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O P I N I O N IAIN STIRLING M y name is Iain Stirling and Edinburgh Local lad Stirling talks deep fried snickers & panda pops

means one thing to me.  Edinburgh is where I grew up. I went to school and university here, and I spend a month every year here for the festival. 

At 14, Edinburgh was where I used to go to the chip shop in Moredun and buy my deep fried snickers and chips, a feast ambitiously entitled ‘the school lunch meal deal’. If you were sound Pablo (who worked there) would chuck in a free Panda pop, he was good like that. At 16, Edinburgh was where Stacey Mitchell dumped me via MSN Messenger. She did use the ‘sad face’ icon with a tear drop which went someway to softening the blow. It came as a real surprise: our i rst date to my favorite bus stop had been a resounding success. At 20, Edinburgh was where I waved my Mum and Dad goodbye, got on a train and started my new life in London as a stand-up comedian. I love Edinburgh and I love the people. The people of Edinburgh’s ability to use foul language in casual conversation is something of a marvel. An Edinburger’s idea of a joke is to simply state the thing, with a swear word in the sentence. For example I was on the bus recently (the 37 if you’re interested) and a pigeon got on the bus. I know! A pigeon. Already visually hilarious. You can only dare to imagine the

plethora of pithy one liners ne liners such a at your disposal in such a were he situation. ‘I wonder were he ut this is keeps his ticket?’ But this is of a bit Edinburgh. Instead of a bit rd play of light hearted word play stood one solitary man, stood at and up, cleared his throat and ‘it’s a proclaimed simply: ‘it’s a f**king pigeon’.

There are of loads of could specii c places I could Bar, mention. The Stable Bar, b up my local, a great pub up ravan by Mortonhall Caravan at ales Park. Open i re, great ales ears a and the landlord wears a angs, the (not ironically) or Tangs, the Candlemaker Row.

bow bow tie tie sushi place on sushi place on

Edinburgh is an intangible But mostly my Edinburgh is an intangible A city full of seemingly sense of belonging. A city full of seemingly deniably pivotal moments and unremarkable yet undeniably pivotal moments and and memories that make my memories. Moments and memories that make my today. Home. Edinburgh what it is today. Home. Iain Stirling: At Home, Pleasance, 556 6550, me, Pleasance, 556 6550, until 25 Aug, 7.30pm, £8.50–£10 (£7–£9). m, £8.50–£10 (£7–£9).


‘Did you know I actually own sueperkins.

com?’ ‘Not

squatting, I bought it for her as a gift.’ Overheard in the Mosque Kitchen


First time I came to


was… As a teenager in the late 80s. My Dad had brought

me to Edinburgh to experience the Fringe. I really wanted to go and see comedy but my Dad had other ideas. We ended up seeing a really heavy play about Thomas Becket, it was dull as dishwater and I vowed to come back and see what I wanted to see.

I come back because . . . I always feel like I have become a better comedian over the course of the month. I gig every day when I’m here, sometimes two or three different things

in a day and it really stretches you as a performer.

Edinburgh’s unique selling point is . . . It’s backdrop look at it: it truly is a beautiful city. The festival can be quite a challenge and on those days when I am perhaps having a bit of a blip I will go and walk around the city and just take it all in. Staring at old buildings can be quite grounding.

My favourite place to eat is . . . The Witchery on the Royal Mile. It’s a bit pricey but it has become my end of festival treat. After a month of eating badly at all hours I book a table for after my last show and have a mini blow out. Steak tartare topped off with a raw quails egg is usually involved in the proceedings.

I am likely to be found . . . Running around Holyrood Park. I am doing a half marathon in September, so I will have to train while I am here. I kind of booked it in deliberately to try and keep me on the straight and narrow while I’m here and running is a great escape from all things comedy.

I am least likely to be found . . . On the Royal Mile, in the afternoon, i ghting my way through all the l yerers. I have really bad coordination in crowds and I end up just bouncing from one person to the next like a l y trapped behind a pane of glass.

Zoe Lyons: Pop Up Comic, until 25 Aug, The Assembly Rooms, 0844 693 3008, 5pm, £10 (£9).

15–26 Aug 2013 THE LIST FESTIVAL 9