Raymond Mearns has been a full time Comedian and Actor since June 2003! Prior to this he had done comedy part time whilst working as a Communications Sales Manager for Arthur McKay based in Edinburgh. Notable credits up till that point included:
1996 – Trial by Night (STV) – Studio Guest
1997 – The Big Big Talent Show (ITV) – Contestant
1998 – Part of “Troy” in “Home” – BAFTA best short 1999
2001 – Winner – Jongleurs new Act Competition.
2002 – Live Floor Show (BBC) – Series 1
2003 – Live Floor Show (BBC) – Series 2 & 3
In mid-2003 Raymond was cast as Big Roddie in The Feature Film “Ae Fond Kiss” directed by Ken Loach.
In 2004, Raymond was a founder member of the improvisational comedy sketch group Dance Monkey Boy Dance!!! Which saw a sell-out run at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe and then onto New York where DMBD performed at: The Improv and The Gotham Comedy Club, alongside the first ever New York Comedy Festival.
In November 2005 Raymond returned to New York where he played to a sell-out crowd at The Laugh Factory with the Show “Laughs Across the Ocean” in collaboration with New York Comic, Danny Lobell.
2006 included appearances on “Off the Ball”, “Rebus” and the pilot Episode of “Legit’” where Raymond first played the character “Happy Boab”. At end of 2006 Raymond shot his second feature film for Ken Loach as he played the character: “Andy” in “It’s A Free World”
In 2007, “Legit’” the series was commissioned and Raymond spent a memorable summer playing “Happy Boab” whom the Sunday Mail described as: “A character who brings so much sunshine into the world he deserves his own show!” Raymond also performed at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in his new one man stand-up show: “Recovering Arsehole”. The year ended with Raymond shooting a series of commercials for the Sun Newspaper that included cameo appearances from Frank McAvennie and John Smeaton. 2007 Also saw the release of Raymond’s first DVD which was recorded at the Stand Comedy Club during the Glasgow International Comedy Festival
2008 saw Raymond assume the Role of Executive Producer on the feature film “Next Time Ned”, written and directed by Thomas McCue. Raymond also played the main character “Ned Randall” and contributed to the score. This was followed by a number of trips abroad to entertain British Troops and then onto Edinburgh where Raymond performed another one man show “Shaggy Dog Stories” of which Chortle said: “Virtually every line that issues from this man is funny, some of them very much so!”. 2008 also saw the birth of the smash hit: “Limmy’s Show” created by internet sensation Brian Limond and Raymond was chosen as a member of the principal cast for the Pilot. At the end of the year Raymond also landed a part in the “Rab C Nesbitt” Christmas Special.
Raymond embarked upon his first tour of Scotland in the spring of 2009 and this was followed up with two quite unusual jobs! The first of these was to promote the Glasgow Comedy Festival, where Raymond was asked to provide a completely improvised comedy guide to the city from an open top tour bus. Then a few weeks later Raymond was hired to provide additional voice-over on “The Illusionist” an animated feature film directed by Sylvian Chomet. Both of these proved to be surprise hits as “The Illusionist” was nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Oscars in 2011 and the Bus Tour was seen all over the world and this was borne out when, to Raymond’s delight, he was recognised whilst on tour in Western Australia in 2010. Raymond was then drafted in to join the cast of BBC Radio Scotland’s sketch comedy programme “The Ellis and Clarke Show” and then onto Series 1 of “Limmy’s show” where Raymond cemented his reputation as a comic actor of significant ability. At the very end of 2009 Raymond was flown to Prague to film the TV commercial for Cheestrings that was aired UK wide in 2010 and 2011.
In 2010, Raymond was cast in the BBC Radio Scotland Sit-com “No Hard Feelings” playing a range of different characters alongside John Gordon Sinclair. This was quickly followed up by him landing the role of “The Pharmacist” in the BBC Drama “One Night In Emergency” written by Gregory Burke and starring Kevin McKidd. A Significant part of 2010 was also spent setting up RAB Productions, an innovative new production company that Raymond runs in conjunction with Calum Weir to produce bespoke comedy based films for the corporate and educational sectors. At the end of 2010 Raymond did some shows in Western Australia and also did the short film “TUMULT / An Incident in Time” directed by award winning writer/director John Barrington.
