front of house


Kicking off The List's Festival coverage in style, comic iiberlord DAVID BADDIEL slips into our guest columnist seat.

David Baddiel

‘ABOUT SIX MONTHS ago. I was asked by a journalist why there were no Scottish dates on my recent stand-up tour. 1 could have told him the truth that l was leaving Scotland out of the first block of dates to allow room to do both this Festival and the Aberdeen Alternative Festival but instead went. for the gag. and told him I was terrified of being beaten up in Scotland because of ‘Three Lions‘.

‘Cut to the present day. and my clippings file contains reams and reams of Scottish newspaper headings along the lines of “Baddiel: Scared“ and “Comic Dave Has To Summon Up Scots Courage“. An object lesson in giving press interviews: never go for the gag. I believe a Scottish broadshect is leading next week with “The Wee Jewish Ponce. He’s Bottling!"

'Not that I‘m not slightly trepidatious. The night Andreas Muller scored the penalty that knocked England out of Euro‘M. an anonymous caller rang mine and Frank‘s

answerphone. and just sung the whole of

"l‘hree Lions‘ down the line in what I‘m afraid I can only call a sarcastic tone of voice. Well. l tell a lie: I can only describe it as a Scots sarcastic tone of voice.

‘Also. for weeks afterwards. we received. at our home address. a series of postcards written. apparently. by one Andy Nithiller. and containing such humane and comforting

'After England was knocked out of Eur096 we received postcards containing lines like "Here’s to another 30 years of hurt!". Sol sense that perhaps there is a certain resentment north of the border.’ David Baddiel

lines as “Here‘s to another 3() years of hurt?" So I sense that perhaps there is a certain resentment north of the border.

‘llaving said that. the first time "l‘hree Lions‘ was sung by the \Vetnbley crowd in tam-mm was actually after Scotland lost to lingland. Soon afterwards. I was standing around outside the stadium. when suddenly I saw coming towards me three topless blokes

David Baddiel: not bottling it at all, actually

in tartan face-paint. If you really pinned me down to what I was thinking at that moment i would have to tell you it was just one word: .r/Iil.

‘l was just starting desperately to look around for a security man i think my head movement resembled Linda Blair‘s in The Exorcist when one of the blokes put his hand on my shoulder and said: “Dave. l hate to admit it. but it's a great fuckin' song.” hoping it’s that kind of guy rather than the Andy McMullcr kind who'll be buying tickets for my show.

‘So I've come back to iidinburgh for the first time in five years. I‘ve been drawn here: the fact remains that it's the most important festival of its kind in the world. artistically unchallenged in its representation of the vast spectrum of the performing arts. Also. no one calls me a poof.‘

David Baddiel (Fringe) Palladium (Venue 26), Edinburgh, 0131 557 2100, 15—23 Aug, 9pm, £10 (£8).

8 H Ant] NW THE UST13

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