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Friday 1st August 2014

Monthly weigh in - 81.5kg. That’s down 0.9kg on last month and 13.9kg on the year. I had hoped the personal training might help me dip below 80kg, but I think it changed my shape more than my weight. And I am hopeful that I might achieve that milestone by the end of the month. I am walking for about three hours a day up here. The walk to the gym and back alone takes an hour, which means I don’t have to do that much while I am there. People are starting to tell me that I shouldn’t lose any more weight, which suggests that my quest to prove the BMI system is a crock of shit is working. Though I have to say there is still a fair amount of chub to lose from my belly. I will push onwards. Edinburgh might prove to be an effective weight loss tool than the Men’s Health Abs Challenge.
This morning I was very tired, but had to get out of bed to go and record an interview with Sky News on the Royal Mile. I had done the same interview last year and the ear piece had not been working so I couldn’t really hear a word the interviewer was asking. This year the same thing happened again. It was a pre record but it was still a struggle to work out what was being asked and extraneous music also suddenly appeared from nowhere and distracted me. The interviewer told me that my show was about organised religion and I had to tell her that it wasn’t and then a red-face old man noticed me talking to camera and came and stood right next to me, watching me speak. Not close enough to be on camera himself, but close enough to be a disturbing and ominous presence out of the corner of my eye. Perhaps I should have grabbed him and let him talk to the people in London. It couldn’t have been any worse than the conversation we were having. He was certainly very keen to ramble at me once I had finished, ironically enough about the time he worked in a bar and had had to listen to his customers prattling on with their problems as he pretended to listen. I extricated myself from the situation and walked wearily to the gym.
I was late on my deadline for the Metro article and for the first time in ages couldn’t think of anything at all to write about. I had planned to see the play, but in the end I didn’t have time, managing to settle on the subject of the Tempting Tattie for my piece. I enjoy the fact that people in all the major cities of this country will have to read about a fast food shop they are unlikely ever to visit. But it’s an important place to me. In fact if I can finally get the cheese and mango chutney potato named after me I think my work at the Fringe will be finally done. I haven’t won awards or a guaranteed audience, but at least I would have that.
I did some shopping, including heading to Fopp because I’d heard they were selling Fist of Fun DVDs for £3, which is a lot less than they cost me. Alas after a long search they only had one copy in stock. And I had the J R Hartley moment of handing the DVD to the woman on the cash desk and hoping that she didn’t recognise me as one of the people on the cover of the box. 
I went home for dinner but then had to walk back to where I’d been to do an 8 minute spot at a charity gig at the Playhouse. It was a mixed bill including comics like Andrew Maxwell and Jimeoin, but also acrobats, bands and Russell Grant doing some dancing. I also saw Burt Bacarach’s name on one dressing room door, but I don’t know if he was on the bill (but if he was he could have written a song rhyming himself with the acrobats). I was worried that the mainly local crowd wouldn’t know who I was. They seemed excited when they heard the next act had been to the Fringe for 23 years and then seemed palpably confused when my name was read out. But I did my filthier material and they seemed to enjoy it, one woman even chipping in to let the 3000 strong audience know that she was a maid in the parlour, a cook in the kitchen and a whore in the bedroom. I coped with the interruption and we had some fun. I was also amused to see that Colin who you’ll remember from the RHEFP podcasts was sat right in the centre of the front row. Even in a theatre this size he uses his shamanic powers to get the prime seat.
Then it was back up the hill to do my own show, with a smaller audience than I’d just played to, but bigger than I’ve had for the first two nights, with around about 200 in. And it was a really fun show, which whizzed along. I’d been worried that Friday and Saturday late night crowds might be drunk and unable to concentrate, but they were really first rate. It’s a physical show and I felt a bit trippy at points thanks to being tired and made a few annoying errors, but also ad-libbed some good stuff too. The show feels very strong already, which bamboozles me a bit given how much time I had to spend on the play. But it’s very reassuring to have a good show. Hopefully reviews and word of mouth can do the rest. Despite the lack of a theme it feels like a proper Fringe show, with a beginning, a middle and an end and then some nice surprises that all seem to hit. It even makes people laugh once it is finished, which is quite an achievement.
We’re not out of the woods yet and I don’t think the audience for the play was anywhere near at this level, but signs are hopeful that the work might pay off.

The winner of this month's monthly draw winner, who gets my rehearsal script for "I Killed Rasputin" is John Stringer from Australia. To be in a chance of winning fab prizes like this one every single month, just donate a pound or more a month here.

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My new stand up show, Lord of the Dance Settee will be touring from October 2014 to May 2015 All details here.
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