.

Barry has surgery for appendicitis

Barry Humphries had his appendix removed on Sunday, according to NEWS.com.au.

His illness interrupted festive plans including missing the New Year’s Eve fireworks in Sydney. Harley Medcalf, his manager, said that the Melbourne comic was recovering well.

Barry is due to start the Dame Edna Live and Intimate tour in the US later this month.

We wish him well.

A few additions...

A copy of the Back with a Vengeance tour brochure has been purchased for the archive. It contains a few photos of the great man and also a poem entitled In Terms of My Natural Life.

Thanks to Kurt, a fellow Sir Les fan, for pointing out that Sir Les wrote the preface to The Complete Barry McKenzie publication.

The web-site has had a formal and more business-like redesign that befits the high-powered image of an Australian elder Statesman.

Behind The Make-Up

The UK’s Channel 4 will screen a new documentary called Barry Humphries: Behind The Make-Up next month according to The Sun. A camera crew will follow Barry as he returns to his Australian roots including the streets where he grew up and the school he attended.

A C4 spokeswoman said: “He’s a comic genius who has produced some of the most enduring characters of the past 50 years such as Dame Edna and Sir Les Patterson.

“The programme investigates how he has turned unadulterated vulgarity, snobbery and pretension into comedy gold.

“It features some of his oldest and closest friends recalling how he emerged from the Melbourne suburbs to conquer the world. It’s a rare glimpse of the man behind the diamante glasses.”

Barry Humphries receives CBE


Barry Humphries received his CBE from the Queen today reports the Daily Mail.

Regarding his little chat with the Queen he said that: “Les wasn’t mentioned either. He’s already a knight but I’m not certain it’s legal.”

Is this the first time that the validity of Sir Les’s knighthood has been questioned?

Bazza’s big moment at the palace - The Sydney Morning Herald
Queen awards Humphries CBE - ABC News Video

Another Update
Arise Sir Bazza

Rod Baxter at Beyond The Billabong has posted the Herald-Sun cartoon by Mark Knight (original 3.3 MB).

McDonald's Advert Suit

You will know doubt recall that Sir Les starred in a McDonald’s advert that was shown during the 2000 Sydney Olympics. Well the actual suit that he wore for the advert is up for sale on eBay.


Genuine suit worn by Barry Humphries to promote Mcdonalds campaign, in the 2000 Sydney Olympics.

Items include : Jacket complete with “Sir Les” Mayo dribble, trousers and tie.

Authentication letter written by “Sir Les” himself

Will make ideal focal and talking point

Must not be missed by any fans of Barry Humphries

Suit Suit Suit Suit Suit

Of course what the description fails to mention is that it has been handcrafted from the finest Australian polyester. It’s also fair to assume that it’s a ‘large’ size. The starting price is £299.99 and it has a reserve so don’t all bid at once.

More Sir Les...

Santa Les

More content has now been added thanks to fellow Sir Les fan, David Tanton.

David kindly sent in scans of two newspaper clippings which are now on the articles page. Also an audio interview with Sir Les by fellow Australian Clive James is now on the media page.

Another YouTube clip of Sir Les was added to the media page during the week taken from The Dame Edna Experience DVD.

A Sir Les Patterson Google Group has now been set-up so that fans can discuss the life, the work and the sartorial elegance of the great man. There is also a files section so that members can upload any rare pictures that they may have. Currently there are only two members. There must be more fans of Sir Les out there!

The photograph of Sir Les is from an article on the BBC web-site which reports on Barry Humphries being honoured the CBE. If only they could spell our heroes name correctly.

The Last Clip...

Brother Les

The last clip of Sir Les on The Dame Edna Treatment show has been added to the media page. The final show in the series was aired in the UK on ITV1 at the weekend.

Brother Les congratulated Dame Edna on fifty fantastic years, proving that the finest medical minds have not cured his projectile saliva affliction. Sir Les says that he has found his true calling and has formed his own production company making tasteful and informative adult fillums and fly-on-the-wall documentaries.

Barry Humphries, CBE

Barry Humphries has been awarded a CBE in today’s birthday honours.

The Guardian report that the actor and author heard the news as he came off stage in Australia. “I’m deeply honoured,” he said. “At last I can address Sir Les Patterson and Dame Edna Everage on an improved footing.”

Hello, possums...

Mark Shenton, in his blog at The Stage, reports on the Back With A Vengeance show in Sydney.

He describes Sir Les as “Edna’s legendary warm-up artist” and quotes the great man as saying: “I’m as busy as Heather Mills in an arse-kicking contest.” Sir Les was also noted mentioning an idea for a reality TV show set in an all-woman prison. The general public, would vote for “which lezzos you want to see locked up together for the night.” This was no doubt followed by “are you with me?”

Back in Brisbane

Dame Edna is continuing her celebration of 50 years in showbiz with a dozen shows at the Lyric Theatre The Sunday Mail reports.

