I’m sorry, you must have missed me.
I have of course been terribly busy. Here I am at the Edinburgh Fringe, where not only have I been publicising and performing a show far too frantically to blog, I’ve also been blogging for a different blog altogether.
I hope James Aylett doesn’t feel too snubbed by this. I wonder if he feels like he’s the BBC to my Des Lynam, rejected for the altogether glitzier but less charming surroundings of Sky Sports.
But I wouldn’t want to push that analogy too far, because it suggests that The Friday Project are not charming. Which they are. They have charm in buckets. Certainly a lot more the Sky Sports.
Anyway, I’m back here now, having finally found a few spare moments in my schedule – mainly because I was woken up hideously early to do an interview on BBC Radio Scotland and everybody else is still in bed.
Being at the Fringe, even for this short period (and the Fringe officially only starts today), I have been exposed to certain omissions and occasionally erratum in our book Fringe, and to save time if we’re ever asked to do a second edition I’ve decided to note down the main ones.
1. If you’re doing previews at all, you HAVE to comp them. Not just a couple of comps, lots and lots of comps – with the expectation of about a third of the people you have given them to turning up. It’s not optional if you actually want an audience – professional comedians do it, West End shows do it, you must do it.
2. In the first week of the Fringe it is possible to live entirely on free handouts on the Royal Mile. But not advisable.
3. South Bridge ought to be called the street of temptation; it is not only home to the brilliant and delicious Piemaker, but to Forbidden Planet and Poundstretcher. I find it almost impossible not to walk along South Bridge without ending up clutching a steak and pepper pie, a remote control Dalek and a completely useless pack of fifty lightbulbs (because they were like, really cheap!).
4. Walking all the way to the end of Princes Street to see a copy of your book in Waterstones is good for the ego but bad for the legs.
5. The anecdote about Simon Munnery’s prop bus (page 52) is, it turns out, almost entirely wrong. It wasn’t a prop bus, it was a Reliant Robin, which Munnery drove all the way to Edinburgh at 40 miles an hour only to find that he couldn’t use it. But this wasn’t because it hadn’t been fireproofed – it just wouldn’t fit through the doors of the venue. The way Munnery told it to me, it made an even better anecdote than our fictional one.
6. We need a Scottish edition of the book from which the second appendix, or at least the sentence “all Scottish people appear to be genuinely ugly”, is removed. I say this because, nearing the end of my interview on BBC Radio Scotland, one of the presenters suddenly said, “I notice that you say here ‘all Scottish people appear to be irredeemably ugly’ – what do you have to say about this to all our Scottish listeners?” I stuttered “well…I don’t think we used the word irredeemably…” before being forced into making a formal apology to the whole of Scotland on national radio. A few moments later I chirped “can I plug my show?” to which both presenters smugly replied in unison “no!” … and there ended the interview.