Comedy fans were treated to a special stand-up performance by TV star Lee Nelson in a Crawley pub.
Funny man Simon Brodkin, who plays the cheerful council estate dweller, agreed to perform at a charity comedy gig held at The Grasshopper Pub, Tilgate, on Friday (January 31).
He appeared on stage wearing a surprisingly sharp suit and delivered a set full of hilarious gags and quick-witted jokes about audience members.
The event was organised by comedian Mel Moon, of Tilgate, with the support of The Grasshopper’s landlord, TeeJay Patel, to help raise awareness of The Pituitary Foundation.
Other stand-ups on the bill were Cerys Nelmes, Adam Kaye, Stu Turner and Andrew McBurney.
Mel, 34, has problems with her endocrine system, meaning her stress levels in ‘fight or flight’ situations could kill her.
Mel, who started performing comedy in 2008, told the Crawley Observer: “Anybody who’s got anything wrong with their pituitary is placed into a category of having a really rare disease.
“We’re talking one in a million, one in two million.
“These are things that normal doctors don’t see every day and The Pituitary Foundation is special because they understand that it can be very isolating.
“They try to reach out to anybody who’s been diagnosed or make sure that diagnosed people know that they’re there.”
Mel explained that people can join the foundation as a member and phone up at any time for advice.
She said: “It’s 24 hours a day and they’re qualified endocrine nurses so it’s not just anyone that you’re dealing with.
“Also, everyone that works there has suffered through a disease themselves, so they can speak from first-hand experience.
“They’re a really special organisation and they’ve made my life a lot easier.”
Mel, who knows Simon Brodkin from the comedy circuit, was delighted he could perform at the event.
She said: “The character Lee is this big ‘chavvy’ bloke and he talks a lot of filth but Simon is one of the most genuine, sweet and compassionate men I’ve ever had the fortune to meet.
“I adore him. He’s such a lovely guy and people need to get behind him and what he does because he’s one of the few people who’s so deserving of what he’s achieved.
“ I hope he gets bigger and bigger and bigger.”
Describing the way her health problems have affected her, Mel said: “My endocrine system just isn’t working. They don’t know why.
“They’re trying to get to the bottom of it as best as they can, but bit by bit it’s shutting down.”
She said she had gone from being a healthy, energetic person to someone who suffered fatigue and pain.
She added: “I can’t go out with my mates and have a drink. Don’t have the energy.”
People can still make donations to the charity at The Grasshopper Pub, Ashdown Drive, Tilgate.
For more information about The Pituitary Foundation visit www.pituitary.org.uk.
By Lawrence Smith