Stand-up comedy from the Hammersmith Apollo. Irish comedy star Ed Byrne hosts this episode, introducing the fantastic Angela Barnes and the wonderful Geoff Norcott.
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This programme contains some strong language and adult humour
Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for tonight...
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to Live At The Apollo!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Oh, we have a great show for you tonight, we have a fantastic show,
very funny comedians. I know funny, I do, very funny.
People always ask me who I think is funny,
that's the number two question I get asked as a comedian.
The number one question I get asked as a comedian is - "Have you ever died?"
As soon as someone...as soon as you tell someone you're a comedian,
the first thing they want to know, "Oh, have you ever died?
"Oh, what's it like when no-one laughs?"
"Oh, tell us about the worst gig you've ever had in your life!
"Please, relive for me in minute detail
"the worst moment of your professional career!
"Have you ever really died?" It's like saying to a doctor,
"Tell us about the last patient you lost, what happened?
"Were the family crying? I bet they were, were they?
"Yeah, yeah?" People are such ghouls,
it's the number one question - "Have you ever died?"
Number two question, though, is - "What makes you laugh?"
People always want to know that from me. "Who do you think is funny?"
And that's a nicer question, that's more understandable.
You know, I make people laugh,
people want to know what makes me laugh.
In the same ways you might say to your hairdresser,
"Who cuts your hair?" Or you might say to someone in an Audi,
"Who do you think drives like a cock?"
Same kind of thing. LAUGHTER
I like that joke. It's a short joke, it's a sharp joke,
and also with that joke, I get to spot every Audi driver in the room.
I can just see...the pissed expression on your face there.
All right, no need to be like that about it.
I've done well for meself, it's a very reliable machine.
And the fact that I can tell you're an Audi driver by the expression on
your face means, technically,
you've just given a form of indication.
So well done! Good for you.
I knew you could do it.
Yeah. I have two kids...
I have two boys, one is...
One is nearly seven, the other is five.
And it's great! It's great having kids.
It does put stress on the relationship, I have to admit.
And you can tell that the stress has been placed on the relationship -
it's how you greet each other in the morning.
That's a real measure of how you're getting on as a couple.
I remember before we had kids, I'd say things to my wife in the
morning, first thing out of my mouth would be something like,
"Oh, that was a crazy night last night!"
Or - "Here she is, Mrs Dances On The Tables!" What are we doing today? What are we
doing today to take on the world together as a team?
You and me against the world together, my darling?
Something like that. But two years ago,
I remember my wife is coming down the stairs,
and the first words out of my mouth to this beautiful woman I'm spending
the rest of my life with were the words, "Oh, good, you're up.
"Watch him while I have a shit." Where's the love?
Where's the romance in that?
"Watch him while I have a shit."
I think the worst part of that is I could've,
I could've just left something to the imagination.
I could've just said, "Will you just give me a few minutes?"
But, no, I wanted her to know.
And I wanted her to know I'd been waiting.
I'm not just going in there for a skive, yeah?
Important shitting business is taking place.
Yes, I'm taking the iPad, but nevertheless.
But having two kids is interesting, it's really...
It's really fascinating. Because you have one kid first,
that's usually how it works.
And the love you feel for that newborn baby,
that love you feel for that first kid is incredible.
Because when it's newborn, it's a very pure, uncomplicated love,
because it hasn't learnt to annoy you yet.
So it's an all-encompassing feeling.
And you think, "I don't have room in my heart to love anyone else as much
"as I love this kid." That's what you think.
You think, "I don't have the capacity as a human being to love
"anyone else as much as I love this baby.
"I don't have the energy, I just can't do it,
"I couldn't possibly ever love
"anyone else as much as I love this baby."
And then you have a second child, and you realise, "You're right!
It's an incredible thing to learn.
Well, it's just hard to crank up the enthusiasm all over again, isn't it?
Look, he's rolling over! Yeah, you know, we've got one that walks.
That's all there is!
We have two kids, and two will do, we're stopping at two.
So I decided, well, we decided, it's been decided!
It's been decided that I should have a vasectomy.
So I went to the doctor, because
let's leave this one to the experts, yeah?
I mean, at DIY, I draw the line at certain things.
