If you thought ventriloquism was passé (Avenue Q notwithstanding), you probably haven’t come across Jay Johnson lately. TV fans of a certain age may remember Johnson from the 1970s American sitcom Soap, in which he played Chuck Campbell, a ventriloquist who used his ever-present dummy Bob as a brash alter-ego capable of voicing all the things that Chuck couldn’t or wouldn’t say.

Over the years since Soap, Johnson’s ventriloquism has continued apace off-screen. First seen OfF-Broadway in 2004, his self-penned “solo” show Jay Johnson: The Two and Only - in which he analyses his lifelong obsession with the help of an array of characters, including reliable old Bob – had two months on the Great White Way in 2006 and went on to win the 2007 Tony Award for Special Theatrical Event. We hear Bob’s passport application is now pending in preparation for a planned West End visit this summer.