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Scilly Laughs with Julie

Comedian Julie Jepson reflects on her journey bringing the Scilly Laughs comedy show to the islands, raising money for Cornwall Air Ambulance, plans for more Scilly Laughs tours and travels wearing her Scilly Billy tee!

We were absolutely delighted with the tour this year, the generosity and support of the Islanders and visitors never ceases to amaze me. In only our third year, Scilly Laughs really seems to have become a loved part of the Scillonian calendar and we couldn't be more delighted. Through the generous donations of all our supporters we raised £423.55 for Cornwall Air Ambulance, which takes our total so far to a whopping £1523.55!

We heard that some visitors are choosing to holiday when they know we will be performing, since one of our aims is to attract visitors to Scilly we were very chuffed indeed to learn that! We continue to spread the word far and wide.

For me, it is such a pleasure to introduce my comedy pals to Scilly. Without exception they all immediately fell in love with it and are planning return trips with friends and family, another aim achieved! Apart from the stormy crossing on the Scillonian which we mentioned at the gig! Certainly the worst I've experienced in goodness knows how many visits, I wished at one point that we'd had the foresight to sponsor the sick bags...we would've been pretty visible that's for sure! Our crew coped brilliantly to keep everything together... and in! Recovery was swift though, aided by pasties and a pint in the Atlantic. 

We all tour up and down the country using trains, planes and automobiles but getting the jet boats to and from our gigs is one of many highlights for us!

Since first discovering the islands on "No Limits" (a magazine programme I used to watch when I was 12), and thinking to myself "Wow, I want to go there!", I had a job for a brief spell at what is now Karma Hotel in my twenties. I have since had many fantastic visits to all of the islands, but it was in 2014 when staying at Di & Tony's lovely chalet on St. Martin's with my now wife Jo, that we realised Warren Neill had hosted comedian Russell Kane at the Five Islands School and the penny dropped that there was an audience for comedy on Scilly. A perfect excuse for a working holiday!

We were having dinner at Adam's Fish & Chips and I instantly thought it was a perfect venue. Jo being an event organiser by trade meant that by the time we were heading home a couple of days later, plans were very much well under way for our first Scilly Laughs tour. In 2015 we played at the Old Town Inn on St. Mary's, and the New Inn on Tresco, with our finale at Adam's Fish & Chips on St Martin's.

In 2016 we were delighted to be able to perform on St. Agnes at the fabulous Island Hall, generously supported by Nicki & Rob at The Turks Head and Lou & Chris at the hall. This made us officially the most South Westerly comedy tour in the U.K. - an accolade we are extremely proud of.

We couldn't be more proud of the shows, the quality of the acts that we have invited and the money that has been raised for Cornwall Air Ambulance. But what touches our hearts the most is how welcome and supported we've been made to feel and and the great friendships we have made, and continue to make, with many of the islanders.

What a wonderful discovery Scilly Billy has been this year! I love the characters and the spirit of Steph's creations. I have been proudly wearing my red goat Scilly Billy tee shirt everywhere and it certainly has drawn some admiring glances... particularly in Cannes and Brighton, where we live. 

Here's to many more successful Scilly Laughs tours, planning is already underway for next year... watch this space.


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