Remember glamorous Lancashire clairvoyant Clinton Baptiste on Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights? What were all that about? About to visit Cardiff as part of an extensive UK tour, that’s what, with the character having taken on a life of its own – recently in the podcast ‘medium’ and now once again in the live setting. Carl Marsh hopped on the psychic hotline.
After 18 months of no tour, how have crowds been reciprocating when you’ve performed?
It’s been wonderful. People are really in the mood for spirits [coughs] to enter the room and have a few laughs at the same time. There was always a chance that people wouldn’t turn up after COVID, but I’m happy to say they are, and they’re very responsive when I go into the crowd and give my special spirit reading to them.
With you being the UK’s number one psychic, what is your skill when it comes to channelling those senses on the night?
It’s very much like they are a throbbing purple and red head. And I see them throbbing, and I’m attracted to them. So I know immediately where my throbbers are in the audience. And it’s up to me to massage them until there’s a real outpouring of emotion.
There must be quite a few explosions?
There are a lot of explosions from their third eye. It’s not ectoplasm! It’s an explosion of release and mysticism.
There’s talk on the town about this other guy called Ramon, that is, well, trying to steal your psychic crown. What can you say about this guy?
He’s six foot wide and from East Kilbride. He couldn’t read the bloody Yellow Pages that fella. He couldn’t pick up chlamydia in Magaluf. Let alone anything else! Ramon is a charlatan and a cheat. And if he’s out there trying to, well, he can’t. And he knows that. In fact, as I am saying this now, I am sending him a psychic message saying “back off!” so he hears that at the same time as you.
There is some talk of me facing Ramon on tour next year, head-to-head: who is the greater clairvoyant-medium-psychic? But never mind that, come and see this one as that might never happen because Ramon can’t foresee any problems. Then again, he can’t foresee much, which is amazing for someone who is a clairvoyant.
When did you notice you had these psychic skills?
Well, I’m not saying I was unpopular as a child, but it can make you unpopular if you foresee things and warn others. I mean, I did have one very, very good friend at school. She would play ball and hopscotch in the playground, until she had to go in and do some marking. But apart from that, on my 15th birthday in the school playground – where I wore a diaphanous cloak – I discovered two things that day. One, that I had the power for forethought, and two, that I bruised easily.
You make these discoveries at school, but it’s very much something that you’re born with. I predicted some horse races for my dad, and he bought me a lovely black and white suit with the winnings, which has become my trademark.
Have there been any moments from touring you can highlight?
Well, the highlight was probably the Hackney Empire, where all the greats have played. Charlie Chaplin, Stan Laurel, Shane Richie – tribute act – and Pat Sharp. When I was leaving, the ghost of Arthur Askey tapped me on the shoulder and said “very good play, mate.” And Stan Laurel was there, but he didn’t say much. He was pissed out of his head at the stage door! Charlie Chaplin was there, and he was saying something – but it was in silence, because they hadn’t learnt to speak out loud in in those days, and the subtitles weren’t working when I was drawing them up. Yet he seemed to be quite pleased with himself.
Finally, do you have any message you can give to our readers?
Wear blue, lucky seven. And don’t forget – on a Tuesday, always say no. Right, that’s cryptic. “Tuesday, always say no.” Thank you. Spirits fading now, fading now…
Clinton Baptiste, Glee Club, Cardiff Bay, Tue 5 Oct. Tickets: £21.50. Info: 0871 4720400 / here
words CARL MARSH
Events are Back!
If you’re running or promoting events in Wales, list them here for FREE.