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Former MP Lembit Opik hopes to have the last laugh


Musical: Lembit Opik

Musical: Lembit Opik

Musical: Lembit Opik

Lembit Opik is forging ahead with a new career - as a comedy actor.

The Northern Ireland-born former politician will star in a musical production at the Edinburgh Fringe later this year.

The former Liberal Democrat MP said he would use some of his "heroic failures" for inspiration on the set of Rocking Your Vote, which will open on August 8 and runs until August 26.

It revolves around a fictional political candidate who goes from the highs of being selected to contest a seat "to the lows of becoming a lonely billy-no-mates". It is the 50-year-old's second stab at comedy after a brief stint as a stand-up.

Opik has honed his comic skills on a raft of panel shows since losing his seat in the Montgomeryshire constituency six years ago. He admitted the defeat triggered the depression that consumed him for three years.

"Am I over losing Montgomeryshire now?" he asked. "Not really. It's taken half a decade for me to admit that in 2010 I felt I let down my staff, volunteers, party, constituency… and in some ways my reputation.

"I still feel that today- and always will."

But Bangor-born Opik, whose day job is in communications for the Motorcycle Action Group, is determined to move on and leave his critics laughing out the other side of their mouths.

Belfast Telegraph