A Great British sense of humour: famous and local faces share their quips

PUBLISHED: 12:29 27 April 2016 | UPDATED: 12:29 27 April 2016

Paul Daniels

Paul Daniels


In celebration of the Great British sense of humour with quips that are naughty, self-deprecating, sarcastic or downright nonsensical

‘Heaven and Hell’ - Paul Daniels

An MP crosses the street and he gets run over. So he is knocking on the Pearly Gates and says “Hi” to St Peter, who replies: “Oh, we don’t usually get people of power here, this is a surprise.”

“I’d like to come in please,” asks the MP.

“Oh no, you have to follow the rules. It’s unfair to just push heaven on to you. That’s not right is it? What we’ve got to do is give you the choice. You must spend 24 hours in Heaven then 24 hours in Hell - then you make up your own mind,” St Peter explains.

So the MP steps into the lift and heads downwards. The lift doors open and he’s in Hell.

He’s on the most beautiful golf course, all his friends are there: “Hi, nice to see you, about time you got here,” they shouted over.

They were drinking champagne, bought to them by beautiful girls in mini skirts. Off they went for a phenomenal game of golf and amazing lunch. In the evening they went out clubbing and drinking… what a wonderful day.

It’s over all too soon and off he goes to heaven. He arrives there but there’s not much going on … it’s peaceful with lots of people playing harps. Everything was going rather well, but no clubs, no champagne and no golf. St Peter turns up and asks: “Make your mind up now.”

“Well,” says the MP, “Heaven is all very nice but I think I prefer Hell.”

“OK,” Peter says. “Back in the lift and back you go.”

The lift doors open and it’s all fire and brimstone, his friends are bound over carrying huge weights and being whipped to keep moving. Satan, who yesterday was such a lovely guy, was being quite the opposite.

“Just a minute, what happened, yesterday it was all golfing and champagne,” questioned the MP.

“Yes,” replied Satan. “But yesterday we were campaigning, then, you voted!”

‘Furry Friends’ - Chris Wheeler, Head Chef at Stoke Park

“Why do squirrels swim on their backs? To keep their nuts dry!”

‘In the Pet Shop’ - Sir John Madejski, Co-Chairman of Reading FC

A little tiny girl aged about four-and-a-half with curly blond hair walks into a pet shop and asks the man behind the counter, “have you got a lickle rabbit?” “Yes,” says the man, “we’ve got lots of little rabbits, we have a nice fluffy black rabbit over there, and a small white rabbit there and a fluffy brown rabbit right here. Which little rabbit would you like little girl?”

The little girl thinks for a moment and replies: “Actually, my python couldn’t care less!”

‘Is That Your Cow?’ - Steve Powell, Milton Keynes Comedy Festival

“It’s a tradition in the Powell family to ‘decorate’ the home of a newly married couple in the family. Having moved to Milton Keynes two years before getting married, the family thought they would create a replica of a concrete cow out of paper mâché to put in our living room! Unfortunately it was too big to get into the house – but that resulted in us having a knock on the door from a police officer who thought it had been stolen from the Centre:MK!”

‘The Council Meeting’ - Keith McLean, Mayor, Milton Keynes Council

“An old man was sitting in the front row at a town meeting, heckling the mayor as he delivered a long speech.

“Finally the mayor could stand it no longer, so he pointed to the heckler and said: ‘Will that gentleman please stand up and tell the audience what he has ever done for the good of the city.’ “Well Mr Mayor,” the man said in a firm voice, “I voted against you in the last election.”

‘The Double Entendre’ - Jonathan Agnew

Aggers has some fascinating views on the Great British sense of humour: “My style of humour is very English, which can be self-deprecating. I think we Brits are good at taking the Mickey out of ourselves... We can also be quite acerbic, using a lot of sarcasm. Another aspect of English humour is the double-entendre which is very popular on the radio. I remember when Kevin Pietersen was at Lord’s and as he was pulling a new rubber grip onto the back handle of his bat, I said ‘It’s not easy putting a rubber on’, and that caused a bit of a stir! On radio, particularly, you can use that sort of humour to good effect. I think that sort of thing is quite English/British and people like that sort of naughtiness as long as it is not rude.”

‘Mind How You Go’ - Phil Tuffnell

“Oi TUFNELL… can you lend me your brain? ‘Cos I am building an idiot!”

‘Just Like That’ - Richard Benyon, Conservative MP for Newbury

“When I was in the army, my Commanding Officer came up to me one day and said, “Ah Cooper, I didn’t see you at this morning’s camouflage exercise,” so I said, “Thank you very much Sir.”

‘Great Days Out’ - Jan Raycroft, editor Berkshire & Buckinghamshire Life

A Maidenhead policeman stops a vehicle with a tiger in the passenger seat. “What are you doing with that tiger?” he asks the driver. “Head straight down the M4 and take it to London Zoo right now.” The following week, the policeman sees the same man with the tiger again in the front seat, with both now wearing sunglasses, so he pulls it over. The officer says: “I thought you were going to take that tiger to the zoo!” The man replies: “I did, thanks. We had such a good time we are going to the sit in the sun by the Thames at Windsor this weekend!” 

‘Cracker Comedy’ - Cllr Sarah Hacker, Mayor of Reading

“What is a nuclear physicist’s favourite meal?”

“Fission chips!”

‘The Bard’ - Paul Hart, artistic director at The Watermill Theatre, Bagnor

“One of Mercutio’s final lines in Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet before he dies is ‘Ask for me tomorrow, and you shall find me a grave man.’ Talk about gallows humour!”


David Emanuel on his early career, British fashion and a Royal he’d love to design for - Maureen McLean catches up with couturier David Emanuel in the perfect setting of the Macdonald Windsor Hotel overlooking Windsor Castle

Karen Kay: What is the best of British? - Our Home Counties girl celebrates treasures and blessings such as the beautiful countryside and Sunday lunches

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