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London, Ep. 13 (Red Nose Day)

March 18, 2011 — Literary Death Match's Red Nose Day Spectcular at Concrete — presented by Pan Macmillan — was a joy- and laugh-filled thrill that saw super-poet Martin Figura topple humor brillianteur Miriam Elia 10-6 in a confused-and-somewhat fierce Poet v. Madman face-off that won Figura the Literary Death Match Crown. 
But before the cards carrying images of serial killers and poets were revealed, the night — a fundraiser for Comic Relief — kicked off with multi-award winning writer/producer/performer Robert Popper reading excerpts from his book, The Timewaster Letters. Popper had the crowd in throes as he read letters written by a man who had discovered the new color "greem," and who had drawn a picture of a never-before-seen animal stalking around behind his house. Next up was Figura, author of Boring the Arse Off Young People, Nasty Little Press. Figura won the crowd in seconds with his raucous, performative style, and his genius poetry that, at its laugh-inducing height, discussed the movement's of his 50-something flesh during coitus. 

Martin Figura brings the ruckus at LDM London, Ep. 13 (Click for more photos)

The mic was then handed to the trio of hilarious arbiters: the inimitable Helen Zaltzman from Answer Me This (UK's #1 independent comedy podcast!), master musician and Storage Stories scribe Jim Bob and the Breakfast Show on BBC 6 Music's Shaun Keaveny. The three reeled off comments that ranged from pithy to hysterical (Keaveny, at one point, ordering a pizza between barbs). 

After a deliberation, Jim Bob announced the panel's first tough decision, giving the first spot in the finals to Figura. 

After a booze-fueled intermission, Round 2 commenced with "accidental comedian" Rowland Rivron reading from his new book What the F*** Did I Do Last Night?, that explained an oddball scene with he and Diana Ross, that included the building of a soccer net in a chic hotel room. That was followed by Elia, the creator of the Sony nominated BBC Radio 4 sketch show A Series of Psychotic Episodes, who read the tiny journal of a hampster that had the crowd convulsing from laughter. 

Again, the judges were leaned on, and after much discussion — in which co-host Todd Zuniga's trousers "fell" down, exposing Red Nose Day-red "pants" — they opted to send Elia through to the finals. 

Then came the stumblingly wonderful Poet v. Madman, in which each finalist was shown photographs of psychotic-looking poets (from Shel Silverstein to Alistair Crowley) and poet-looking serial killers (like Dr. Crippen and Nathan Leopold of Leopold & Loeb). Figura was on fire early, while Elia quite fairly asked, "What are the rules again?" But even as Elia made a late charge, Figura could not be stopped, flying towards victory, snaring the LDM championship and winning literary immortality. 

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This event was in support of Comic Relief, registered charity 326568 (England/Wales); SC039730 (Scotland).



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