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George Galloway’s One Man Show Flopping

It looks like George might have to go back to his day job as a Member of Parliament and fulltime terrorist propagandist.

From the Scotsman:

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By George! Galloway is well past his cell-by date

William Lyons

IT LOOKS like the Big Brother cat has lost the cream. George Galloway suffered acute embarrassment at home and abroad yesterday as his disastrous dalliance with reality television continued to curse his career.

The Respect MP was forced to wait for hours overnight in an Egyptian airport after officials refused him entry to the country on the grounds of national security. He was only allowed in after government-level intervention.

Scotland on Sunday can also reveal that the controversial member for Bethnal Green and Bow has suffered a setback over his one-man shows, An Audience With George Galloway.

The opening show – scheduled for last night – was cancelled after only a quarter of the tickets were sold. Take-up for the remaining performances has been similarly poor.

Commentators on both sides of the Atlantic say events in Egypt and at home are proof that Galloway’s Big Brother appearance has permanently damaged his credibility.

Galloway flew to Cairo on Friday to take part in a mock trial of US President George W Bush, Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon and British Prime Minister Tony Blair for their activities in Iraq and the Palestinian territories.

But his trip ran into difficulties when, following his midnight arrival, he was detained in a Cairo airport cell without food or water on grounds of national security.

He was eventually released – 15 hours behind schedule – after a late intervention by the Egyptian Foreign Ministry. A spokesman for Respect said: "George Galloway was detained when he arrived at Cairo airport on Friday night and placed in a cell without food or water.

"Protests were made to the Egyptian government by anti-war activists in Egypt who had invited Mr Galloway to take part in a mock trial of George Bush and Tony Blair.

"Just before he was about to board a plane back to England, the Egyptian government appeared to change its mind that Mr Galloway was a ‘national security threat’ and allowed him in."

Galloway’s decision to visit Egypt seems directly related to the cancellation of his opening one-man show in Penzance.

A spokesman for Respect claimed Galloway pulled out of the Cornwall show to deal with constituency matters, but it was reported that only 100 of the 400 tickets had been sold.

A spokeswoman for Rainyday Promotions, Penzance, said Galloway had cancelled due to "media pressure" but admitted ticket sales had been a factor. She said: "He feels like he has come out of Big Brother and it is all a bit pressured. But as far as the people down here were concerned, it was somewhat of a relief because of the ticket sales."

Billed as the "Mother of All One Man Shows", Galloway’s national tour – which included dates in London and Halifax – was meant to be the beginning of a series of lucrative spin-offs from Big Brother.

But instead of the expected sell-outs, sales have been very slow with many venues barely selling enough to fill the stalls.

The Reading venue, which has a capacity of 700, admitted only 150 tickets had been sold. In Cambridge, where the capacity is 400, again only around 150 tickets had been sold.

At Lewis, Sussex, just 30 tickets out of 150 had been sold, according to the box office.

In Southampton and Northampton, both admitted to selling fewer than 100 tickets. A spokesman for the Wyvern Theatre, Halifax, admitted fewer than 200 tickets had been sold, leaving 1,200 empty seats.

Galloway’s problems are in marked contrast to Big Brother winner Chantelle Houghton, who is on the way to scooping magazine and modelling deals worth millions.

It is also a long way from last May when he appeared to have the world at his feet after a dazzling appearance before the US Senate subcommittee.

Back then, his Westminster office was deluged with nearly 3,000 e-mails within 24 hours of his appearance. He received requests for contributions from media outlets across the world, including Bulgaria, Italy and New Zealand, and was looking forward to earning £5,000 a night on the US lecture circuit.

Publicist Max Clifford said: "George Galloway has gained nothing and lost the lot."

Media commentator Professor Roy Greenslade, who has been a staunch ally of Galloway in the past, said: "It is hard to see how he is ever going to recover. I am afraid he had no idea of just how badly his appearance on Big Brother played with the public. He also showed huge naivety in believing that Channel 4 would let him say anything political."

During his stay in the Big Brother house, Galloway astonished the nation by donning an Elvis wig and a Dracula costume, prancing around in a leotard and crawling on all fours for fellow guest Rula Lenska in a humiliating cat impression.

Last night a spokesman for George Galloway said: "I don’t think ticket sales have anything to do with it. George is committed to doing the shows that don’t clash with the work he has to do at Respect. I certainly think, having been with him over the last few days, that his popularity has not declined. He has been mobbed on the streets wherever he goes."

Hopefully the same fate awaits his friend and spiritual doppelganger, Mother Sheehan.

This article was posted by Steve on Sunday, February 5th, 2006. Comments are currently closed.

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