During the weekend I re-watched Eddie Izzard’s stand-up show “Dress to Kill”. I have a box with all his shows and do re-visit them frequently. I adore his Star Wars jokes and especially his “The Death Star Canteen” sketch which is an absolute classic these days, but my favourite is probably his ability to make comedy out of history.
British humour goes over really well in Sweden. I often get into discussions with Swedes talking about their fondness for British humour. I am not sure if it’s the irony, the absurdities, the cleverness or the elegant use of language …. or possibly all of them. Culturally it is uniting. Brits and Swedes laugh at the same things.
But it is not only the humour which unites us. We are two countries with plenty of business and collaboration. Sweden is the UK’s 14th largest export market. We export more to Sweden than we do to India. And the UK is Sweden’s 5th largest export market. We are important business and trading partners.
At UK Trade & Investment we are proud to be promoting bilateral commercial cooperation. In an interview with the Directors Magazine in February, I had the opportunity to elaborate on the business and cultural linkages between the two countries.
And, for example this week, I have colleagues out and about helping companies in Sweden and in the UK. We are at Security and Policing 2016 in Farnborough supporting companies showcasing security products and services and we are participating in Ecobuild 2016 in London with British and Swedish companies looking at new, interesting and sustainable construction methods.
And Stepehn Fry, another very good British comedian, is joining Ecobuild 2016 as special guest. He is also good at making comedy out of history. The brilliant television show QI which he has been hosting is a good example of this. And on Wednesday this week he will be talking to industry leaders and experts in construction - to inspire and even provoke manufacturers, designers, and developers in the industry.
I can’t help thinking that this is an excellent combo. Nothing is as inspiring as a good laugh. Can’t wait to hear what Stephen Fry has to say about construction. And I am sure both Brits and Swedes will have a good laugh. The combination of business and comedy can be a good one.