I went to the doctor...
Now, my local GP is a woman.
I've never thought of her as a woman, I just think of her as a doctor.
You know, she's our local GP, that's all she is in my head, right?
Until this day when I went to see her, I said, "We've got two kids,
"as you know, we don't want any more,
"so I'd like to have a vasectomy."
And she stops me and goes, "I can't talk to you about this on your own.
"I need to discuss this with your wife as well,
"because this affects her too."
And I'm like, "But they're my balls!"
And I realise how high-pitched that came out.
It does rob me of some of the authority I'm trying to convey,
but they're my balls!
And she just gives me this condescending, doctor-y look, like,
"We get a lot of men in here thinking it's their balls.
"You are merely the keeper of the balls.
"I need to discuss this with the owner of the balls.
"As the leaseholder,
"if you wish to make any structural changes to the property,
"you will need the permission of the freeholder.
"If you could have her come down at her earliest convenience, please."
So I go home, tell my wife the news.
The following week, we go down to the doctor together.
Now since the kids, we don't get out
of the house together very often any more,
so we neck a bottle of red wine and call it date night.
We go to the doctor, and it's like they don't want to do it!
It's like... I understand they have to make sure that you're a candidate
for surgery, but the questions they ask!
First of all, she says, "Have you really thought about this?"
Which I think is the dumbest
question I've ever been asked in my life.
Have we thought about it? "No, we were passing.
"We were passing and we heard that you do operations for free,
"and we love a bargain, so here we are.
"We rolled dice to decide what was happening, double one,
"I'm having a vasectomy, that's just how it came up.
"Which is a shame, because she has a rash that really needs looking at,
"but she didn't get the six and the one she needs. Rules are rules."
Have we thought about it?
"No! I woke up this morning and went, 'Me balls don't hurt.
"'How do I remedy the situation?'"
Yes, we thought about it.
Then she says, "Are you sure you don't want any more children?"
And the two of us are quick as lightning,
"We've never been more sure of anything in our entire lives."
We've barely said a civil word to each other in about six years.
But it makes you think,
what did you think we were answering in the first question?
"Have you thought about this?" "Yes, we have."
"Are you sure you don't want to have any more children?"
"Oh, that didn't come up. I thought we'd examined...
"I thought we were thinking about it,
"but it turns out that means we can't have any more kids!
"We did not cover that when we were thinking about it."
Then she says, "Have you considered other forms of contraception?"
Which we have. Obviously there's the pill, which as you get older,
there's more health risks involved, particularly if you're a bloke.
There's condoms! Condoms, excellent form of contraception!
If you're out there, you're on the
scene, use condoms, they're fine things.
But they're more of a young person's game.
It's all well and good when you're young.
-You over there at the end, what age are you?
-What's your name?
-Ben? Ben, 24.
See, condoms, not a problem for the likes of you, Ben.
Because, Ben, there's a difference between you and I.
You're 24, I'm 45, and the main difference between you and I?
It's our erections. You know? LAUGHTER
Our erections, they're not the same.
And the main difference in our erections? It's very simple, Ben.
Ben, your erection will wait while
you go and get a condom, won't it, Ben? Yeah, yeah.
I envy you, Ben.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
You can just stop, you can go to the drawer,
and he's waiting for you when you get back! He's like,
Just think, you don't have to keep
tending to it while you're away, do you?
You don't have to keep grinding it
into the mattress just to keep it alive!
None of that for you, Ben, none of that! Envy you.
24-year-old erection just needs to know it's all still happening.
It's just like, "We're still doing it, though, right?
"We're still doing it? OK, I'll wait, you do what you have to do.
"Eyes on the prize." "Eye on the prize?"
Your cock's cracking jokes now, Ben.
24-year-old erection will wait while you go to the shops to buy condoms!
I remember that like it was yesterday.
45-year-old erection's not the same, Ben.
45-year-old erection is a far more unreliable beast.
45-year-old erection's like, "Why have we stopped?
"I didn't want to do this in the first place.
"You convinced me it was a good idea, and now,
"just as I'm getting into me stride, we've stopped.
"You better give me a good reason, otherwise I'm going back to me nap.
