Bill Bailey headlines evening of laughter at special NHS comedy night

Bill Bailey headlines evening of laughter at special NHS comedy night

19 October 2023

Bill Bailey headlines evening of laughter at special NHS comedy night
Comedian Bill Bailey paid tribute to our extraordinary NHS at our first ever comedy night, helping us raise thousands of pounds to support our hospitals.

The Black Books and Never Mind the Buzzcocks star said the health service had been a huge part of his life and thanked hospital staff for their outstanding efforts.

Bill was joined by host Tez Ilyas and an incredible line up of acts including Ed Patrick, Stefania Licari, Benji Waterstones, Gbemi Oladipo and Daman Bamrah at The Comedy Store in Oxford Circus for our fundraising comedy night, Line Up For The NHS.

“My dad was a GP, my mum was a nurse. The NHS has been part of my life ever since I can remember.”

Bill Bailey

The event raised over £18,000 to help us provide extra support at the five hospitals of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust – Charing Cross, Hammersmith, Queen Charlotte’s & Chelsea, St Mary’s and the Western Eye.

“The NHS has been part of my life ever since I can remember," said Bill. "Both my parents worked in the NHS so when I was a kid my earliest experience of it was my father’s surgery in the house. He was an NHS GP, my mum was an NHS nurse, and so we kind of lived it. I could see what it meant to everyone in the community and how much they gave to it and how much it was part of their lives as well.

“Now we live in west London so I’ve either been a patient or known someone who’s been a patient of the NHS, and our son was born at Queen Charlotte's and Chelsea Hospital, so we’ve got a long connection with these hospitals.”

Many of the comedians on the bill have a close personal connection to the NHS. As well as being a comedian and writer, Benji Waterstones is a junior doctor specialising in psychiatry, and Ed Patrick also works as an anaesthetist.


Clockwise from left: Gbemi Oladipo, Bill Bailey, Benji Waterstones, Ed Patrick, Daman Bamrah, Stefania Licari, and Tez Ilyas. Photo: Steve Best

Before becoming a comedian, Stefania Licari worked as an intensive care doctor at St Mary’s Hospital, and was there throughout the difficult times of the pandemic.

She said: “I have a special softness in my heart for St Mary's. I truly believe it’s one of the best hospitals in the UK, and one of the reasons is the people. The staff were just beyond imagination, they were lovely, they were amazing.

“I think in times such as the pandemic, you need to have moments of relief and we all appreciated jokes and humour during this time. It was quite phenomenal to see the change in the dynamics and emotions of people after having a much-needed laugh.

“A lot of the support we received during the pandemic came from Imperial Health Charity and so I feel a special connection and want to give something back.”

All the funds raised at Line Up For The NHS will help us continue making a big difference at our hospitals, supporting healthcare staff and their patients.

Ian Lush, Chief Executive of Imperial Health Charity, said: “We’re thrilled to have sold out such an iconic venue and couldn’t be happier to see so many people join us for a night of comedy to support our hospitals and their hard-working NHS staff.

"A massive thank you to the fantastic line-up of comedians and our partner CBRE for sponsoring the evening.”


Photo: Steve Best