In the first three months of 2011 Raymond completed a successful mini tour of venues across Scotland. He also appeared in the new series of “Rab C Nesbitt” and in the BBC’s Scottish Soap Opera “River City”. His second DVD “Shaggy Dog Stories” was released in April of 2011 and he then went on tour with “Pete Doherty” doing support slots at The Shepherds Bush Empire and various venues in the North of England, the tour ended abruptly on the day they were scheduled to appear in a sell-out show at the Barrowland in Glasgow owing to Doherty being jailed for a drug related offence. In the Summer of 2011 Raymond went on to The Edinburgh Festival Fringe with his Show: “Everything You Ever Wanted To Know About Stress But Were Afraid To Ask!” which was performed at the Stand Comedy Club. Jay Richardson described the show as “Exceptionally Funny” and “Cathartic” in The Scotsman and Fest magazine described the show as: “A constantly funny hour”. The year 2011 ended with Raymond being chosen as one of the comics to represent Glasgow at the prestigious New York Comedy Festival.
In January 2012 Raymond travelled to Kuala Lumpur to entertain the Saint Andrews Society and honoured guests at their annual Burns Supper. Also in 2012, following on from the success of his 2011 Fringe Show, Raymond was booked by a number of organizations to deliver his stress busting comedy show to their employees, this was received enthusiastically by those organizations who now consider the show to be a valuable staff development tool. Raymond has worked as a tutor for the charity Universal Comedy since its inception in 2006 and in 2012 Raymond was delighted to be given the first of Universal Comedy’s Graduate Courses to tutor, the participants on the course were all people who had previously benefited from the work of Universal Comedy and it was Raymond’s goal to take the creative process further for the group, all of whom have various mental health issues ranging from depression and bipolar to schizophrenia. The outcome of the course surprised everybody! It resulted in the production of a 15 minute filmed comedy sketch show which was created from the combined talents and contributions of the participants. In April 2012 Raymond was cast as “Wee Martin in “Doors Open” an ITV comedy drama based upon the book by Ian Rankin and featuring Douglas Henshall, Stephen Fry and Lenora Crichlow. The Film was shown across the UK on ITV1 on December 26th 2012 and has subsequently been sold for transmission to other countries including the USA. Another visit to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe followed, in the summer of 2012, with his brand new show “Rock N Roll Comedian – The Therapy Sessions” this show catalogued Raymond’s personal battles with a number of life changing events and was very warmly received by audiences, Ian Gorman reviewed the show for The Skinny and said: “You’ll be hard pushed to find a more enjoyable or cathartic hour of comedy anywhere else this summer.” After the Fringe in 2012 Raymond’s work with Universal Comedy took him on a tour of hospitals around Scotland with the show “Health Scare – The Musical”. Following this Raymond began rehearsals for “Sleeping Beauty” – the 2012 Real Radio Panto. Produced by Scott Kyle’s NLP Theatre Company and performed at Hamilton Townhouse and Rutherglen Town Hall, Raymond played The Dame – “Fairy Kipling”.