"You are losing me. Hitting me isn't going to help!"
So condoms, not so much.
And then of course, there's withdrawal!
Which is not the most reliable form of contraception...
..as my second son is a testament to.
But it is the most, shall we say...
It's quite a beautiful thing, isn't it?
Quite a beautiful thing, withdrawal. But again, a young person's game.
It's all well and good in your 20s, or even your 30s,
to be lobbing ropes all over the bedroom, but...
But when you're 45 and your wife is 45,
it's just unseemly now, isn't it?
You can't go spraying your business all over her,
that's the mother of your children, for God's sake!
Have some manners! Have some respect!
You can't go blurting your muck all over those things!
The children were eating out of those just a few short years ago!
What are you doing, man?
That's not what they're for any more!
You wouldn't go chucking it into his Fireman Sam cup, would you?
No, exactly! Exactly!
I didn't say all of this to the doctor, can I just clarify?
I just said, "Yes, we have considered
"other forms of contraception."
And then she says to my wife,
"Well, you're going to be going
"through the menopause soon anyway..."
So I just hid.
If that was a man who'd said that,
he'd have been dead before he hit the floor.
She says, "You're going to be going through the menopause soon anyway,
"so you'll want to be fitted with an IUD."
And I'm like, "A roadside bomb? What on earth?
"How hard do you think the menopause is going to hit my wife?
"And just what kind of military-grade jizz
"do you think I'm chucking her way?
"That she needs to build some sort
of womb-based insurgency to fight it?"
So in the end, it just didn't happen.
We didn't... Unless my wife was
prepared to try the coil for a few months,
they just weren't going to do it.
And my wife didn't fancy the idea of the coil. I liked the idea!
I liked the idea of her having like a device inside her that fought me.
It was a wee bit like banging the Terminator, you know?
As a sci-fi nerd, it appealed to me.
Honey, when I pull your hair, say, "Hasta la vista, baby!"
She wasn't into it.
So in the end, yeah, I'm still intact,
which is probably just as well,
because to be honest with you, folks, 45...
You know, having a vasectomy now,
it's a bit like buying an exercise bike.
You tell yourself you're going to use it all the time...
..but be honest...
..you're just going to end up hanging your washing on it.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Folks, are we ready for our first act?
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Ladies and gentlemen, I have had the pleasure of working
with this comedian quite a few times over the last couple of years,
and she always makes me howl.
Will you please put your hands together, welcome to the stage
the very funny Angela Barnes!
Hello! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Hello, Apollo! How are you doing, are you all right?
AUDIENCE CHEER Good, what lovely people you are!
I must start with an apology.
Right, I get to do Live At The Apollo, and listen to my voice,
I sound like a teenage boy. I've got a really croaky...
I know it's bad at the moment, my voice, right?
Because when you've got a croaky voice, people who work in call
centres, they will use it to try to get you onside.
But I got a cold call this morning.
She said, hello, is that Miss Barnes?
I said, "Yes, speaking." She's like, "Miss Barnes,
"you sound like you've got a terrible cold."
I said, "Really? You sound like you
"got a third in media studies from Luton, what do you want?"
I do have a boyfriend, we've been together for three years.
Some people find it very easy to find a partner,
some people go from one to the next, to the next...
No bother at all. You know, I never found it that easy.
Did you know even Oscar Pistorius, while under house arrest,
managed to get himself a new girlfriend?
She must've been shitting herself!
Largely because it was safer than using the bathroom.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
No, the only time it's been tricky, really, is when we're trying
to decide where to go on holiday together,
because I'm a bit of a history geek, you know?
I like places with museums or a monastery or something, you know.
He said these words to me.
"Oh, we should go on a survival holiday!"
"Make your mind up, mate, are we surviving or are we on holiday?"
That's... Survival holiday? That's an oxymoron, isn't it?
It's like fun run.
Or Fox News.
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
Satire, you're welcome.
No, we have been on holiday together.
We went to New Zealand together last year, that was nice.
Have you been to New Zealand? Oh, it's beautiful!
Beautiful country, like, the most stunning scenery!
But it has to be, because it is bloody miles away from everywhere.
Like, it is even miles away from Australia.
