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The Comedy Zone at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

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Alan Braidwood Alan Braidwood | 11:45 UK time, Monday, 9 August 2010

Iain Hoare who is part of the Zones team at BBC Radio Scotland sent me an update about the Comedy Zone at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and what we can look forward to hearing:

The Fringe programme lists a whopping 877 comedy shows. With this much on offer it can be hard to decide what to see. If you're planning a trip to Edinburgh, but don't have time to leaf through the listings, the Comedy Zone is here to help. We're bringing you our pick of the best new acts and festival favourites. And for those of you not planning a visit, we'll capture all the energy and excitement for you.


Shappi Khorsandi, Edinburgh, August 2010

We arrived in Edinburgh last Monday, when we were joined in the studio by a double bill of double acts. First up, Mackenzie and McGuire, who've been dubbed the "French and Saunders of the Facebook generation". Listen to find out why, and to hear they're hilarious - and uncomfortably close - parody of a radio station. The Wireless Theatre Company generously provided a clip of their show, Radio Hoohah.

Toulson and Harvey were next up. Straight off the train from London, the boys arrived with their backpacks on. It's a reunion show for this 'Hackney Empire New Act of the Year' winning and 'Perrier Best Newcomer' nominated double act. Listen to discover why they fell out, and why after three years of feuding they've decided to bury the hatchet.

On Tuesday, five-piece improvisation troop The Noise Next Door filled our small studio to capacity. These young guys, in their early twenties, count Harry Hill amongst their fans. Off the cuff, they composed a new and highly infectious jingle for the Comedy Zone. Stuart Goldsmith then joined us. A street performer turned stand-up, Stuart juggles jokes with expert timing. 'The Noise Next Door' and Stuart Goldsmith interviews will be included in the next edition of Comedy Zone.

On Wednesday, we welcomed stalwart of BBC Radio 4 comedy Simon Evans into the studio. Listen to discover how Simon went from writing confessional erotic fiction to penning gags for Lee Mack and Sean Lock. And discover how one of Simon's jokes lost Kelly Brook her job on Channel 4's The Big Breakfast.

On Thursday morning, we recorded with this week's guest presenter, Nick Mohammed. Coming off the high of his opening night, Nick gave a lively and entertaining interview. Listen to discover how the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy, offended Nick at last year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

As Nick left the building, Jon Richardson arrived. Uncharacteristically chipper, Jon was excited to be back in the Comedy Zone. Listen to hear Jon unleash his dislike, distrust, disgust and contempt of the human species. Last but not least, and also making a return visit to the Comedy Zone, was Shappi Khorsandi. Listen to find out how Shappi plans to turn her son into the next Charlie Chaplin.

All this, plus classic archive clips from Fred MacAulay's live Fringe shows are available to listen online now. The entire Zone is divided into sections to help you find exactly what you want to listen to.

The Comedy Zone is online now.


  • Comment number 1.

    All the interviews are produced in an identical fashion, and bundling the shows into a gigantic "comedy zone" is really painful.
    You learn a little bit about a comedian, and hear a massive amount of... fifteen seconds of... the same part of the same song.
    Normally a fairly catch song, which will wear thing realllly quickly.
    Try a jingle, or a theme for the show - something that can loop and not grate painfully with the listener.
    Something which can even be in the background for the whole show. Or better yet, a couple of tracks. Anything!
    This is reallllly painful radio. Because you are cringing, because you know what is waiting for you.

    I really don't hate the person producing this, in fact I love the show, but I figured a bit of feedback isn't a bad thing.




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