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Jim’s fixed it for Louis
5:11pm Thursday 22nd February 2007 in Comedy
At last, a good news story! It's not all teenage murders and arts crises out there.
Allow comedian Jim Tavare to tell us the story behind the star-studded gig he has assembled to appear at Jongleurs in aid of Great Ormond Street Hospital.
"In May 2006 my eight-year-old son Louis fell ill, he was very pale and lacklustre," says Jim.
"He had some tests at the hospital but they couldn't find anything.
"Then they discovered he was full of these tumours that were doubling every 16 hours. At first the doctors thought it was sarcoma, so I was relieved when they said it was a rare form of lymphoma called Burkitt's lymphoma as it had a better outlook.
"The tumours just melted away after a few months and Louis was cleared one month ago, which was a huge relief.
"So this gig is more of a celebration than anything else."
Short of exhuming Bill Hicks and Richard Pryor, he could barely have enlisted finer performers. They include Harry Hill, Ed Byrne, Al Murray, Tim Vine and an extremely rare stand-up outing from Frank Skinner.
"I thought of all my friends in the comedy world and went for the big-hitters," says Jim, 43.
"They were great about it when I told them the story, David Baddiel couldn't make it but he has made a generous donation to the charity instead."
To top off the evening, 70s rock band The Stranglers will be playing an acoustic set, with a couple of special guests. "Al Murray's going to play drums with them and I'll play bass.
"Me and Al played in a band called Guns n Moses, we were the first Jewish heavy metal group.
"We were a joke band, and did things like sing Stairway To Heaven in Hebrew. I'm not sure you would get away with it now."
It is fortunate that Jim's stand-up persona is a dour, deadpan one, as he continued performing during the eight-month ordeal.
"It wasn't easy but it doesn't show, does it? There was a period of crying all the time, but not on stage, of course, as you have to just get on with it, Louis has a sister who needs attention, too.
"In part, doing the comedy has helped as you can take your mind off things and completely focus."
As for Louis, he has been left a little "war-torn", sporting a limp from being bed-ridden and without hair from the chemotherapy, but he is otherwise fighting fit, thanks to Great Ormond Street and Ealing Hospitals.
The other comics on the bill are Perrier Award winner Phil Nichol, Paul Tonkinson, Lee Mack and Ricky Grover.
Great Ormond Street Hospital fundraiser; Jongleurs, 49 Lavender Gardens, Battersea, Sunday, February 25, 6pm, tickets from £25 (all proceeds to GOSH), call 0870 787 0707, visit jongleurs.com.