Like, if the place looked like Swindon, it'd be deserted!
26 hours it takes to get there!
26 hours! I've had relationships shorter than that.
Oh, and you may or may not know this, ladies and gentlemen,
apparently Lord Of The Rings was filmed there,
because they never bloody mention it!
Everywhere you go! You fly in to Wellington Airport,
it literally says, "Welcome to Middle Earth"!
You're greeted by Gandalf in arrivals, he's there.
You've got all the creatures swooping down over your head.
It's like, I get it, you had a good film franchise!
You know, we had Carry On films, you don't walk through Heathrow
underneath Barbara Windsor's tits, do you? Calm down!
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
We want the same things from life, we do. Like we don't want kids.
Right, now people think that when you say you don't want kids,
it's because you hate kids. And I don't hate kids,
I just don't trust me to keep one alive, different thing!
People can't get their heads around me not wanting children.
They really can't get their heads around it at all.
I went to see my doctor a couple of
years ago about something completely unrelated.
And he said to me, "You do know, Angela, you do know
"if you were to have a child now,
"you'd be what we call a geriatric mother?"
He's dead now, so...
He said to me, "Why don't you get some eggs frozen?"
He said, "Why don't you freeze some eggs, and if you change your mind,
"they're there, you can use them?"
And I thought about it, I really thought about it.
And then I thought, "Do you know what?
"Every time I've frozen something...
"..it's gone a bit shit, right?
"Do I want my children to be the human equivalent of a ready meal?"
What about when little Findus and Sara Lee go off to school?
When they get taught about the birds and the bees,
they're going to get taken into a separate room and get told,
"Your mum went to Iceland." No!
I find it weird that people think it's OK to ask you about your
reproductive choices. It's a private question, isn't it?
It's like asking about your sex life, essentially.
And also, I'm 40, and I don't have any children.
There could be a really awkward or upsetting answer to that question,
couldn't there? Why would you ask anyone a question that could have an
awkward or upsetting answer?
You wouldn't ask someone why they're bald, would you?
You wouldn't ask a couple from Norfolk how they're related.
Why does that question seem to be small talk?
I want to make it awkward when they ask me.
I want to say to them, "Oh, I had a baby, but I ate it."
There are loads of reasons for not having kids, and people can't...
People get angry with me, so angry!
Because I don't want to have...
Often the people who get most angry with me for not wanting to have
children are the same people that are angry about high levels
of immigration in this country.
Well, are we full up or not? Pick a team!
Right? Last year, Katie Hopkins wrote an article in the Daily Mail
in which she said that childless women were odd
and lacked a human connection.
Katie Hopkins thinks that I lack a human connection!
That is like being called racist by also Katie Hopkins!
It's madness! Right?
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
I don't know where it came from, this idea that compassion belongs
to parents and not the rest of us.
You know, it's weird. Some compassionate people have children,
some don't. Some not very compassionate people have children,
some don't. Piers Morgan has children.
End of argument!
I see my friends with kids, and I feel for them, it's a hard job!
It's really tough, I've got friends now with teenagers.
Oh, my God, that is hard. I've got a friend who's got a teenage son,
he's the laziest thing I've ever seen in my life.
Like, for his birthday, she bought him one of those pedometers?
You know, that measures how many steps you do in a today?
She bought him one you wear on your wrist.
He's a teenage boy, you're going to
get a false reading there, love, think about it!
Loads of reasons for not having kids.
Here's one of mine right now. Ladies in the room, you can vouch for this.
As women, we get our bits looked at all the time.
Right, all the time, nurses, gynaecologists, fuck it,
I'll let the window cleaner have a look, right?
Everyone! Now every time a nurse or a gynaecologist
has had a look at my bits, they have told me,
and I quote, that I have a lovely cervix.
LAUGHTER Thank you.
I grew it myself, thank you.
Now I don't know what that means!
But I do know that in my life, I have been told my cervix
is lovely way more than I've been told my face is.
I am buggered if I'm going to ruin the most complimented part
of my body by just shoving a baby through it!
I am literally beautiful on the inside!
And that's the way I want it to stay.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Ladies and gentlemen, you've been absolutely delightful!
