‘I’m not going to reveal who wins, but it’s me against you,’ Dave Gorman begins. The setting is Stafford’s historic (properly so, probably 1200s) Pie and Ale House. The smallish upstairs room is packed with 80 or so people who have come to listen to Dave reading and sharing experiences from his new book. DG vs ROTW (for short) was an idea that came from Dave’s wanderings on tour.
When in Glasgow he’d like to visit Kelvingrove Park or the Rennie Mac Museum, but a comic on the road does radio, then coffee, then stage, then road. So he needed distractions that filled the odd hour or so.
‘I’ve seen most of Britain, but don’t feel I really know it.’
A keen darts player (it could be those Staffordshire roots making him follow in the footsteps of Phil ‘The Power’ Taylor) Dave would tweet for info on decent pubs to play. Before long he was asking to play all sorts of games and receiving a range of requests from up and down the UK. It could be poker in Preston, skittles in Scarborough or Ultimate Frisbee in Frinton.
Dave read a warm and funny chapter which followed one such trip, and his unorthodox imprisonment in the loft of Cardiff Subbuteo-lover Ron. The descriptions of cladded terraces, sugary tea, decades-old habits and stolen pleasures were great. Newly-married Dave (then engaged) even learnt a thing or two about relationships from the Subbuteo master. It wasn’t all easy going though and violence followed in Portsmouth and insults in Liverpool.
Dave was an engaging and friendly host and if the book reveals more characters as amusing as Ron it’s well worth the journey