Media Release: Marathon comedy tour aims to raise £4million

Stephen Lyall and John O'Brien

A GLASGOW businessman and comedian are planning to complete 40 marathons and 40 comedy gigs in just 60 days in order to raise £4million for small business owners.

Business expert, Stephen Lyall, and comedian, John O’Brien, have started training for ‘The Forrest Gump Marathon Comedy Tour’ which will see them run over 1,000 miles and perform to 13,000 people in 40 cities and towns across the UK.

The tour kicks off in Glasgow on May 20 2013 and visits England, Wales and Ireland before finishing back in Glasgow on July 20 2013.

The money raised by the tour will be used to create an emergency fund for SMEs (small to medium-sized enterprises) across the country and to establish a training academy in Glasgow, Stephen and John’s home city.

The academy will teach small business owners about successful business development including online marketing, sales strategies, lead generation, website marketing and company image.

Stephen Lyall is managing director of Business Growth Now, a bespoke training provider for SMEs, who has 17 years of experience running small and large businesses.

John O’Brien (Obie) is a successful stand-up comedian and trainer who has toured the Scottish and UK comedy circuits for 13 years.

Stephen says: “We decided to take on this challenge as an effective way to raise money for a cause we both care passionately about, having both been unemployed in the past.

“We are committed to giving something back to our community, as well as supporting business owners through the many and often stressful challenges they will face along the way.

“At the moment if a small business needs emergency cash flow, it takes about 16 weeks before anything can happen and the red tape and associated costs often mean the outcome is not a positive one. This is what we are trying to address by setting up the emergency fund.”

Stephen and John are currently seeking tour sponsors and a website about the tour is under construction.

John adds: “I’m approaching high profile UK comedians as potential sponsors and we hope that people will really get behind what we are trying to achieve as it’s a brilliant cause.”


Notes to editors:

The tour will visit:

Glasgow / Stirling / Edinburgh / Galashiels / Jedburgh / Newcastle / Durham / Middlesbrough / Richmond / York / Leeds / Sheffield / Nottingham / Leicester / London / Crawley / Brighton / Cardiff / Birmingham / Bristol / Stoke-on-Trent / Manchester / Preston / Bolton / Liverpool / Dublin / Belfast / Ayr / Irvine / Oban / Aberdeen / Dundee / Perth / Glenrothes / Burtisland.

Stephen Lyall

Stephen has an impressive understanding of the challenges business owners face thanks to 17 years’ experience running small and large businesses.

John O’Brien

John has performed at the Melbourne Comedy Festival (sponsored by Stephen Lyall) and also the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the last eight years. He mentors future comedians in comedy workshops and he’s also an experienced memory trainer. For further information visit:

Business Growth Now

Business Growth Now is a training provider for small to medium sized businesses which supports business owners through every aspect of the business journey, from marketing and sales to rescue recovery and social media.

The Business Growth Now team has a combined experience of 60 years in business so each client receives honest and realistic advice which improves self-development while advancing them towards their goals.

Business Growth Now is independent and takes a philanthropic approach to business including providing SMEs with free services and running regular fundraising events. For further information visit:

Social media

Follow Stephen and John on twitter:

www.twitter@stephenlyal / www.twitter@obiecomedian

Like them on facebook:

Media contact:

For further media information, interviews and high-resolution images please contact Samantha McKay-Challen on: (0131) 629 9915 / Mobile: (07818) 164639 / Email:

MEDIA RELEASE posted by The Word Angel. You too can post media releases (aka press releases) on For more information, email here.

Contact: Samantha McKay-Challen
Phone: 0131629 9915