Comedy critic Kate Copstick and me on the origin of Edinburgh’s Free Fringe, bad UK sitcoms, William Shatner’s funniest role, why Copstick dislikes comic Lee Evans and Peter O’Toole but loves Tom Cruise and lusts after a famous actress. Plus the sound of a woman begging and Copstick attacking children.
Recorded at the British Library.
At the Edinburgh Fringe last August, I chaired two debates about the comedy industry… organised two spaghetti-juggling contests… and produced a two-hour Malcolm Hardee Awards comedy/variety stage show. More details here.
In 2010 at the Fringe, I produced three comedy shows: It Is Rocket Science! V2 (recently 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 (he’s still free but still not famous).
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: 45 Bleecker Street and The Green Room. I am now UK consultant for New York based entertainment company Inbrook.
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’, ‘Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid’ and a ‘Cunning Stunt’ award for best publicity stunt to publicise a Fringe act or show. More details here.
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 2010, I financed the controversial British movie Killer Bitch - the screen debut of cage fighter Alex Reid (ex-Mr Katie Price).
I have been 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; I producedThe Last Laugh with Jerry Sadowitz.
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 Movieand The Photo partworks. I blog for the Huffington Post.
I built and look after Janey Godley’s website and, in the past, have built and webmastered sites for comedians Ricky Grover, Jeff Innocent and Ian Watt as well as scriptwriter Nigel Crowle, eccentric inventor John Ward, author Cass Pennant, DVD company Gangster Videos, art/literary site Con Artists etc
AND OTHER SUNDRY THINGS
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.
You can contact me direct by e-mail here.