Comedian James Acaster remembers his first job at Wicksteed Park

Rising comedy star James Acaster has revealed his first ever foray into the world of entertainment ' selling ice creams at Wicksteed Park in Kettering
Rising comedy star James Acaster has revealed his first ever foray into the world of entertainment ' selling ice creams at Wicksteed Park in Kettering

Rising comedy star James Acaster has revealed his first ever foray into the world of entertainment – selling ice creams at Wicksteed Park in Kettering.

The 29-year-old, known for his deadpan comic delivery, served ice lollies and 99s to visitors after getting a job at the park, which is near where he lived in the town.

Kettering, Wicksteed Park, ice-creams at the ready for the hot weekend ahead.  'l-r Frankie Weston and Jonny Griffiths (staff) 'Tuesday, 18 May 2010

Kettering, Wicksteed Park, ice-creams at the ready for the hot weekend ahead. 'l-r Frankie Weston and Jonny Griffiths (staff) 'Tuesday, 18 May 2010

He has now returned to his old workplace to film a “mockumentary” of his life, which has just been released.

In it he recalls his memories of the park and his favourite attractions.

James, who has just started his Recognise 2014 tour of the UK, said: “People complain Kettering is boring. But I say how many towns have got a rollercoaster or a pirate ship?”

The comedian, who has appeared on radio and TV, including the hit shows Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Mock the Week, worked at Wicksteed Park when he was just 16 years old.

Wicksteed Park  :Kettering:  Wicksteed Park, pavilion and park 'Sunday 11th August 2013 ENGNNL00120131108162426

Wicksteed Park :Kettering: Wicksteed Park, pavilion and park 'Sunday 11th August 2013 ENGNNL00120131108162426

In the video he says: “Northamptonshire, I was returning to Kettering, home of Weetabix, theme parks and myself.

“After six years of absence I had decided to revisit and reconnect with my home town, remembering what made it such a unique place to grow up in.”

He said: “It was off season and it was my first job. I sold ice creams and soft drinks to the visitors.

“I remember spending a lot of time trying to look busy.

“Sometimes I’d go and work on the hot dog stand for a change of scenery.”

Wicksteed Park’s managing director Alasdair McNee said: “Although the film makes a joke out of the fact nobody at the park remembers James, the staff who were here at the time do know about his time with us.

“We are proud that he worked here and what he has gone on to achieve but if he ever wants to come back and help out serving at one of our outlets he is more than welcome.”

James, who has entertained audiences around the world with his special brand of low-key whimsy, also has fond memories of the historic theme park when he was a youngster on family visits.

He said: “It was a great place to go back to film there for the video, which is me going back to my roots only to find everything’s changed and no-one remembers me. It was a perfect setting.”

This year he has already toured Australia and New Zealand as well as appearing at the Edinburgh Festival.

His earlier solo show Lawnmower was nominated for Best Comedy Show at the famous festival of the performing arts last year.

Founded by Charles Wicksteed, the inventor of modern day play equipment such as the slide and the swing, Wicksteed Park is one of the UK’s top places to go for a day out.

The 147 acres of beautiful parkland combine with Europe’s largest free playground and paid-for attractions such as rollercoasters and rides to ensure a great time for the whole family, no matter what their budget.