Idea for hilarious article. Get a handful of comedians, stick

them in Black Bo's bar and start taping. Seems easy? The List finds otherwise as we enter a world of plant reviewers,

g ' touring with Yazoo and Neville Chamberlain.

laughsrwt and Douglas Hurd

The List Do you care about reviews?

Mark Maier Yeah I do care, but I probably shouldn’t. Ross Noble If they gIve me frve stars they’re a genrus, If they grve me one star they're an rdrot, It’s that srmple. I got a one-star revrew In The Guard/"an, and basrcally the revrewer went: 'I almost thrnk I could do thrs rubbrsh myself’.

Tim FitzHigham | read that, It was unbelrevable.

RN You’ve got 250 people s‘IttIng there pISSIng themselves laughrng, and somebody’s srttrng there gomg, ’I can do thrs’, and you Just thrnk, ’oh aye’. Arnold Brown I’m Interested In revrews and I’m Interested rn gettrng attentron, but It’s only one person’s oprnron and they’re erther In empathy wrth you or they’re not.

Lynn Ferguson I thrnk the revrewers are as varred as the performers, some people are good at revrewrng and some people are Just annoyrng.

AB What Ross rs sayrng rs good because If a crowd of people lrke you and are laughrng, even If the revrewer doesn’t lrke you, he should mentron that,

otherwrse It’s duperrtous, decertful and unfarr. Mrnd you, you don’t advance In Journalism by berng farr.

RN Thrs Guard/an revrew, the guy obvrously came In and thought, ’rrght, I’m Just gorng to strtch hrm up’. James Cary We had one revrew In The Evening News whrch used the phrase ’well trodden’ and our show rs about the drscovery of gravrty and Isaac Newton. You can say rt’s pretentrous bollocks If you want, but you can’t call rt hackneyed. I mean, drd they even watch the show?

AB Maybe the revrewer should have therr qualrfrcatrons after therr name lrke ’Frrst Trrne In Frrnge’ or ’Gardenrng Correspondent’.

RN The thrng Is It's not lrke gardenrng where If you’re revrewrng a plant, say, rt stays the same. Wrth stand- Irp rt’s a constantly changrng thrng, rt never stops. Patrick McDonnell But plants are the same as that, they never stop changrng, then you prune them, then they grow agarn.

RN And that’s why I feel so strongly about plant revrewrng. I was merely using that as a

conversatronal stepprng stone.

MM A very good frrend of mrne who’s an asprdrstra has been workrng very hard on hrs leaves and hrs colour and every year he gets dreadful revrews.

AB You could say the crrtrcs are the pestrcrdes.

LF Some of them are very good, some of them are crap.

TF ere fertrlrser.

MM But If you say they’re shrt that means they’re really good.

PM We had a revrewer who got the name of the show wrong, got our names wrong and got the gags wrong. She left before the end and sard she hated our fInale. BItch.

LF We should do a Best of the Fest for revrewers. They could all stand up and do the best lrne from the revrews they've done that Feshval

AB That’s not a bad Idea.

RN Or, If they want to do a bad revrew they should be forced, as soon as the show rs frnrshed, to come on stage whrle the audrence rs strll clapprng and try and convrnce them why It wasn’t a good show.

The List ITryrng unsubtly to

change the SUbJGCi.) What do you thrnk of the Perrrer Awards?

LF There rs a brg problem wrth awards, I thrnk. There used to be a thrng where you came to the Festrval and the pornt was to try and stretch yourself and do thrngs you hadn’t done before, be more creatrve. Because of the awards system, that rs begrnnrng to change, cos the more rrsks you take, the more you’re open to berng slammed. Also, you can be damn sure as soon as someone’s won a Perrrer, then the next year they’ll get shat on.

A8 I won the Perrrer Award In I987 when It wasn’t so commercralrsed and we had no management. If we came up now we’d have no chance, It was Just a maverrck thing. It’s a drfferent Industry now from when I was a lad, It was all overcrowded dressrng rooms and seven comedrans to the one Joke, I remember rt well. There's a lot of aggressrve management now.

MM What puts me off Is a company who shall remarn nameless Avalon who are all puffa Jackets, names across the back and walkre- talkres. It’s almost lrke a

"(i gangster movre. 5.1 LF It's a really dIffIcult thrng I="\ to not be Influenced by (the 3‘ Perrrer Awards) and that’s why It’s so dangerous. All of us here are gorng uurrrghghh about It (makes face like bul/dog chewing a wasp), but If they went, 'have thrs award for absolutely no reason,’ we'd go, ’thanks,’ and that’s the problem, the temptatron to run a race rnstead of berng creatrve. AB Maybe we should have a drfferent kInd of arbIter, a creatrve award where comedrans mrght choose who wrns. }

From left to right: Lynn Ferguson, Patrick McDonnell, Mark Maier and Arnold Brown