Marcus Brigstocke, the English comedian and satirist, will bring his acerbic wit to Hong Kong's Punchline Comedy Club for three headlining shows this week, from Thursday. As a teenager, Brigstocke battled drug and alcohol addiction and a compulsive eating disorder that saw his weight balloon to 159kg. Following a spell in rehab, he lost almost half his body weight in seven months; he admits that, even now, each meal represents a challenge not to gorge. Brigstocke has always reserved particular disdain for "freakdangling git wizard", David Blaine …

 

Best known for his high-profile feats of superhuman endurance, the Brooklyn, New York-born street magician has multiple tattoos, including a tribute to the author Primo Levi on his arm: 174517 was Levi's prisoner number at Auschwitz. Blaine (who is Jewish) celebrated his 30th birthday by shaving his head and visiting the former Nazi concentration camp. Blaine has performed in private for former United States presidents Bill Clinton and George W. Bush, as well as for Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev …

 

Formerly president, Medvedev is an ardent fan of British heavy rock music, unlike his successor (and predecessor) Vladimir Putin, who says he likes The Beatles but is alleged to be a fan of gay icons Abba. Medvedev fulfilled a lifelong dream by meeting his all-time favourite band, Deep Purple, in 2011; he took tea with the rock legends at his private residence outside Moscow. The PM and his wife, Svetlana, are also big Harry Potter fans and while attending the 2009 G20 summit in London he managed to obtain the autograph of the child wizard's creator, British author J.K. Rowling …

 

The bestselling novelist was raised Anglican but has at times expressed ambivalence towards Christianity. "I go to church myself," she has said, "[But] I don't take any responsibility for the lunatic fringes of my own religion." In another interview, she stated: "I live in a state of spiritual flux. I believe in the perma-nence of the soul." When the Harry Potter books were being adapted for the big screen, Rowling's first choice for director, vetoed by Warner Brothers, was the Monty Python comedy troupe member Terry Gilliam …

 

Born in Minnesota, the visionary filmmaker and animator left the US for Britain in the mid-1960s as he feared the political turmoil in his home country might turn him into a "full-time, bomb-throwing terrorist". While staying with his fellow Pythons at the Gleneagles Hotel in Torquay, in 1970, Gilliam was berated by the hotelier, Donald Sinclair, for eating his meals in "too American" a manner. The rather eccentric proprietor became the inspiration for the television sitcom Fawlty Towers, which showcased the talents of German-born actor Andrew Sachs …

 

Sachs, who played hapless Spanish waiter Manuel, suffered second-degree acid burns when a stunt went wrong during filming for a Fawlty Towers episode titled The Germans. In it, he exits a burning kitchen only to be shoved back inside by John Cleese's Basil Fawlty. The Bafta-nominated actor later revealed he was left scarred after chemicals in which his jacket he been covered burned through to his skin. In 2006, Sachs appeared in a BBC radio broadcast of P.G. Wodehouse's The Code of the Woosters as Jeeves, valet to bumbling toff Bertie Wooster, who was played by lean and lanky teetotaller Marcus Brigstocke.