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Wednesday 20th August 2014

Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination day. Perhaps finally it was my turn. Even though I am ineligible for being too successful (as I am sure you have noticed). Somehow I was overlooked again. This might have been the last chance. I realised today that if I came to the Fringe next year I would have spent half the Augusts of my life in Edinburgh (not bad given the unbroken run of missing the first 18). I think that is too many Augusts.
I finally made it underground to Edinburgh’s medieval past at Mary King’s Close. It’s an enjoyable attraction mixing together ghost stories, video displays and history. The Close was used as foundations for the City Chambers and thus survived hidden away under the building where most of the other Closes were demolished and rebuilt. I had hoped that there might still be medieval Edinburgh people living down there, unaware of how things had moved on on the surface, so I was always going to be a little bit disappointed, but it was still cool to see the rooms where they lived and the perilously steep alley itself. It’s definitely worth a look if you’re in town and like underground history.
We then went to see Christian Reilly’s award winning show “Lost in Music”. I think it was the most enjoyable of the handful of shows I’ve been to and Christ was in top form. The place was packed so get there early. He has the best Operation Yewtree gag of the Fringe. It’s a joyful show, with a little bit of edge that Christian carries off due to his easy charm. Plus he is one of the nicest men on the circuit, so delighted for his deserved success.But another sign that the Free Fringe might be the place to be.
I felt completely exhausted and over emotional in the evening. It’s a physically and mentally gruelling month and though I have largely kept on top of the physical side (though today dawdled my way to the gym and by the time I had coffee and tweeted about the Comedy Award I only had time to have a shower), it’s been tough to keep up the mental energy to give my demanding show the oomph it needs. But it’s very important that I don’t blame the people who have turned up for the people who haven’t and even though I didn’t feel like it backstage, once through the curtain I gave it literally 110%. In fact I was so pumped up it verged close to hysteria. And I decided to really bounce on the sofa at the start and very nearly lost my balance, which got such a big laugh that I should consider faking it every night. Though numbers continue to disappoint (and I think it’s probably down to the late start more than anything else) the people who are coming are a really top audience. And I’d rather have quality than quantity on the whole. Though am not bothered if the last four gigs are full of idiots who hate me, so I can claw back some debt. It’s not going to happen though. All I can do it enjoy my Edinburgh swan song. I think this is one of my best shows and luckily it’s only my opinion that counts. I am very much in the running for the Richard Herring award for best show of the Fringe (though Christian might just nick it off me).
And after the show I risked a few drinks in the performers’ Abattoir bar. I have kept out of the social side of things, but it was a good thing to relax and see some old friends. I had three pints of Guinness, which was a dangerous thing to do as two pints of anything is enough to give me a hangover and a restless dry-mouthed night. I am no longer under 80kg, but this week hasn’t wrecked things too much and I am sure I can bounce back once I get home (though planning a last minute holiday which might give me some more catching up to do). 

This week's Metro column with some Edinburgh memories is up here.

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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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