The show will be a heady concoction of “beautiful gowns, gladdies and gifts, psychic readings and a little healing”.

Sir Les will also be making a “tasteful and hopefully sober appearance”.

Sir Les Clips


More video clips of Sir Les have been added to the media page via YouTube. The majority were taken from the Heroes of Comedy: Barry Humphries programme that was shown on Channel 4 on October 30th 1999.

The show was an hour and a half long and featured interviews with Barry Humphries and Dame Edna with contributions from Joan Rivers, Kylie Minogue, Geoffrey Rush and Spike Milligan.

This weeks Health & Lifestyle Around the World clip has also been added. Joe Calzaghe and Amir Khan both hit the canvas at high speed after meeting a man at the height of his powers as a diplomat and a pugilist. I think Sir Les had ‘Notable Australian Cheese’ on the back of his shirt. It was hard to tell because his well-honed physique was just a blur.

More Sir Les

Sir Les

The clip of Barry Humphries, Dame Edna Everage and Sir Les Patterson on Channel 4’s 100 Greatest Stand-Ups has been added to the media page. The three took the 82nd spot as voted for by visitors to the Channel 4 web-site.

Details of the cassette version of Live & Rampant! Les Patterson Has A Stand Up have been added to the lectures page. The tape inlay has an extensive note from Sir Les and includes a list of 10 Reasons Why You Should Buy Someone The Les Patterson Tape & Video.

Two new documents have been added to the articles page. The first entitled Mongrel B*st*rds from The Spectator in 2000 and the other Pop your cork this Christmas from the London Evening Standard of the same year.

Sir Les & Carmen

The Sun have managed to get the scoop on tonight’s The Dame Edna Treatment. Sir Les, as part of his Health & Lifestyle Around the World segment, will be taught how to lap dance by Carmen Electra from Baywatch.

Another New Page

A new media page has been added. This has the A Late Lunch with Les television programme and also the new Health & Lifestyle Around the World segments from The Dame Edna Treatment shows.

Before you ask, no Sir Les has not lost a lot of weight, the show is broadcast in the 16:9 widescreen ratio and YouTube only use the standard 4:3.

Shilpa is Les than happy

Sir Les and Shilpa

It seems that Shilpa Shetty gets to meet Sir Les during The Dame Edna Treatment, The Sun reports.

The Bollywood actress was not impressed by Sir Les and looks a little overcome at meeting a man at the height of his sexual powers.

Game old Dame

Times Online talks to Dame Edna about The Dame Edna Treatment, which airs on ITV1 in the UK tonight. She says that only “real stars” will be invited and that her greatest achievement to-date is the creation of the Prostate Olympics.

Sir Les gets a brief mention somewhere.

I'm back, possums!

Dame Edna gives an interview with TV Times magazine talking about her new show The Dame Edna Treatment. The show airs on ITV1 in the UK on Saturday at 9.40pm (repeated Monday at 11.00pm).

Dame Edna will interview guests as they are receiving beauty treatments in her own health spa. The spa has been setup to help her dysfunctional daughter, Valmai, who will act has Dame Edna’s helper after Madge retired.

Sir Les also makes an appearance, offering his own lifestyle advice.

A New Page

Ruffled shirt, watch and scotch

A new articles page has been added containing an interview with Sir Les that was printed in the Autumn/Winter 1988 copy of Arena. This is Britain’s original style magazine for men. Sir Les discusses his loyalty to Australian polyester and assures us that his kangaroo leather shoes are made from animals that were humanely culled.

Housewife superstar anything but retiring

Barry Humphries, who was 73 last Saturday, talks to The Sydney Morning Herald about slowing down being the last thing on his mind. He spoke about London in the 1960s, a television series for Dame Edna called The Edna Treatment and the possibility of a Dame Edna film which would be directed by Douglas McGrath the man behind Infamous. Apparently Sir Alec Guinness once described Sir Les as “ghastly”.

Relax with Edna

Dame Edna tells The Daily Telegraph that the Back with a Vengeance show will contain references to current affairs and politics. Sir Les was described as an ‘old acquaintance’.

The Dame is Back

The Sydney Star Observer report on the Back with a Vengeance press conference that Dame Edna gave and quiz her about her gay following. Sir Les was called an ‘alter ego’. Barry Humphries also managed to get a mention.

Outspoken, outrageous and out for a laugh

The Sydney Morning Herald report that Dame Edna held a news conference to announce her new Back with a Vengeance stage show in Sydney in May. Sir Les will also appear but only under contractual obligation.

A Recent Sighting

Sir Les was apparently last seen entering a Bangkok ‘Rub & Tug’ shop clutching a fistful of hard currency generously donated, as always, by the Australian tax-payer.

Sir Les


The online archive of Dr. Sir Leslie Colin Patterson. Wit, sage, raconteur, late Cultural Attaché to the Court of St James and Chairperson of the Australian Chapter of the International Cheese Board.

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