In the first few months of 2013 Raymond was busy working with The Comedy Unit on “Planet Mearns” a comedy sketch show for BBC Radio Scotland. In February 2013 it was smiles all round as TUMULT was nominated in the best short film category at the BAFTA‘s, and though TUMULT did not win the main prize the nomination stands as testament to the quality of this innovative and brilliant short piece. In the spring and summer Raymond presented “A Talk on the Wild Side” for BBC Radio Scotland where he interviewed a number of people across Scotland who have a passion and particular personal take on Scotland and its outdoors. And then onto Edinburgh where Raymond not only performed his new one man show “Waking Up To Myself” but also appeared as “Bobby” the principal character in the play “Hindsight” by Keir McAllister at The Assembly Rooms in George Street. Hindsight was based in part upon the personal journey that Raymond had taken in 2012 and received a lot of positive reviews including from Broadway Baby who wrote: “Mearns’ delivery of the warp speed dialogue deserves credit” and Edfringe wrote: “Hindsight is a true afternoon fringe delight”. The success of Hindsight coincided with very high audience figures for “Waking Up to Myself” as a great many audience members, who had seen “Rock N Roll Comedian” the year before, turned up to hear the next chapter. In the Autumn of 2013 Raymond did a very successful stand-up tour of Thailand and Indonesia in the company of Phil Kay then 2013 came to a close with Raymond once more playing the Dame in the Panto, Jack and The Beanstalk, at Rutherglen Town Hall.
2014 saw a mini tour of “Hindsight” performed at various venues in the West of Scotland culminating in a final performance at the prestigious Oran Mor in Glasgow in March. In the meantime the pilot of Planet Mearns was recorded and subsequently broadcast on BBC Radio Scotland and was very warmly received leading to the commissioning of a “Planet Mearns” Christmas Special which was aired on Boxing day 2014 with plans for further episodes in 2015. A busy year of stand-up shows in the UK and Ireland led once more to the Edinburgh Fringe in August where Raymond did a completely improvised hour of comedy every night at The Beehive Inn in Edinburgh. This live show was very well received and well attended with significant numbers of repeat visitors. In the autumn and winter of 2014 Raymond toured Asia once again in between recording a number of stand-up comedy routines for transmission on programmes for BBC Radio Scotland and Radio 4Xtra.
In 2015 Raymond returned to South East Asia where he did some corporate work for an international group of workers from The UK, USA and Australia who were involved in the construction of a Liquefied Natural Gas Plant in Australia, these shows culminated in a Burns supper in Pattaya where Raymond performed some stand-up and did the Tam O Shanter. Back in the UK in February he was cast as Prof B McFriendly in a short promotional film commissioned by Parkinson’s UK, and Directed by Pete Cain, to highlight aspects of the condition and how the symptoms are not always Obvious. In March and April Raymond took part in The Melbourne International Comedy Festival where he performed “Rock N Roll Comedian” and took part in numerous ensemble shows all across the city. Back in the UK, Raymond was one of the principal tutors who oversaw the Disability Hate Crime Project commissioned in partnership with Universal Comedy and North Lanarkshire Council where a group of Disabled adults were helped to create a Film about the discrimination that they encounter in their everyday lives! At the same time Raymond tutored a stand-up comedy course at the Regal Theatre in Bathgate and at the same time launched Better Out Than In, in conjunction with CBT specialist Bob Cochrane which was a show about mental health and the benefits of talking about your troubles (hence the name of the show and not to be confused with anything at all connected to the Brexit unpleasantness which was shortly about to consume the United Kingdom). “Better Out Than In” was a one hour, live, weekly show broadcast on Regal Radio, the community internet station connected with the Regal Theatre. In August it was back to the Fringe to perform his new one hour show: “Growing Old Disgracefully” where once again huge audiences packed the Beehive Inn all month long. At the same time Raymond took the time to write a blog for each and every day of the fringe which drew a large and enthusiastic response from hundreds of readers on a daily basis, who enjoyed the mix of insights into Raymond’s everyday life and the many anecdotes which he shared. You can read this blog on www.raymondmearns.com under the August 2015 blog posts links. Late in 2015 Raymond curated The Saltire Comedy Festival for East Lothian Council and in December recorded “A Funny kind of Love” for the BBC in conjunction with Dabster Productions where he talked about how the tumult in his emotions provide much of the fuel for his comedy.
