Whether it's toffs in Bordeaux or bums at King's Cross, everyone loves a rich claret. To preview his corking new show, James Dowdeswell brings us the reasons why we should all be quaffing on wine

Every wine is individual A Big Mai, or Starbucks tastes the same e‘xerywtiere but .‘.’l.'l(t has an infinite variety of tastes and smells The range is :_ibso!iitely phenomenal You don't have to spe"’l a fortune. You can buy a good value Chilean red in your local supermarket. My current favourite is Cono Stir, Pinot Noir for S 739‘). Thy it: you might like ll.

Wine is decadent and romantic When Johnny [Depp was courting Kate Moss, it was rumoured he filled a hotel bathtub Wllll expensive Champagne. While he popped down to reception to meet tier, the maid walt/ed into the room. dipped her hand in the bathtub. felt it was cold and drained the lot. I wonder what Pete Doherty would have filled a bathtub With?

Wine adds a touch of glamour to any situation After a gig With my friend Russell. we hopped into his infamous hot tub. Imagine that: two pale. pasty blokes in a paddock, lolling in a bathtub of tepid water. But, add a bottle of sparkling Wine and bingo, we're high—rolling players liViiig the dream. The only thing missing was bikini-clad lay» deez. Perhaps they'd got lost. or maybe the dogs got them.

Wine improves with age The reason Wine is made mostly from grapes and not any other fruit is because grapes keep longer. The late great Mitch Hedberg had a lovely line: 'I saw a Wino With a bunch of grapes. I said: "No dude. yOu have to wait".' I love the concept of laying down Wine. It appeals to my natural sense of hoarding. There's something magical about drinking a wine on your 18th birthday that's the same age as you.

Cult films Sideways and Withnail & I l defy you not to be thirsty after watching these two mowes. Both contain classm lines. Miles. from Sideways. announces: “I'm not drinking the Merlot!” then later downs an entire spittoon. Withnail has too numerous to mention. My favourite is yelled belligerently in a quaint patisserie: 'I want the finest Wines available to humanity. I want them here and I want them now!‘

James Dowdeswell, Baby Be/ly. 0 ‘70 745 3083. 4—26 Aug (not 73;, 7050/77. $850—$950 (£7.50—L‘850). Prewews 2 8. 3 Aug. 95.




tist don‘t mention Red Dwarf Actually. it's not a problem. mainly because Hattie Hayridge is such a laid-back character. A more uptight comedian might bridle at the mention of the cult sci-fi comedy series for which they're most famous. and which has overshadowed their career to date. but Hayridge

just shrugs it off with a smile. ‘I never talk

about it in my stand-up. but I would if someone asked.' she says. ‘I keep any Red Diva/jf'talk for conventions. which all of the cast still go to. The crowds there are a decent bunch of people. for sci-ti fans. and because it‘s comedy. they‘re not too fussed about what happened when you went into that black hole and spiralled backwards into a parallel universe. They’re generally a down-to-earth lot. or whatever the space equivalent of that is.‘

Hayridge had a handful of early successes in her comedy career. a way of life. she maintains. that she fell into by accident. “I was a secretary and went to a comedy club where they had an open mic slot. 1 had a few Southern Comforts. got up and started moaning about being a secretary. Someone gave me a gig from that. which panicked me.’ Within a year. Hayridge had appeared on Friday .«Vi'gh! Live. performed at the Montreal Comedy Festival and landed the

Being a cult figure in a beloved sci-fi sitcom hasn't harmed Hattie Hayridge's career. Doug Johnstone catches up with her

part of ships computer Holly in Rm! Dwarf/L ‘But my career has evened out very much since then.’ she deadpans.

Hayridge may seem like a familiar face around the Fringe. but she hasn‘t performed a full stand-up show here for eight years. Why the long absence? For one thing. she‘s been working on a film script. which has taken an interminably long time. and is still getting passed around production companies. Apart from that. like a tine wine. she‘s been waiting for herself to mature. ‘My style's always been a bit dizzy hasn't it'.” she says. ‘Not on purpose. that's just the way it is. I’ve been waiting for myself to develop a more grown-up style of comedy. but I don't think that's happened.‘

So. we shouldn‘t expect a brand new Hattie Hayridge. eschewing the gentle ramble to rant and rave against the madness of the modern world. then‘.’ ‘I do rant when i write materialf she says quietly. ‘But I have this habit of starting off with four pages of rant. and condensing it all down into a one-Iiner.‘

Hattie Hayridge, Underbelly, 0870 745 3083, 4-26 Aug (not 14), 7.55pm, £9.50—£10.50 (52850-52950). Previews 2 8: 3 Aug.