BBC set for Festival Fringe at Edinburgh

Date: 31.05.2012     Last updated: 18.03.2014 at 18.16
The BBC goes the extra mile at the Edinburgh Festivals this year with an overnight Comedy Marathon amid an extended run of shows for broadcast and visiting audiences.

Returning to Edinburgh in 2012, the BBC is building on its presence last year - when for the first time, all its Fringe activity was housed under one roof - with a greater range of performances and programming across television, radio, online and red button.

The BBC’s tented Festival village will this year be in place across August – an extension of 10 days on its 2011 run, opening on Friday 3 August and closing in the early hours of Monday 27 August with over 100 shows on site and a new extended live performance space open to all.

Sophie Taitt, Project Director for the event, said: “The feedback from audiences attending BBC shows at the Fringe last year was terrific. Festival-goers loved having a 'one-stop' shop for the BBC at the Fringe and we’re building on that this year to have even greater coverage both on air across the BBC and on the ground in Edinburgh.

“Bringing our shows under one roof really highlights the breadth and incredible quality of BBC programming from the Fringe. Where else could you find Ricky Gervais on the same stage as Mark Lawson, Sarah Millican and David Hasselhoff.

“Comedy Masterclasses with talent like Miranda Hart and Fred MacAulay were a great success and a fantastic example of what the BBC can bring to the Festival.”

In collaboration with the London 2012 Festival, BBC Three will start their “Comedy Marathon” on Friday 17 August, when the pick of the Fringe will take part in a specially billed, anarchic eight-hour show at the BBC’s venue on Potterrow which will go out live on the red button, from 9pm till 5am with loads more material available online.

BBC Three’s coverage continues on air with a 60-minute Comedy@TheFringe special on Friday 31 August with more Edinburgh Fringe highlights programmes in the following weeks.

Special London 2012 Festival live stand-up shows under the ‘BBC Comedy Presents’ banner will bring the best of the Fringe into the BBC venue with nightly shows at 11pm and BBC Radio 1's Scott Mills and Nick Grimshaw return to present their Fun and Filth Cabaret show, also part of the London 2012 Festival.

There will be also be special comedy and Olympic screenings at the venue, with further Olympic viewing available at the Big Screen at Festival Square.

BBC Radio 4’s array of Edinburgh programming will include many favourites, with David Mitchell and The Unbelievable Truth, Nicholas Parsons and Just A Minute, Clive Anderson with Loose Ends, Tonight with Rory Bremner and Jim Naughtie with a special Fringe edition of Today.

Further Radio 4 recordings from the festival include Comic Fringes, with short stories created by popular comedians. Also, Front Row, The Horne Section, The Philosopher’s Arms, Wondermentalist Cabaret, plus a new food panel show making its debut at the Fringe – The Kitchen Cabinet presented by Jay Rayner.

As well its regular stable of Edinburgh shows of MacAulay & Co and the Festival Café and in recent years Off The Ball – BBC Radio Scotland will be taking more stalwarts East including Vic Galloway and Jazz House, and as he did in 2011, to acclaim, Christopher Brookmyre will be combining comedy and books in a specially recorded series.

BBC Radio 3 will broadcast In Tune live from Edinburgh with Sean Rafferty and Verity Sharp will present two editions of Late Junction with live music and special features.

BBC Radio 2's Steve Wright Show – with Patrick Kielty at the helm - will be broadcast from the festival on Friday 3 August, the first day of the event, before Patrick returns to host the Edinburgh heat of the Radio 2 New Comedy Award on Saturday 11 August.

The Radio 2 Arts Show also travels to Edinburgh, broadcasting from the festival for the second year running on Saturday 4 August from 10pm – 12midnight, presented by Penny Smith. Richard Bacon presents his BBC 5 live shows from the BBC venue on August 22nd and 23rd.

BBC coverage, as in other years, will extend well beyond the Fringe, with the diversity of the Edinburgh festivals reflected across a range of output, including BBC Two’s The Culture Show with Sue Perkins and The Review Show with Kirsty Wark, and as broadcast partner of the Edinburgh International Festival, Radio 3 brings 18 concerts from the Festival to those who would not otherwise be able to take part, through live and pre-recorded performances.

Plus ongoing news and online coverage and dedicated programming for the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Key events at the BBC @ Potterrow are included in the Edinburgh Festival Fringe brochure, but further details of additional events - including Masterclasses and Workshops - will be announced in due course.

Free tickets for on-site events, performances and Masterclasses are available from bbc.co.uk/tickets from Thursday 31 May.

HM