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NEWS & FORTEANA

The push up champ speaks

By local soak Marcus Keeley

Posted April 15, 2015
24th Annual Northern Ireland Push Up Championship
Push it real good: Get ready for next week's championship at the Loft. © Voicebox Comedy

Reigning champ Hugo First speaks to Marcus Keeley ahead of next week's Northern Ireland Push Up Championship.


How did you get into the sport?

Like most things in Northern Ireland, it started as an act of defiance, a show of strength in the face of the establishment.

In this case, the establishment was the Dirty Onion and I was intentionally defying the bouncers, who, to be honest, needed to take a chill pill.

I only wanted to finish my pint and my yet-to-be-ordered four additional pints, but they wanted me out.

Gandhi's non-violent resistance technique was always something I admired.

I decided to adopt it and put my own spin on it by doing aggressive push ups, to give the impression of 'I'm not being violent right now, but as you can see, it'll all kick off if I want it to'.

Like most things in Northern Ireland.


What's your workout routine?

Similar to my inspiration for getting into the sport – I down as many pints as I can in an overcharging pub in a recently gentrified area, make a bit of a spectacle of myself to attract the attention of the bouncers, then see how many steel-toe-capped boots I can take to the head while practising my push ups.

It's pretty intensive and downright dangerous to be honest, but the results speak for themselves.


Are you in it for the money or the glory?

Both, but I'll take the money.

Or glory.

I do get satisfaction from appearing in the Ulster Tatler or IN! Magazine amongst all the weak-chinned Northern Irish 'celebrity' glitterati at glorified confirmation dos in Cafe Vaudeville or dandering around the grounds of the Culloden Hotel in some designer chinos like a big fucking nonce.

The satisfaction is definitely there, in the form of a big brown envelope immediately after the cameras go away and a private car skidding down the driveway from all the twats.


If you didn't get into the sport, what would you be doing now?

Let's be honest, dead or on the dole.


Chief hack's note: Big thanks to Hugo for those insightful words. The 24th Annual Northern Ireland Push Up Championship will take place this coming Friday, April 24 at the Loft (99 North Street, Belfast; map here). It will be staged in conjunction with the monthly Voicebox Comedy night and will see Hugo defending his title on stage alongside acts from George Firehorse; Mary Flanigan; Richard J; Peter Donnelly; and compère Marcus Keeley, among others.

Doors open at 19:30 local time, with the night kicking off proper at 20:15. Tickets cost £5.00 ($7.40) on the door or £3.00 if you book them in advance by clicking this. Please note that the Loft doesn't have a bar so make sure you remember to bring your own booze plus a spare crate or two for me and Marcus, OK? For more information, visit the Voicebox website here.

And while I'm on the subject of Belfast, here's Orbital with their 1991 track
Belfast for no other reason than it seems geographically appropriate and I've currently got it stuck in my head like a giant whelk sucking my brain out.




The above vid is embedded here on the push-up/stand-up-tastic Rake & Herald from Shoomer1988's YouTube channel, which you can check out here.


See also The boke of Belfast, posted 28/1/15, among others.


Marcus Keeley
is a comedian, improviser and soak. Regularly gigging in Belfast and Paris, he is the host and promoter of the Voicebox Comedy alternative comedy club, a member of the Wonder Frog improv group and an all-round homme fatale. You can follow him, Voicebox Comedy and Wonder Frog on Twitter here, here and here, respectively. Meanwhile, to keep tabs on Marcus via FaceBook, have a click of this.



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