‘My Dad Was Nearly James Bond’ **** Metro

Damon Smith from ‘The Metro‘ reviewed Des Bishop’s new show. Here is what he thought.

My Dad Was Nearly James Bond: Des Bishop ****

The name’s Bishop, Des Bishop.

‘I know there are Protestants here, I can smell them,’ grins Des Bishop. It’s a pleasantly familiar jibe from the stand-up who was brought up in New York and moved to Ireland at the age of 14.

His fans, who supported him through his brush with testicular cancer in 2000, lap it up. However, this year’s Fringe excursion isn’t the usual bombardment. It’s the show of a lifetime, or more specifically his father’s lifetime as he salutes the seemingly indestructible man who could have beaten George Lazenby to one of cinema’s defining roles.

Opening with a clip from the classic 1964 film Zulu, in which Mike Bishop played the pivotal role of Surgeon’s Assistant No 3, My Dad Was Nearly James Bond is a warm and affectionate tribute to the model turned actor who was diagnosed with stage four lung cancer last year and continues to battle the disease with dignity.

Des says that he has never had so much fun writing a show and the love for his old man shines through, beginning with a potted history of the formative Bishop years- ‘My father is English, my mother Irish, so I was born to hate myself’- before showing a clip of a television advertisement for tobacco starring Mike that seems unconscionable in the current age of smoke-free political correctness.

At one point, Des jokes, ‘If there was an Emotional Olympics, Ireland would be in the special one,’ but he is evidently letting down his countrymen and women because he talks with heartfelt emotion, before he reveals his father’s escapades with the infamous Black Bob. The closing minutes deliver an emotional kick that almost knocks us off our feet for a richly deserved standing ovation.

Des Bishop is playing at the Assembly@George Street until August 29th. You can buy tickets here.

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