Right said Fred... let’s have a laugh

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THE familiar voice of Fred MacAulay crackles over the phone from Majorca where the comedian is taking a well-deserved break after appearing – for the 23rd time, no less - at the hectic-as-ever Edinburgh Fringe.

He apologises in advance for anyone splashing into the pool (we’re briefly interrupted by a collapsing table tennis table) before ruminating on the success of his show.

“It was one of the best years yet,” he says. “Despite the weather, which was horrendous, there was just a fantastic atmosphere all around the city.”

“I just did a small run at the Fringe which I’m quite glad about because doing a full run in conjunction with my radio show, which I was committed to doing, would have been exhausting.

“But I was very pleased with how the show came together. I had about half an hour of material from doing the Glasgow Comedy Festival earlier in the year and the the other half just sort of fell into place.”

A profile as large as MacAulay’s opens up lots of doors and throws other opportunities his way. So what is it he enjoys doing best?

Priority

“I’ve always said this; stand-up is my priority, no question about it,” he says. “I love doing the radio as well. Each show is like a live gig, you get that same buzz from it.

“Television I’m not quite so comfortable with for a number of reasons - but I’ll always do stand-up.”

Talk turns to Fred’s upcoming appearance at the Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival in October where he will be performing his critically acclaimed new show, ‘Legally Bald’.

“I think the audience will be surprised with the subjects I pick – and the language. It’s not the sort I could use on radio. Well, I could but I wouldn’t last very long.”

It’s not the first time that MacAulay has played the Lang Toun. In fact it holds a very special memory for him.

“My first ever sell-out show was in Kirkcaldy back in 1995!” he says. “It wasn’t in the main hall at the Adam Smith but in a room upstairs which they had done up like a cabaret venue. It was great.”

Finally, I ask if smaller comedy festivals are still as important to him.

“Oh, absolutely,” he says. “You get a real groundswell of interest in comedy from a festival. These sorts of events are vital for up-and-coming comedians to cut their teeth in front of a live audience.

“There’s lots of good young Scottish comedians around at the moment as well like Susan Cameron, Frank Nelson, Mark Forbes and obviously Kevin Bridges is doing great.

“A festival is very different from a solo tour and I’m very much looking forward to it.”

“I’m doing a little run of gigs in September leading up to Kirkcaldy so hopefully I should be on form by then!”