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Friday 26th August 2011

Today was pretty full on.
After a fun podcast with Phil Nichol and Markus Birdman I headed back to the flat. I was thinking of having a bit of a nap until my show. Then I saw a tweet about a radio show I was doing at 7.30pm, which I had assumed was not happening as I hadn't heard anything about it for a while. I got home to upload the podcast, but was worried to see the file was only 36 minutes long and even more worried when I heard it. It was speeded up to almost double speed and when I made some amateur attempts to slow it down it seemed to be full of tiny gaps in the middle of each word. I hoped I just had a corrupted copy and texted Chris at the Stand. I knew I wasn't going to get any sleep and by the time I had to leave for the radio show I was no nearer knowing whether the podcast would be saved.
I was very tired and knew that I had four more gigs to do today, the radio show, my own show and then Arthur Smith's pissed up chat show and then another late night gig at the Caves. Why had I taken all this on? Partly because I had forgotten about the radio show.
I was being interviewed for BBC Scotland by the author Christopher Brookmyre. It was for a series about comedians who write and was me talking about myself in front of an audience for an hour. You can imagine how difficult I found that. Christopher was a very modest and unassuming man, given his massive success as an author and though this was his first series as a presenter he was relaxed and assured and funny and it was a really enjoyable chat about the process of writing and the stuff I've done. It will be on the radio (and iPlayer) in September.
It totally woke me up too and so when I dashed across Bristo Square to get to my show I felt energised. The show started well, but there was some kind of disturbance about 10 minutes in. I thought that it was just some latecomers, but the audience seemed distracted and there was a lot of noise. And then someone from security was bounding back and forth up the stairs. Was there a fight? Or some other trouble? I had to stop and comment on it eventually and Sam, my show tech, came down to tell me that a woman was unwell in the audience.
"She's not dying I hope," I joked, before adding that "Of course if she is I am going to look pretty bad. I can see the newspaper headlines." The woman and her entire party left the theatre and I thanked them for their money as they went. Luckily I tred the right side of the line and they were apologetic. It almost derailed the whole show, but I managed to fight and get it back and it was a fine show. The lady in question was taken to hospital, but she was fine.
After this weird show I then had to rush back across the square and drink five alcoholic drinks in 15 minutes to appear on Arthur Smith's Pissed Up Chat Show. I was suitably drunk by the time I got on stage and indiscreet and verbose (I thought it was a bit off of Arthur to interrupt me as if I was being boring, when it was entirely his fault that I was in this state). It passed very quickly and I scored 26 on the breathalyser, which is high, but supposedly legal for driving (I can't believe it though as I had trouble walking afterwards). I had to sit down on a wall to recover after that.
I had an hour and a half to eat some food (there hadn't been time before) and get ready for my last gig at the Caves. It went well considering. But more importantly I got to see The Boy With Tape on His Face for the first time. I was utterly charmed by this mime based act, especially enjoying the audience participation which managed to get everyone involved without cajoling or humiliating them.
I was glad to get to bed though. It had been a tough day. And it seemed likely that there was no hope for the podcast. Which was a shame as I had already booked street performer Rumpel on the recommendation of Phil's crazy stories about him. I wasn't entirely sure (even after speaking to Rumpel on the phone - especially after speaking to him) that he was for real, but was a bit sad that it looked likely that the audience at home would not get to hear the stories that had prompted his booking. But the Edinburgh Fringe is wild and wonderful and I thought I might get away with it.
After getting through today I think I can get through anything.

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