An Edinburgh Fringe comedy prize has been awarded to a caravan accident on the M8. The entry ‘Elddis Crusader on its roof’ by Brian Cooper of Basingstoke won ‘Best Improvised Comedy Installation’ after it amused huge crowds at the weekend. Traffic queued on both carriageways of the motorway for several miles to get the chance to laugh at Mr Cooper’s efforts while the judging panel assessed the work as ‘original, inventive and very, very funny.’
But the Caravan Club, whose membership does not include Mr Cooper, was not so amused. ‘I didn’t see the joke at all,’ said spokesman Trevor Atkins. ‘It was horrific just thinking about having to re-stack all those plastic plates, without imagining the damage that the chemical toilet could do to the reconfigurable kitchen/diner/couchette. And to hear that Traffic Officers were turning up just to join in the laughter was very distressing.’
Mr Cooper was delighted however. ‘It’s a great honour to have my work recognised by this prestigious award’, he said. A relative newcomer to the comedy circuit, Mr Cooper claims he first realised he had the gift of making people laugh one Bank Holiday in 2010. ‘My Bailey Ranger lost a wheel in a contraflow on the M5 and, despite the massive hold-ups, motorists were pointing at me and laughing heartily as they passed,’ he explained. Since then, Mr Cooper has exhibited several other installations, one of which ‘Jack-knifed Sterling Europa’, completely blocked the east-bound M62 last summer.
There is a fear that the Edinburgh Festival award will encourage numerous copycat examples of Brian Cooper’s brand of humour on Britain’s roads this coming Bank Holiday weekend. Motorists have therefore been warned to take particular care when approaching comedians attempting to tow caravans.