Stand-up comic, writer, presenter and actor
“Don’t tell me there’s no point in us doing anything about climate change until China does something about it. There’s a lot of stuff that China doesn’t do that is still well worth our while… Human Rights, Democracy and eating Cheddar. There’s three for a start.”Marcus Brigstocke, 2007
Stand-up comic, writer, presenter and actor, Marcus Brigstocke joined Cape Farewell on the 2007 Art/Science Expedition. Taking almost three weeks the expedition crossed the north Atlantic to the extreme frontline of climate change, then sailed south to explore East Greenland’s Blosseville Coast.
After swearing 2007 was his last Arctic adventure, Marcus was lured back to join the 2008 Disko Bay Expedition. Since then Marcus has joined Cape Farewell at a series of events including SHIFT Festival, Latitude Festival and gigs at the Eden Project. He also features in film Burning Ice directed by Peter Gilbert.
Blog – A comedian in the Arctic
During the 2007 expedition, through sickness and health, Marcus wrote a daily blog that was beamed back from the boat and published in The Telegraph. If you missed it live you can still read it on the Telegraph website. “Marcus Brigstocke wanted to do his bit to save the Arctic from global warming. But first he headed off to Greenland with a boatload of scientists to see if it was worth saving…”
My name is Marcus Brigstocke. I’m 34, I’m married – two kids – I’m a comedian and I’m in the Arctic. It’s cold. Evidently not as cold as it’s supposed to be, but it still feels pretty frosty to me.
I am on board a Norwegian schooner called the Noorderlicht, sailing away from Norway towards Greenland. I am here because a group called Cape Farewell heard a rant I did on Radio 4 about climate change (it pissed off a lot of listeners but pleased a few scientists). They asked me if I would like to sail, with several artists, educators and oceanographers across a stretch of water that has only just become a stretch of water. Until recently, the 78th parallel was part of the Arctic ice cap, but not any more. Now it is open sea and we will be the first people to sail across it – ever.
I’d love to say I feel like Captain Cook or some other great pioneering explorer, but in truth I’m pretty scared. I’ve been looking forward to this trip for four months. It is, after all, the opportunity of a lifetime – but now I’m here it suddenly all feels a long way from home and my family and it’s certainly very different from the familiar safety of a stand-up club, a TV studio or the warm embrace of the BBC Radio theatre…
Marcus hosts The Late Edition, his own live topical TV show on BBC 4. Marcus makes guest appearances on Have I Got News For You and NewsKnight. He also features on The Now Show, Just a Minute and The Today Show on BBC Radio 4. His humour holds people to account and encourages those with the power to effect change to do so. Through his Now Show counter piece to Martin Durkins’ discredited Great Global Warming Swindle an alliance was formed with the scientific community. Many scientists have since sent messages of thanks and support. Marcus’ experiences in the Arctic will feed into a touring show, to be recorded for TV and entitled Your Time Is Up.
It seems to me that mankind is like a smoker who has seen 7 doctors, all of whom have diagnosed us with cancer and told us we must give up the fags. Instead of heeding the doctors warnings we have decided in our infinite wisdom to take the advice of our newsagent who smiling says “well you look alright to me pal and would you like a bag of crisps with those Marlboro lights?”Marcus Brigstocke, 2007