I've been Angela Barnes, thank you very much, good night!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Angela Barnes, ladies and gentlemen!
Folks, are we ready for one more act? CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
We have a very fine comedian for you now.
Please put your hands together and welcome to the stage
Mr Geoff Norcott!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Thank you. Thanks so much. Thank you.
Thank you, it's an honour to be here.
Man, I grew up around here, playing this gig is an honour, man.
Thank you, thanks very much for having me.
Yeah. South-west London boy in the house.
I'm going away on holiday with my wife soon.
Going away with my wife, she does this thing, right?
If you get her in an airport, I'm not allowed to have my own passport.
It's embarrassing. It's embarrassing,
I'm a 40-year-old man, I get to passport control, they say,
"You got your passport, mate?"
"I'm like, no! I'm not allowed to carry it!
"Because apparently I'm not mature enough!"
I don't know what happens, man. The moment you get her near an airport,
she becomes like some sort of Russian people trafficker,
do you know what I mean?
She's like, "I must have all the passports!
"You, you cannot handle passport, you are too stupid for passport.
"I must keep all passports in zippy, clear travel document folder, eh?
"Alongside printout from Tripadvisor.
"But you may carry the bags."
I'm like a peasant boy for the day.
"Oh, thank you, master, thank you very much!
"Yes, it's a real honour for me to carry your bags, you know?
"11 pair of shoes for three-day mini-break is a good idea, eh?
"Yes! Maybe you will become a centipede
"while we are in Egypt, who knows?"
I went on a stag do recently, I went to the Munich Beer Festival.
Has anybody here been to the Munich Beer Fest?
CHEERING Seemingly everybody.
How many days did you go for, mate? No days.
Got deported on arrival.
We went for seven days. We got there on a Monday, right?
We had six straight days drinking, Monday through Saturday.
And on Sunday, we said, "We've got to do something different."
So we went to Dachau Concentration Camp.
It was a weird shout, there's no getting away from it.
Could've gone go-karting.
I said, "No, let's do some World War II here."
It took a long time to get there, and when we got there, it was shut.
Now... Yeah, it felt inconvenient.
However...given the wider backdrop of historical suffering,
I didn't necessarily think that my inconvenience was that big a deal.
So I just thought, "I'll take it on the chin."
But we had a mate with us called Tim
and Tim started popping off at the German security guard.
He said, "Mate, it's a Sunday, yeah? It's a big tourist day.
"It's outrageous that it's shut."
I said, "To be fair, it's outrageous that it was ever open,
"you know what I mean?" LAUGHTER
It is weird that you are making this about you, Tim, to be honest.
People say dumb things, don't they?
I was having a beer with my mate Wayne the other day.
And Wayne... Wayne likes to tell you where he was on the occasion of big
historical news events that happened within our lifetime, all right?
So I mentioned 9/11, and Wayne went,
"9/11. Remember where I was that day."
I was like, "Don't care, don't care where you were,
"I don't see how it's relevant.
"I don't see how your whereabouts on that fateful,
"terrible day will form some sort of meaningful historical footnote,
"Wayne, I'm being honest here."
He looked hurt, he went... I went, "All right, where were you?"
He went, "Karate." I went, "See,
"that...that's exactly the sort of
"trivial shit I was worried about, Wayne."
He said, "Well, you know, I was in New York six months before that.
"Makes you think, doesn't it?" I was like, "No! No!
"To be honest, all it makes me think is I wish you'd been there six
"months later! I'm sorry.
"I call it as I see it."
I voted Conservative at the last few elections.
Have we got any other Tories in?
A FEW CHEERS
Seems demographically unlikely, but let's go with it.
3,500 people, seven Tories.
All right, let's go with that.
I mean, voting Conservative's like
buying a James Blunt album, isn't it?
Like... You know for a fact millions of other people have done it,
but, weirdly, you never meet them. That's strange, isn't it?
And look, I respect whatever your politics are. Let's be honest,
British democracy's often about a
choice between the least shit of two options.
It's like you're going to get waterboarded,
but you get a choice between sparkling or still.
That is essentially it, that's it!
That's all you're getting.
You know... People say all the Tories are selfish and heartless.
You know, maybe some are... Look, I sympathise with young people.