After a very, very nice holiday in Florida, 2016 started as busy as ever with the bread and butter work of stand-up comedy needing to be performed in clubs all across the UK and saw Raymond appear in Liverpool, Leeds, Newcastle, Manchester, Aberdeen, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Dublin, Derry and Belfast amongst many other places. In February another stand-up showcase was recorded by Dabster Productions for Radio4 Xtra and significantly, in March of 2016, Raymond made the very first of his many appearances on the hit BBC Radio Scotland satirical comedy show “Breaking The News”. Raymond has received a significant amount of praise and critical acclaim for his contributions to the show and is now a panel regular where he normally can be heard on two shows each season. In July Raymond helped to curate and publicise the “Merchant City Festival – Comedy Programme” in conjunction with Claire Macauley, the legendary founder of Glasgow’s “Funny Farm” at Blackfriars Comedy Club. This was immediately followed by a return to the Fringe in August and a return to The Beehive Inn, with his new one man show: “Raymond Mearns is Feeling the Love” this show was notable for it’s insights gained during the aforementioned holiday in Florida in January and for Raymond’s prediction (following some very candid conversations with the local residents) that Donald Trump would win the 2016 Presidential Election! One other notable trip in 2016 was a comedy stint at The Shetland Football Association annual Dinner in Lerwick in September where Raymond took a few days out and stayed at Saxa Vord in Unst (the most northerly part of The Shetland Isles) where he saw the Northern Lights!
2017 would be Raymond’s 50th year and he showed no signs of slowing down! The usual run of weekend gigs all around the UK mixed with regular appearances on “Breaking The News” for BBC Radio Scotland were augmented by an increased number of bookings as a speaker and MC at corporate events where Raymond worked regularly with a significant number of personalities including famous former footballers, referees and other’s associated with the beautiful game. “Better Out Than In” transferred from Regal Radio to Camglen Radio, a community Radio station based in Rutherglen and Cambuslang and which has a significant reach across Glasgow broadcasting on 107.9 FM. The regular Wednesday night show was very well received by a great many listeners and won some minor accolades awards along the way. Some of these shows (relating to mental health and general psychological well-being) can be heard on mix-cloud and can be accessed by going to www.camglenradio.org. In August Raymond made another triumphant return to The Fringe where he performed his new show “Raymond Mearns is Present and Incorrect” and a second show was also put together at The Beehive Inn called “Two and a Half Old Men” in conjunction with Rod Hunter and Les Sinclair. A particular highlight of 2017 saw Raymond being chosen as one of the support acts on Kevin Bridges pre-tour shows at The Stand Comedy Clubs in Glasgow and Newcastle. In November 2017 Raymond Mearns turned 50 years old doing what he likes to do, having fun and living in the moment, when his best friend drove him to NASA for the day in an open top Mustang followed up in the evening by going to get pished!
In 2018 Raymond would begin the year by curating shows for On-fife Theatres who run The Comedy Café across four venues, namely: The Adam Smith Theatre in Kirkcaldy, The Lochgelly Centre, Rothes Halls in Glenrothes and Carnegie Hall in Dunfermline. At the same time the ongoing run of gigs all across the country were being clocked up as usual with a mix of corporate and club bookings. Raymond also began doing musical comedy shows where he sings and plays guitar, and it’s hoped that with enough practice, these shows will become more frequent in the future. Regular Benefit gigs are also a feature in the life of a comedian and Raymond is no exception, where he is the regular compere for “Comedy Crohnies” a benefit show for The Catherine McEwan Foundation which to date has raised over £1Million for research into Crohns disease. Further frequent appearances on BBC Radio Scotland and a return to The Beehive Inn in August saw Raymond have his most successful Fringe so far with his new one man show “Raymond Mearns is In The House” and a show called “Still Got It” which Raymond did in collaboration with fellow Scottish comedy luminary Gary Little. In October and November 2018 Raymond was cast in the Channel 4 / BFI funded feature film “Limbo” directed by Ben Sharrock which is due for release in 2019.
In January 2019 Raymond is scheduled to take his brand new one man show, “Confessions of A Control Freak” to the Perth World Fringe in Australia and from March until July is scheduled to take the show on tour across Scotland and then, from there, it’s onto, where else? But Edinburgh and the Fringe, in August.
To be Continued………………………………….