• Handpicked Harrogate

Harrogate man in hilarious BBC TV comedy show

Harrogate's Greig Johnson, far right, who is part of the current team of BBC2's comedy show The Mash Report. Eagle-eyed fans of BBC2's topical comedy series The Mash Report may have spotted a familiar Harrogate face starring on national TV last night.

Hosted by Nish Kumar, the satirical spoof news programme written by the team behind The Daily Mash is packed with comedic talent - Ellie Taylor, Steve N Allen, Rachel Parris and Geoff Norcott.

But who was the impressively bearded chap giving 'expert advice' on alternative (ie rude) names for wildlife last night to good effect?

Filmed in front of a live audience, that beared, bespectacled man with the perfect delivery and considerable vocal gymnastic skills was, in fact, Harrogate's Greig Johnson.

Filmsmith, musician and intentionally humorous writer, actor and director, some Harrogatonians may remember the stunning music videos he created for Harrogate singer-songwriter Karl Culley in the late 00s.

Others with a longer memory may remember an even younger version of the multi-talented Greig, in his days on the Harrogate live music scene, specifically, in the lively cult band Las Sangras.

Those were the days when Greig, who now lives in Leeds and studied at Leeds Metropolitan University, sang vocals in an Alpine hat alongside bassist Ashley Johnson, guitarist Nick Mackay, drummer Karl Culley and trumpeter Danny Webster to very entertaining effect in the bars of Harrogate and local independent festivals such as Dragongate.

Las Sangra's 2006 album Big Top Squalor album was reviewed favourably by the Harrogate Advertiser as boasting an intelligent mix of "Mexican bullfighter tunes, speakeasy jazz numbers, sub-Tom Waits-ian smoky bar beatnik torch songs, plus a bit of blues and country."

Greig and the band were a lot of fun but not as funny as The Mash Report, which seems to have hit a rich seam of form in its second run on BBC2.

An old, old picture taken years ago of Harrogate band Las Sangras with a very young Greig Johnson in there somewhere!