A blobfish staring from a screen confirmed what this good-natured show was about. In case you’re unaware of the deep-sea fish that looks like, well, a gelatinous blob, it’s not that pretty. It’s also, like the night’s line-up of ugly creatures, critically endangered.
This is where compere biologist Simon Watt came in. Watt started the Ugly Animal Preservation Society to help save species not blessed with the tiger’s beauty or the panda’s cuddliness. The purpose of these regional events was for each city to nominate their own wonky mascot.
Alongside Watt’s blue-grey taildropper slug (the name is earnt by the fact it literally detaches its a*** when in danger), six comedy acts gave a tongue-in-cheek but affectionate defence of their favourite beast. From Helen Arney’s hilarious look at the limb-regenerating, newt-like axolotl, and Punk Science’s practical demonstration of the dual-penised (and penis-duelling) marine flatworm through to Dan Cross’s winning nomination of the furless, cancer-immune naked mole rat, this was an informative night of educated silliness.
With questions such as “Why should pubic lice be spared?” and “Who would win in a fight between a bear and a honey badger?” finally answered, this worthy cause made for great entertainment.