Students voice opinions on ex-Vice-Chancellor’s salary

By James Cannell

It emerged recently that De Montfort University’s former Vice-Chancellor, Dominic Shellard, had become the highest paid vice chancellor in the East Midlands.

Professor Shellard, who resigned on Monday, was on a wage of £286,000 per year before he received a pay rise of £64,000 that put him up to £350,000 a year.

The Leicestershire Press spoke to some of DMU’s students about what they think about the payment and the Vice-Chancellor’s resignation.

George Orpe, Business Management and Economics student, said: “I can’t find any way to justify that pay, considering I have never seen him, aside from matriculations.”

Flo Stanley, Contour Fashion student, agreed, stating: “For someone who is getting paid that much, they must have been doing something amazing but if I’m honest I’ve never even heard of the guy.”

The accounts also showed that the now ex-Vice-Chancellor was living in a flat on the university campus for free as well as paying more than £2,500 towards a private club membership.

Danni Malyon, Fashion Buying and Marketing student, said: “I feel like it is not for a student to comment on. At the end of the day it is for the professionals to comment on, not students.”

But Shane Moran, Business Law student, said: “It does seem a bit odd to be a Vice-Chancellor’s pay. Everyone is now going to be looking into it.”

A DMU spokeswoman did comment on the matter stating “the raise was in recognition of the Vice-Chancellor’s significant impact on the university’s performance.”

A full public explanation of why Prof Shellard resigned has not been given and DMU is currently being run by Interim Vice-Chancellor Professor Andy Collop.

Sinful quizzes at Firebug this Saturday

By Perry Johnson

Comedian and world-class quizzer Paul Sinha will be giving up his hot-seat on ITV gameshow The Chase this Saturday to become quizmaster himself in Leicester’s very own Firebug Bar.

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Paul ‘The Sinnerman’ Sinha will be hosting his rapid fire quizzes at the Firebug Bar

‘The Sinnerman’ will be hosting two of his very own rapid fire quizzes, at 1pm and 3pm, which will see him deliver 50 questions in as many minutes to teams of at least five people.

The lucky winners of the quiz will receive a cash prize equal to double their points, with second place and third place runner-up’s receiving equal to and half their points respectively.

Tickets to the event cost £5 and can be purchased over the phone at 0116 4566812.

Tigers set for Allianz Park game

By Bethany Surridge

Leicester Tigers head to Allianz Park tomorrow in the Gallagher Premiership, to play 2nd place Saracens.

Tigers are currently 7th in the Premiership.

The Tigers have won 2 and lost 1 of their last 3 games, and head coach Geordan Murphy is not expecting Saracens to play any differently to what they have been in the most recent games.

Both teams are missing key players due to the Six Nations call up, with Saracens missing Owen Farrell and Tigers missing Manu Tuilagi, who has just returned to playing for England due to injury issues.

The game kicks off at 3pm.

Leicester Comedy Festival review: Mad Ron – Talking to Millennials

Review by Tyler Arthur

As the annual Leicester Comedy Festival gets into full swing, Mad Ron, the self-proclaimed third hardest man in Uxbridge, returned to the Exchange bar with his new show ‘Talking to Millennials’.

This time last year, Mad Ron appeared in ‘The One Liner Show’ alongside other comedians who take a much more short and snappy approach to their comedy.

The eponymous hard man is a character who, in his first ever solo show, sets out to educate his audience on the good old days, and calls the millennials to a life of crime, instead of pursuing the ‘menial distractions of work and responsibility’.


MAD RON: ‘The third hardest man in Uxbridge.’

The spoof motivational speech from Ron – who took home third place in the 2019 NATYS, a prestigious comedy New Act of The Year competition with previous finalists including Russell Brand, Jack Whitehall and Stewart Lee – was held in the small cosy venue in Leicester’s city centre, on February 11.

Mad Ron opened the show with his stand-up and was off to a strong start, this is what he does best. The pacing is varied and works well, and his jokes hit the spot – some more than others, naturally, but the crowd was engaged, and the style was unique and objectively funny.

Tales of his criminal past and objections to the ways of millennials living their young lives in the modern age, with the plagues of technology and vaping, provide unpredictable punchlines, and often multiple for the same joke. This is something which the comic could build on for some absolute killer material. The ability to have the crowd laughing, pause, and then deliver another line to add another, which is even funnier, is so powerful in the world of stand-up, and for someone only three years into his comedy career is really promising.

IMG_1024The key thing which Mad Ron has on his side is the material. His jokes are his strength, and the delivery is good, which means that no matter what he does, there is potential in his work. Halfway through the show, there was a movement to crowd-involvement, which wasn’t anything special, and which also introduced the guest comedian, Sarah Crowden – an actress who is making her way in character comedy as ‘Dame Theresa Thompson’s-Gazelle’.

Dame Theresa is a character who very much builds her act around double entendre and innuendo humour, which got a few laughs from the friendly crowd. The stylised grandma character, with an amusing costume admittedly, can make it slightly uncomfortable. The difficulty of a character which is shoehorned into the naughty innuendo comedy is that if a crowd doesn’t find one joke funny, you’ll likely miss on all of them. That obviously works both ways, and in the audience in Leicester it got laughs from many people who enjoyed the low-brow humour, but there may be a need for more depth to the jokes from the act.

Finally, Mad Ron returned and brought back the second half of his stand-up act, which picked up where it left off and regained the pace which the show started with, and some more brilliant punchlines concluded the hour.

The hardman comedian showed once again that he has real potential, and that his jokes – many of which resembled that which he showcased last year at the festival – are damn funny. The primary thing to ask of Ron is just to keep working on material. The slump in the middle of the show was there solely because an hour of pure stand-up doesn’t exist yet; but when it is, I’d pay to see it.

There is no doubt in my mind that Mad Ron isn’t done yet, if he continues to write and build on the act that he already has, he is set up for a really good show. Next time he appears at the Leicester Comedy Festival he will be able to lean more on his main set, and he will have any crowd in stitches – only half due to laughter.

VIDEO: Belvoir bar open for business

By Bethany Surridge and Alexandra Smith

Belvoir Street’s late night bar “Fat Cat” reopened last Saturday after a month of renovations.

Fat Cat, previously known as “The Fat Cat Café Bar” is located in Belvoir Street, Leicester, and has recently undergone a £300,000 renovation.

Fat Cat was once known for being a late-night venue, when it was open from 4pm until late, but now, the new bar will be open from 12pm and will be more of a stylish cocktail bar which will also have a food menu.

Financial manager of Fat Cat, Ola, said: “It needed to be renovated because the venue just really needed it, we’ve added new cocktails to the menu as well, it’s really different.”

Around 100 more seats have been added with tables, offering those who would like to eat a place to sit down in a comfy booth.

Last Tuesday (12th February) saw Fat Cat launch its very own student night, with students having the opportunity to be put on the guest list to gain free entry and also being able to have a private booth.


INSIDE LOOK: Inside Fat Cat Bar on Belvoir Street. (Photo: Alexandra Smith)

With the first student night being such a success, they have decided to launch another one this Tuesday (19th February.)

Ola added: “We have Fat Cat Thursdays as well, another student night to encourage more students to try the venue.”

For more information and to keep up to date with events on at Fat Cat, go to their Facebook page