In Edinburgh yesterday morning, I saw President Ahmadinejad of Iran walking purposefully through Bristo Square. But surely this cannot be? All I can think is that a serious President Ahmadinejad wannabe lives nearby.
Later in the day, also in Bristo Square, I watched as a flyerer approached a mother and child with the opening line: “Can I interest you in a show about a tree?”
Ah! – the Edinburgh Fringe!
Outside the cocoon of the Fringe, surprisingly, the world still turns.
It is available as a printed book or as an eBook download.
He famously played Tinky Winky (the purple one) in the children’s television show Teletubbies but was equally famously fired for being too gay (which he isn’t) in the role and he is no stranger to the backstage world of television.
His novel is about a stand-up comedian called Doug who “lands a big part in Rats Milk Cheese, a bizarre sitcom… In a world where louche girls romp in dressing rooms, luxury yachts and drug-fuelled orgies, Doug thinks his career has taken off. But show business has a dark side. As the wealth at stake increases, so does the greed of those who want it. At a celebrity sex party, Doug accidentally spurts on a member of the Mafia…”
Dave tells me The Sex Life of a Comedian is only partially autobiographical.
It has only been out a week or so, but already has some impressive admirers:
“It’s funny, it’s gripping and it’s not for the squeamish.” (Ben Elton)
“If you love comedy and/or sex you’ll love this book. My wife caught me reading it and I had to do the washing up for a week.” (Harry Hill)
Also still available as a paperback, a Kindle eBook and an iBook for the iPad is Sit-Down Comedy, the anthology to which Dave contributed a short story with Jim Tavaré. The book had contributions from 19 stand-ups and was edited by me and the late great Malcolm Hardee.
Which inevitably brings me to the Malcolm Hardee Awards.
Meanwhile, last year’s winner of the main Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality is not playing the Fringe this year.
Last year, Robert White did well: good reviews, career progression, a Malcolm Hardee Award, new gigs and the industry noticed him. But, he tells me:
“It left me poor: I am not doing Edinburgh this year and instead am releasing some YouTube sketches and selling my Malcolm Hardee Award on eBay.”
You read it first here.
I’ll be interested to see what price he gets for the increasingly prestigious, nay, unique trophy. Unfortunately, the man who was going to do Robert’s publicity has temporarily gone into prison – not for a social visit
“To be honest,” Robert says, “it’s thrown everything up in the air as he was going to do all the social networking etc. He has the Twitter account for a comedy club The Comedy Closet I am starting in central London. His Facebook is gone, I can’t ring him as he is in prison and I do not know exactly his circumstances. I have created some funny video sketches and set up all sorts of stuff and now I just don’t know really. I suppose I am going to have to teach myself Twitter in the space of a week.”
Robert intends to release five comedy sketches on YouTube on the 22nd, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th of this month – to coincide with Malcolm Hardee Week at the Edinburgh Fringe.
Did I mention there is a Malcolm Hardee Week at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe?
At this year’s Edinburgh Fringe, there is a Malcolm Hardee Week.
There, I’ve said it.