Did you hear the one about the Norfolk farmer who brought laughter to thousands of people and worked with some of the biggest names in comedy?

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Well sadly this punchline is about to come to an end as Keith Loads has retired as one of Norfolk’s most well-known stand-up comedians.

His 35-year comedy career saw him perform in virtually every town and many villages throughout Norfolk, as well as the city of Norwich, and travel the length and breadth of the country.

He has worked with Jimmy Cricket, Jim Bowen and Ken Dodd, who he is now good friends with, as well as sports stars including Peter Shilton and Dennis Taylor as an after-dinner speaker.

Mr Loads’ work in Norfolk has included six years at the Thursford Christmas Spectacular, his own show in Cromer for four years and seen him perform to 1,200 people at Theatre Royal, Norwich.

Loads of Squit

I went to see the doctor because I was feeling sick. He told me to take two pills a day for the rest of my life. I started to panic when I saw that he’d only given me six.

Billy came into the pub all excited and told the landlord to give everyone a drink on him. He said he was celebrating as he’d finished a jigsaw in 18 months. I said that’s not much reason to celebrate, but he said it was as it said two to four years on the box.

Billy comes up to me with three dead hand grenades. He says he’s told the police and is on his way to hand them into the station. So I say, ‘Billy what if they’re live and one explodes?’ He said, no problem, I’ll tell them there were only two.

I went on holiday recently and the girl at the check-in desk at the airport asked me if I’d left my suitcase unattended at any time. I said, yeah, it was in the loft for the last six months.

You can leave your memories and tributes to Keith below – just sign in to post your comment.

The 56-year-old, a third-generation farmer, who owns an arable farm at his home in Hindringham, near Fakenham, with his father, has now performed his final show and has said there is no possibility of him returning to comedy.

He said: “I’ve had a fantastic time, met some brilliant people and worked with some of my heroes.

“Comedy has become like a drug to me. When a show went well I would get such an incredible buzz. I would not be able to sleep because I’d be so excited.

“But I’m packing it all in due to health reasons. It’s just general health problems that people have as they get older but I can’t physically do it any more.”

Mr Loads’ final show was for the East of England Agricultural Society at the East of England Showground in Peterborough last Thursday.

His comedy career began by accident. His first show was in 1977 at Hindringham Village Hall.

He said: “A group of people in the village got together to put on some entertainment for the Queen’s Silver Jubilee.

“I did about five minutes of Norfolk squit. After that a Norfolk WI group asked me to do a 50 minute talk about Norfolk humour. I only had five minutes of material but I agreed to do it. The comedy seed was then sown and I knew this was what I wanted to do. Farming has always been my main source of income, and I would turn down gigs if they clashed with work. But my heart was never in farming and my passion is for making people laugh.”

“There were occasions where I’d get home from a gig up north or in the West Midlands at 3.30am and then get up at 6am the next day for farming.”

Mr Loads said his greatest inspiration was his uncle, Arthur Loads, who died several years ago.

He said: “Uncle Arthur was always making people laugh. He would often stand on a chair in a pub and sing a song or tell a few tales.”

He has released three DVDs: Loads of Squit, in 2003, Loads More Squit in 2006 and Loads Rides Again in 2009.

These feature live footage from his shows, plus comedy sketches with Norfolk legend Keith Skipper.

He regards the DVDs as his greatest achievements.

You can leave your memories and tributes to Keith below – just sign in to post your comment.

3 comments

  • My memory of Keith Loads is when he used to regularly take part in the gymkhana events on his pony at the Mundesley and District Riding Club gymkhanas at Trimingham in the late 60searly 70s. I think he used to win quite a few of the events, so obviously stand-up comedy is not his only talent!!

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    Boadicea 1959

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • Keith and I were members of the cast of Cromer's Christmas Seaside Special in 2008 & 09 and we had the best time. I've got some very special memories of Keith and all his stories and antics on (but especially off) stage. What went on in that dressing room... Hope to see you at this year's pier show, Keith, we're flyin' now!

    Report this comment

    Eddie Bushell

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

  • What really made me laugh in this article was Keith Skipper being referred to as a 'legend'. :-)

    Report this comment

    Lord Horn

    Wednesday, November 28, 2012

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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