Bernard Manning is dead. And somewhere in London there is a full size wax effigy of Mr Manning that I commissioned in 1992. Jonathan Margolis’ obituary in today’s Independent was staggering. I particularly liked his comment that “Bernard Manning was in a sense the last “legitimate” racist in Britain. Legitimate because the gags which caused him to be so widely reviled in recent years were fossilised relics of the working class comedy of the late 1950’s.” I staged a publicity stunt to mark the opening of Jongleurs Comedy Club and the death of traditional stand up back in 1992. The effigy of Manning in a coffin was drawn by horses on a 100 year old hearse, prepared for an unceremonious dumping in London’s Regent Canal. The coffin was accompanied by the then relatively unknown Graham Norton, disguised as Mother Theresa of Camden Lock. I never contacted Bernard Manning at the time as I wanted to wind him up about how comedians of his ilk were passé and old fashioned and his ritual funeral signified the death of traditional comedy. But Bernard was far cleverer than that! He used my stunt to get publicity for The Embassy, his club in Manchester and in the end he got as much press for The Embassy as I did for the opening of Jongleurs.