Steel yourself for a black Mark

Thoughtful: Mark Steel.  Picture: Idil Sukan
Thoughtful: Mark Steel. Picture: Idil Sukan

If there’s one thing that Halifax is missing out on - aside from a sparkling new library, of course - it’s a visit from comedian Mark Steel.

Anyone who has heard his award-winning BBC Radio 4 series Mark Steel’s in Town will know how he tailors his stand-up show to suit his local audience.

In the past three series, the nearest he’s been to Calderdale is Skipton. Which is a shame, because I’d love to know what he’d think to the goings-on in Halifax.

This is from his website: “On the way to a show in Skipton, in North Yorkshire, I noticed a road sign to a town called Keighley.

“So later, during the show, I mentioned this, asking the audience, ‘Is that your rival town?’ And the room went chillingly quiet, until one woman called out with understated menace, ‘Keighley is a sink of evil.’”

His current live tour melding history and humour takes in Skipton (he must like the place), Leeds and Otley. No Halifax, no Bradford, no Huddersfield.

So today I am starting a one-woman campaign to bring sharpened Steel to the good borough of Calderdale.

In order for Mark to immerse himself in the culture of this fine part of the world, he needs to know about the Gibbet, the Piece Hall, the proposals for the library and the town’s recent claims to be “car friendly”, superseded by its invasion by a creeping army of “civil enforcement officers”.

It would be interesting to know his thoughts on council cutbacks sitting alongside plans for a new library that most of its users don’t seem to favour.

So come here, Mark, and sharpen your wit Gibbet-fashion to cut the guilty parties down to size.