The day I was beaten up in front of comedian Arnold Brown

A CARICATURIST CAN have all sorts of adventures if they’re travelling the length and breadth of the country (and sometimes abroad) to events in order to draw live caricatures as an entertainment.

If you have a painful and distressing experience, it is always better if there is something which will make you laugh about it for ever afterwards.

The following took place in the late nineties when, through Ha! Magazine, I had made friends with Scottish/Jewish comedian Arnold Brown.

En route to a three-day exhibition in Birmingham, I was making the exit from the tube to the mainline station at Euston, in London, when my shoulder merely brushed against a chap I was overtaking. The sort of very slight physical contact one can make several times every day in the crowded city.

He swung around and smashed me on the chin sending a startled shudder right down through my spine.

I saw the man disappearing up an escalator and looking back at me and, at the same time, Arnold Brown’s shocked face looking at me. He happened to be travelling in the opposite direction, catching a tube train. He asked if I was alright, I said I’d survive and we carried on our separate ways.

Arnold Brown
The cover to Arnold Brown

ABOVE: Arnold Brown’s face actually looked like this when he saw me being beaten up!

Afterwards though, when discussing such nasty events with friends, we seem to be agreed that my experience of having a beating witnessed by one of the leading members of the late Seventies’ alternative comedy vanguard was quite unique.

On retelling this tale in front of two caricaturing comrades, the always-amusing (for so many reasons) caricaturist Paul Baker split my sides by saying: “Yeah, I know. And once I was being gang-banged at Willesden Junction when Stephen Fry walked past.”

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