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A festival of fun

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Andy Hall | 12:13 UK time, Monday, 23 August 2010

For the next four days (23-26 Aug) we'll be broadcasting the Richard Bacon show from the 64th Edinburgh Festival, where we'll have the pleasure of being joined by some of Britain's finest comedians, actors and musicians.

This year's festival has attracted some of the biggest names in comedy as well as some performers that you wouldn't normally associate with the Fringe - even the rapper Dizzee Rascal is making an appearance.

Before I reveal what you can expect to hear on 5 live between 2-4pm this week here's a Fringe stat that you can use to show off to your friends: the Fringe will feature 40,254 performances made up of 2,453 different shows involving (wait for it) an estimated 21,148 performers... pretty impressive.

We will be setting up our broadcasting equipment around various locations in the city throughout the week and it wasn't a hard decision to decide to present the first show from the heart of the festival - The Royal Mile.

We arrived at 8am this morning and the performers were already out in force promoting their acts. Our first challenge to overcome was carrying all of our equipment up The Royal Mile, dodging the crowds and squeezing past lamp posts - which I'm sure have grown almost as wide as the pavement due to the numerous layers of promotional posters that keep being placed on top of one another.


(Above: one of the many lamp posts that have tripled in size!)

Whilst I'm at the Festival I'll be armed with a camera shooting video of our guests and the performances we come across. I'll be taking photos as Richard tries to get through the streets in one piece - not because he's a wanted man after his 'ahem' stand up performance last year - but as he battles through the thousands of daily visitors (last year the Fringe sold 1.85 million tickets; there's another stat for you).

Tuesday will see us coming live from a pub garden and on Wednesday and Thursday Richard will be presenting the programme in front of a live audience as we set up shop at The Underbelly at the McEwan Hall.

Over the next four days you'll have the pleasure of hearing Ian Rankin, Richard E Grant, John Bishop, Rhod Gilbert, John Michie (who plays DI Robbie Ross in Taggart), Reginald D Hunter, Chris Addison and Alex Salmond to name a few. Plus we'll have live music from The Coral and numerous street and cabaret acts.

Don't forget to download the Daily Bacon podcast to listen back to our best interviews from the festival and to hear Richard's daily diary; plus some general "Bacon banter".

If that's not enough you can follow @bbc5live and @richardpbacon on twitter to get instant updates on our movements.

All the content I'll be producing will be available on the Richard Bacon programme page.

I'll leave you with this: it has been estimated that if you wanted to see every performance back to back at the Fringe it would take you 5 years, 11 months and 16 days. We've only got four days so we'd better get a move on.


  • Comment number 1.

    Yes we know Bacon is in Edinburgh. Did you know he tried stand up last year? It has hardly been mentioned.

    Yet another Twitter plug.

    I read that Christian O’Connell is to return to BBC Radio 5 Live for a week in September, covering Richard Bacon’s afternoon slot. Is Inverdale not available or does he not want to spend a week being told to read trivial texts out?

  • Comment number 2.

    Yes, Inverdale would be far superior.

    The Christian O'Connell mistake last year was short lived for good reason.

    I guess replacing one 'big personality' broadcaster with another shouldn't be surprising but I'd prefer Inverdale any day.

  • Comment number 3.

    I think that if there is so much talent, novelty and "the biggest names in comedy" why are the same people as last year being featured? Quite honestly Addison and Hunter already have quite large enough exposures on this station without any more programmes.

    There is a promising comedy play on Radio Four followed by a piece about stargazing during the Perseid Shower the other day.


  • Comment number 4.

    Was it appropriate while discussing the freeing of the Lockerbie bomber for Bacon to be doing a daily text in?

    “As a tribute to Sean Connery being eighty, text in films that octogenarians would like, film titles with a pun about the elderly.”

    So while interviewing Alex Salmon about Lockerbie he was reading contributions such as, “Nursing Home Alone”, “One wedding and four funerals”.

    Does he realise how he trivialises important issues? He is even worse with a live audience, just waiting for ‘Oh no he didn’t’ and ‘He’s behind you’.

    A highlight was John Bishop calling him patronising.

  • Comment number 5.

    Pleased to hear that last bit.
    I agree, it's the same for all of 5live. How can Peter Allen one minute be telling "why did the chicken cross the road?" jokes and the next doing an item on Afghanistan and expect to be taken seriously.
    Van Chaveren deserves congratulations on managing to single-handedly destroy a complete radio station.

  • Comment number 6.

    I have totally given up with this station after being a regular listener for many years.To be honest I am really fed up of hearing complete twaddle nearly every time I switch over to 5live.Just when you think it couldn't get any worse....it does.Too reach a level of broadcasting that is even lower than Talksport must be some achievement by anyones standards.In fact for a public service broadcast 5live is an absolute disgrace.

  • Comment number 7.

    Maybe you should text in: Apologise Richard. Seriously, Dom, I mean it. For once it would be a suitable text in for his programme. Although I do always want to send one about what has annoyed me this week, as it is usually him.

    I honestly have given up with most of it. I listened to Livesey and he gets better with funny and serious stuff. Those one liners from listeners were so funny I laughed out loud.

  • Comment number 8.

    This is absolutely hillarious.. and spot on. [Unsuitable/Broken URL removed by Moderator]

    Clearly we're not the only one that thinks the way we do!

  • Comment number 9.

    Oh dear the sensitiv BBC souls have removed the link above.

    Everyone should go to Youtube and search for "Radio Five Live Pitch" from username: db0db1

    It is so funny. Can't stop laughing. Spot on.

  • Comment number 10.

    Brilliant! That's a real stomach hurter.

  • Comment number 11.

    The BBC don't need to chase ratings. Don't have to screw commercial organisations who make money from sports rights, trivia and regurgitating tabloids - yet they ape them and then some. They could, if they wanted, employ all kinds of (really) talented people and explore less familiar ideas. But whilst we all chuck them money, the management are incompetetant and the BBC a second rate commissioning house: they'll take from the poor and redistibute it to their west London mates

  • Comment number 12.

    ryanw that's 'radio gold'

  • Comment number 13.

    5 Live Pitch/YouTube. Very funny ryanw. Should be copied to Bacon & Klav & wall and ...

  • Comment number 14.

    It's an absolute 'must see'! Do you think Bacon would get it? He probably won't ... thinks its a piece of praise for his ego ... sorry, professionalism as a broadcaster.

  • Comment number 15.

    Thanks for pointing me in the direction of the 5live youtube clip.It cheered me up no end.My only concern is that it is far, far worse than depicted.


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