Captain Brian Had Audience Captain-vated!

National Treasure and legendary actor, Brian Blessed had the audience captain-vated below deck on the Hobbs of Henley’s New Orleans on Sunday.

The sold-out cruise saw many guests travelling long distances to see the beloved big-man including one who had travelled six hours from Cornwall.  Still is the popularity of Blessed’s catchphrase from the 1980 Flash Gordon film in which he played Prince Vultan, he is still asked all over the world to shout out “Gordon’s Alive!” He told the audience some of insane instances including one when a Russian on a submarine which had burst through the ice on his expedition to the North Pole!

Describing himself now as 50% actor and 50% explorer. Brian has been on many expeditions tells compelling stories of his travels that include Yetis and saving a polar bear being shot which burst through his tent by hitting it on the nose.  He loves space and the wonders of what is yet to be discovered and has trained to be a Cosmonaut in Russia.

Over the 90 minutes, Brian’s booming voice and impersonations of others had the audience laughing out loud.  He tells hilarious stories of his affect on others when filming and his delight in getting his best role of Boss Nass in Star Wars Phantom  Menace as he says, “everyone wants to be in Star Wars.”

During his lifetime, Brian has worked with many great actors and directors and this started early in life.  He grew up with Sir Patrick Stewart and went to weekend drama courses with him.  Early on, when he was on a film set doing carpentry with William Roach he taught him to recite a speech from Henry V for an audition. He was cast the next day as Ken Barlow in Coronation Street!  He described having a father and son relationship with the legend, Sir Kenneth Brannagh.

Asked to do Pavarotti for Stars in Their Eyes Celebrity Special in 2004, Brian told the audience how the fee kept getting bigger to entice him to do the performance even though he was not sure he could pull it off as he said Pavarotti’s voice is “gold”.  Winning the TV competition, the audience on Sunday could see why after giving them a snippet of his superb impersonation.

The guests were delighted halfway through the cruise to be invited to come forward and meet and have selfies with Brian and at the end of the cruise they got to ask questions too.

Although the cruise was advertised as Captain Blessed takes you on a sightseeing river tour, there’s no time to look out the window as the Captain keeps your eyes firmly on him.

The cruise was organised by Giddy Aunty Comedy who are looking into potentially organising further tours in September.