Review The RSK Convention 2022, The Lighthouse Venue, Salford by James Ellis 


 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)

For the past year I have been awash in the old radio broadcasts from XFM and that of the Ricky Gervais Show. Whilst this show has always had a cult following, an even more curious subculture has formed where people listen to fall asleep. One of the most enduring faculties of the show was the shoddy nature to proceedings. Along with co-writer Steven Merchant and the now infamous producer Karl Pilkington, they created what is now seen as some of the funniest radio ever heard in this land. Though the trio’s relationship has not been as close as it once was, this was their golden era, The Office making it’s rounds on the TV and Extras also a soon to be comedy joy. 

One question remains: why do we keep coming back and listening? One answer would be the outrageous, un-PC nature of the whole show. Though Ricky’s show by name, the star does very much belong to Karl for this bizarre and hilarious stories, beliefs and insights. Along with Steven who is the dry, piffy sort, Ricky’s most memorable asset remains his earth shattering, shrill laugh after Karl has usually said something odd. There would be dead air, they would fluff their lines, swear, CDs would skip and phone in’s would be met with the dial tone instead of a caller. All this and more we love from this show. I’ve only realised recently that I could have listened back in the day on Sky TV, as the station would broadcast on their and on the XFM website as well.         

Being in Manchester for the weekend, I had my own Karl “wrong supermarket” moment by going to the wrong Lighthouse in Salford (Karl’s home turf, naturally). Along the way to the daunting industrial estate, I began to meet fellow attendees also on their way to the convention. Finally in a room with fellow fans and dressed in my respectable “Little gay, monkey fella” costume I truly felt at home. There were some discrepancies to do with the day, though things were dealt with well and things knocked about smoothly. 

Photo credit: James Ellis 

This was a shared community who relished in the absurdity of the whole affair. A quiz got us thinking of some of Karl’s weirdest moments, a Kick Your Height competition saw how high someone could kick a globe positioned with their stature and other thrills. Props related to the show loitered around the venue and all food and drinks were themed. Whilst I’m not much of a drinker I did chuckle at the names of some of the cocktails and that the cafe did in fact have pikelets and congress tarts, if only for the day. 

There was much buzz over who the special celebrity guests would be, after hearing the De Trout Spinners Podcast (another one of Karl’s puns) had to bail due to ill health. Richard Anderson who wrote brilliant and cutting emails into the show back in the day turned up and spoke about his of sorts celebrity within the fandom. Also flogging his own book The Wonderful Adventure of Uncle Wizard, photos with him were welcome providing a copy was bought. I thanked him at the end of the night for the marvellous emails. Nice to finally put a face to a name.  

Photo credit: James Ellis 

Doc Brown was another guest, a rapper and actor who has been in The Office, Law & Order: UK amongst other ventures. His stories about how Ricky called him up for an opportunity are very telling and sweet, his music career also a testament to his talents. Whilst it was great to hear him talk, I think someone a bit more related to the XFM shows would go down well, a few on the day were under the impression DJ Claire Sturgess may have made an appearance, possibly even Warrick Davis. The live band Le Beat rapped up things nicely with an expected patter of song covers from David Bowie, Rod Stewart and Kings of Leon. Their bass player also resembled Steven Merchant, another surreal turn of the day. Though I missed their second set, a friend on the table had to get a train and being so far out it made sense we might shoot off when we did.   

I was disappointed to see how few people dressed up for the convention. Though I really came second place after a couple who had dressed up as Ricky’s Croque monsieur lunch, they had left by the time the winner was announced. I couldn’t believe my luck when it was I who won best costume. In a little speech I blathered some stuff about how much the shahs helped people with mental health issues and that I hope to cola with the festival in the future. Friends were also made on the day, the table I was sat with was alive with quiz answers and the amount of rapid fire quotes we had was also brilliant. I find myself very relaxed being able to shout out the most random things from the show. New friendships have blossomed from the convention, even if the trophy I won was nicked by a Northerner…all in good fun of course!  

Whether the next year’s convention will be in a fitting Slough, Reading or Bristol, we all know it will continue to expand and be a great success. Great work chuck!  The RSK Convention will continue in 2023

1 thoughts on “Review The RSK Convention 2022, The Lighthouse Venue, Salford by James Ellis ”

  1. Hi James,

    Thank you so much for attending our little tin pot convention in Manchester on Saturday… and thank you for your very kind review… we really do appreciate it!

    We have learnt so much from hosting this first ever event… my amazing team and I really look forward to cyphering through everyone’s comments, feedback, suggestions, reviews and tweaking, adjusting and adding even more content for next year… so we are able to return bigger & even better.

    You were a well-deserved 2nd place winner for ‘Best Outfit’ award… sorry to hear your award was stolen 🙁
    We will be giving more incentive and encouraging more people to make an effort to come in fancy-dress next time for sure… so you might need to up your game if you want to try win again.

    Early bird tickets to next year’s RSK Convention are available to buy already via our website. But you better be quick… they will sell out faster this time around. So don’t delay… secure yours TODAY!!!

    We look forward to hopefully seeing you again next year James. All the best.

    Kindest regards,

    Steven O’Halloran
    Founder – Event Organiser
    Managing Director

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