For the first time in the history of The Oxford Farming Conference, in 2018 there will be a Comedy Night on the second night of the three-day event. Scots farmer and stand-up comedian, Jim Smith, is bringing his show to the Old Fire Station on Thursday 4th January.
The 39-year-old, who runs his own 300-acre mixed farm in Perthshire, has created a sensation on the comedy circuit with his sketches on the quirks of rural life and the realities of how those living in the country people see the world, from Brexit to scones. A sell-out at the Edinburgh Festival, Jim has also been shortlisted for So You Think You’re Funny and the Scottish Comedian of the Year competitions. Tickets to the event are limited so early booking is advised.
Jim, who started writing comedy as a Young Farmer, says:
“This could be a tough gig! Nothing like a room full of farmers and farming experts, but I am really looking forward to it, and no doubt they will recognise some of the rural “isms” I have to share, which are found countrywide. The Oxford Farming Conference is a fantastic and worthwhile event, and I am delighted to be the light relief amongst the more serious discussions over the three days.”
Jim’s take on the reality of farming vs Countryfile, the perils of young farmers’ dances and the challenge of finding a girlfriend when you work on a farm, have built up a popular following, and he famously went viral after appearing on Radio 4 with his retelling of Star Wars as a Fife welder.
Oxford Farming Chairman, Caroline Millar, said:
“We are really excited about the line-up of brilliant and varied people contributing to the conference this year, and this will be a great addition to the programme. I have no doubt that Jim’s sketches will appeal hugely to this audience, and will be a great way to end first full day of the conference.”
Jim started his comedy career in the Young Farmers, where he wrote the scripts for the organisation’s annual pantomime. Encouraged by friends, he applied for the beginner sessions at The Stand Comedy Club in Glasgow. He went on to have a sell-out run at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015 with his show Farmed and Dangerous. Despite his success, farming is still his foremost priority:
“I love farming and I get withdrawal symptoms if I’m away from it too long,” he says. “It also provides my material! I am looking forward to some of the sessions at the conference this year, and taking home new ideas and approaches for the farm.”
The Oxford Farming Conference will be held at Oxford University from 3-5 January 2018, and includes a vibrant programme of speakers, panel sessions, politics sessions and easy networking. Further speakers and events will be announced in the run up to the conference.