Please Note: Keith’s event has now passed. He would still love have your support. Please contact him on 0207 4861844
TRUSTED comedy guru Keith Palmer’s latest challenge is to raise money for an issue which is no laughing matter.
As a director and founder of The Comedy School (a charitable trust formed in 1998) he has organised a plethora of star names who will literally Stand-Up to be counted in the crusade against knife crime.
Likeable Keith is realising a passion for helping others at the benefit show, which will be staged at Hammersmith Eventim Apollo, on Sunday October 11.
Sir Lenny Henry, Sean Lock, Paul Whitehouse and Harry Enfield, to name but a few, have all said yes to Keith, who has built up a wealth of contacts and experience as a producer, facilitator, and consultant on the comedy circuit, in television and arts education projects.
‘My existence is about making a difference and it’s something everybody can do, if they think about it and want it to happen,’ says Keith, who credits his success in business (the limited company arm of the school) to being a people person.
‘I believe relationship building has been key to my success,’ he says. ‘I would say the secret is being able to emotionally connect with people, to be honest and able to deliver something that you truly believe in. I would like to think that other people would say that about me, that I’m a sincere guy who makes a difference and helps other people.
‘Then, why wouldn’t people want to help me?
‘Of course if you are selling toothpaste for example it might not be as easy to be passionate about the product you are selling but connecting with people is important.’
Keith spotted a gap in the market and went for it all those years ago and he explains: ‘I recognised early on that there wasn’t anywhere to go to study the art form of Stand-Up Comedy.
‘There was nothing which taught you about getting into popular comedy, particularly for people of a different nationality.
‘I wanted to provide that platform and knowing what skills I had, and asking myself who could benefit from those skills, was how I got started.
‘It was helping others to understand too that the learning process can be fun.’
Keith’s’ philosophy dovetails with Naked Leader’s Formula For Guaranteed Success in that you need to know where to want to go, know where you are now, know what you have to do, and then do it!
As if to empathise the point, he adds: ‘As well as doing it, it is also understanding what you are doing and why you are doing it.’
Keith has made it happen over a 20-year spell, providing bespoke training and personal development programmes for organisations including The Princes Trust, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Unilever, The National Youth Theatre, London Business Forum, 20th Century Fox and many more. Keith also organised Nelson Mandela’s visit to Brixton in 1996.
The Comedy School’s mission includes, providing a resource for performers for networking, information and skills development through training and courses, and through practical experience in creating and performing comedy-based material.
Comedy, drama and the arts are used as a forum for analysing issues around peer pressure, cultural contexts, social behaviour and personal experiences in an informal setting.
The event (eventimapollo.com or 0844 249 1000) will raise, in the words of a Harry Enfield character, ‘Loadsamoney’, for just one of a number of vital social programmes Keith is involved with, using the power of comedy.
A barrel of laughs? Well, knife crime is an extremely serious problem but for a few wonderful hours, in the aid of a worthy cause, the evening promises to be very funny indeed!