The TVO Boosh Crawl

© BBC

Thinking back to the journey that The Mighty Boosh have taken, it really is astounding to think about where it all started. Up until the radio series, Noel & Julian took their fantastical minds and words around London, piecing together what was to be their first Edinburgh show, winning the hearts of many fans. 

This all came to an end 10 years ago (editor’s note: 10 years in 2011) when the radio series followed onto a Pilot for BBC3 and well, of course we all know the rest.

With Londontown being the birthplace of the Boosh, here is a summary of the journey that the boys took and we encourage you to take your own tour around these now momentous places. Use our links (even on the photos) to get you around, enjoy and for anyone that takes the TVO Crawl – send us your pictures doing the classic Pete Sweet pose with you and your friends at each place!

It all began, not in London, but in High Wycombe when Noel Fielding on a night out with Uni friends (including Dave Brown and Nigel Coen) went to the Hell Fire Comedy Club at the Wycombe Swan theatre. This culminated in the first meeting of Noel & Julian Barratt and so began Noel’s persistence of telling Julian of his own stand-up.

© Google Maps

Of course, this wasn’t enough for Julian so when it came to him headlining a Comedy Night at The Camden Enterprise pub where an act dropped out, Noel took his place and after Barratt witnessed Fielding in action, the Boosh was born that evening.

The Enterprise is one of the classic Camden pubs and they still do some tops comedy nights – we also recommend the fishcakes.

After both being convinced that their two acts could merge as one, they began to write and performed their first ever Mighty Boosh gig at the Oranje Boom comedy night at De Hems Dutch bar in soho.

© Google Maps

The bar is still standing proud with its distinctive gold signage so it’s hard to miss and a great bar to grab an ale before the next stop on our hit-list.

Once on their feet, the Boosh then extended with Rich Fulcher, Dave Brown and other well known TVO names, participating in shows. When the decision was made to take a show to the Edinburgh Comedy Festival, they began to put together the Arctic Boosh structure and rehearsed it regularly at the Hen & Chickens Theatre Bar in Islington.

The Hen & Chickens has made a regular return for us to mention at TVO, as Rich Fulcher rehearsed both his 2010 and 2011 Edinburgh shows here. Also across the road from this famous bar is The Garage, where the Boosh celebrated the release of their second live DVD. Boosh fans arrived in costume en masse and it’s odd the think that across the road 10 years prior was where it all started.

© Google Maps

In the same year both Noel and Julian contributed to the short film Sweet, written and directed by James Pilkington. The film was set in and around Camden and we wouldn’t mention it if it weren’t for The Elephants Head pub – right in the heart of Camden market we have to say this particular boozer does a tops full English breakfast and is the home-place of the famous ‘This is my boozer’ pose!

Once back from Edinburgh, Perrier in hand and assumably with a somewhat cocky expression on their faces, they were then offered the amazing chance to make a radio series!
In true Boosh form, being holed-up in a stuffy BBC studio didn’t suit the ambiance they wanted for the show and so, they packed up their equipment and Danny Wallace and dumped them at their own make-shift studio in Shoreditch.

© Google Maps

At the time the building was just a mysterious shell of a studio where the magic was produced but now, you can find The Grocery – a health food shop for all you healthy food needs! You can also grab a coffee whilst you’re there and have a sit down – maybe if you even listen hard enough you can still hear Rich Fulcher’s echos through the walls.

One radio series, 3 TV series, 2 UK live tours, some US appearances and a partridge in a pear-tree later – we still adore their debut to the broadcast world and it’s still bought and listened to around the world!

Remember to send your ‘This is my boozer!’ pictures to submit@thevelvetonion.com, should you decide to take on our TVO Crawl!

© BBC Films

Editor’s Note: We’re excited to be sent a photo as a prime example of how it should be done! Thank you to Leslie for showing us your BOOZER and keep those photo’s coming peelers!

© Leslie Ewing-Burgesse

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