The situation with housing, man.
It's created this weird situation
where young people live at home forever, all right?
It's weird. They live at home,
they're not really part of the family, are they?
They don't eat with the family ever, like, "No, Dad, no,
"Dad, I don't want to eat with you, Dad, I'm going upstairs again...
"Dad, Dad, is it all right if Claire stays?"
"Well, you know, she's your wife and you're 35.
"You can take the dogs and the twins with you.
"He's never leaving, Shirley, is he?
"I told you we shouldn't have built the extension."
Because you forget, man...
Forget left, right, Brexit, Remain, Leave, whatever.
The next big conflict in this country's generational,
I swear to God. There is going to be
a civil war between young people and old people.
And it'll be a very weird-looking war, I'll give you that.
You know, because young people like to get up very late, don't they?
And old people like to go to bed very early, so like...
War will only be possible between
the hours of two and four in the afternoon, they'll just...
LAUGHTER AND APPLAUSE
The moment Judge Rinder finishes... Right, son, let's do this.
Hang on, Countdown's starting,
I'll see you tomorrow, Grandad. There's something we both enjoy.
But, like, I grew up on a council estate, right?
That's what makes it weird that I vote Conservative,
I grew up on a council estate,
my dad was a big trade union man,
so growing up I was sort of like a political Billy Elliot.
Do you know what I mean? I had to conceal my true identity,
hiding the Telegraph inside a copy of Razzle, you know, I was...
You have no idea how hard it was for me.
But my dad, in a way, like, he formed my view
on, like, personal responsibility, because my dad,
both my parents were disabled, but my dad, he had one arm, right,
bless him, it was before the age of decent prosthetics
and the only thing the arm could do was it had a thumb that could
clamp down like that, I don't really
know what that facilitates in the long run.
Maybe you could parade a single business card
around a room full of people.
It's amazing what you can do with technology now.
He had to put his arm in for servicing as well, genuinely.
One time they got the arm back to him and they'd messed up
the spring, so the thumb was now permanently in this position.
It's very difficult to express your displeasure in life
when you have this going on.
He couldn't even complain to the people who had done it.
"I'm not happy. No, sir."
Just two emoticons available in those days.
But he like...
He didn't see himself as disabled, that was the phenomenal thing,
he never claimed disability benefit either.
Me and my sister, one day we said, "Why is that, Dad?"
He said, "Well, I can walk, can't I?"
We're like, "That's not the only criteria." You know what I mean?
You should have seen him. The first time he watched a Paralympics,
he was furious the whole time. He was like, "What's wrong with him?
"What's wrong with them? What's wrong with them?" LAUGHTER
"OCD?! Oh, yeah, that actually alters synchronised swimming,
"this is bullshit! That's what this is.
"You only need one arm for javelin anyway, I'll say that much."
Like waving his one remaining fist at anybody who wasn't just a torso.
Ladies and gentlemen, this is a privilege, to do this gig,
it has been a privilege to play to you, I'm Geoff Norcott,
thank you very much. Thank you.
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Geoff Norcott, ladies and gentlemen! CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
Let's hear it one more time for Angela Barnes!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE And for Geoff Norcott!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE I've been Ed Byrne, you've been watching Live At The Apollo.
Thank you very much, good night!
CHEERING AND APPLAUSE
At the forefront of its genre, the roll call of stand-ups who have performed in front of the famous Live at the Apollo lights plays out like a who's who of comedic royalty, and this series is no different. Each episode sees a national (and sometimes international) stand-up both compering and performing, before introducing two of the best established and up-coming stand-ups to the stage.
Irish comedy star Ed Byrne hosts this episode, introducing the fantastic Angela Barnes and the wonderful Geoff Norcott to the world-famous Apollo stage.
Other acts to appear throughout the series include Henning Wehn, Katherine Ryan, Rob Beckett, Joel Dommett, Jen Brister, Darren Harriott, Dane Baptiste, Desiree Burch, David O'Doherty, Luisa Omielan, Sara Pascoe, Nish Kumar, Lucy Porter, Guz Khan, Chris McCausland, Gary Delaney, Marlon Davis, John Robbins and Larry Dean.