About me


Since 2005, I have sponsored (currently three) annual Malcolm Comedy Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe. These will continue until at least 2017 (because, apart from anything else, I have already had the trophies made!). The Awards are for ‘Comic Originality’, the ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ and a ‘Cunning Stunt’ award for best publicity stunt to publicise a Fringe act or show.


The 2017 Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show will be staged in Edinburgh on Friday 25th August. The 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015 and 2016 Awards were presented during two-hour variety shows at the Fringe.

Throughout the 2014, 2015 and 2016 Fringes, with Scotsman critic Kate Copstick, I hosted The Grouchy Club, a daily one-hour gossip exchange for performers; this continues in 2017. At the 2013 Fringe, I chaired five chat shows about comedy. At the 2011 Fringe, I chaired two debates about the comedy industry… and organised two spaghetti-juggling contests.

At the Fringe in 2010, I produced three comedy shows: It Is Rocket Science! V2 (later revamped as a Radio 4 series), Keen & Khan: Starstruck! (with comedian Helen Keen & former NASA astrophysicist Dr Sophia Khan) and Free Until Famous with Lewis Schaffer.

In 2009, I produced two Fringe shows – Helen Keen’s The Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival and a 90-minute charity show Aaaaaaaaaaaaarrghhh! – It’s Bollock Relief! – The Malcolm Hardee Award Show. I was also consultant on two comedy shows: Aindrias de Staic’s The Summer I Did The Leaving and Lewis Schaffer’s Bigger and Blacker.

2007-2010 I was talent consultant for New York entertainment company Green Room Presents. Through them, I was also consultant for two off-Broadway venues: the Bleecker Street Theatre and the Green Room venue. 2010-2015 I was UK consultant for New York based entertainment company Inbrook.


I wrote godfather of alternative comedy Malcolm Hardee’s autobiography I Stole Freddie Mercury’s Birthday Cake and, for Random House, edited both Scots comedian Janey Godley’s autobiography Handstands in the Dark and Sit-Down Comedy, an anthology of new stories by 19 stand-up comedians. Many moons ago I also myself contributed to the anthology Anatomy of the Movies with director Martin Scorsese, actor Donald Sutherland et al.


In ancient days, I was Film Section Editor of the hippie newspaper International Times and later wrote interviews/features for the likes of House of Hammer, House of Horror, Screen International and Starburst magazines and The Movie and The Photo partworks. Online, I blogged for the Huffington Post (2011-2013) and the Indian news site We Speak News (2012-2014).


In 2010, I financed the controversial British movie Killer Bitch – the screen debut of cage fighter Alex Reid (ex-Mr Katie Price).


I was a writer/producer/director of on-screen TV promotions for 20 years, working for UK, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Irish, Norwegian and Swedish channels, also making press & marketing tapes for most and promoting/ marketing channel launches in the Czech Republic, Ireland and the UK… I have been on the production teams of various UK entertainment shows – usually finding new talent – including Tiswas, Game For a Laugh, Surprise Surprise, The Last Resort with Jonathan Ross and Jack Dee’s Saturday Night; among other shows, I produced The Last Laugh with Jerry Sadowitz.


Along the way, I have also worked for BBC News, ITN, written a comedy obituary for The Independent and written questions for a children’s game show on Basque TV in Spain…


TV shows, TV promotion/marketing, station launches, written for magazines, edited books, staged variety shows, financed a film, blog; been arrested by the Syrian Army in Beirut; cannot juggle cooked spaghetti.

More background HERE.

7 responses to “About me

  1. You got a very interesting blog man.

  2. david mckellar

    Hi John

    Came acroos Frank Carson tribute with my photo.
    Brings back happy memories. Great days.
    Long time since we last met. Wuldbe great to meet up.

    Best regards


  3. Good blog, I found it by accident to be honest, I’ve been reading up on John McVicar and found the relevant article on here.

  4. “So it goes” was this taken from “Slaughterhouse 5″…used when someone died in the book…?

  5. Wow, you’re still alive! I remember reading your stuff in the House of Hammer magazine when I was 11 or 12 years old.

    In fact, I was thinking about you when I watched ‘The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue’ on youtube a wee while ago. What did you write about it in your review? Something along the lines of: “The Living Dead at Manchester Morgue is no great horror film… But you certainly won’t sleep through it”?!

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