BREAKING NEWS: Comedy festival is back on says organiser

Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh ;'Showcase of possible acts at Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival ; Organiser Bob Carruthers'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh ;'Showcase of possible acts at Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival ; Organiser Bob Carruthers'Photo ; WALTER NEILSON
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PLANS to stage a comedy and curry night as part of Kirkcaldy Comedy Festival are back ON.

Bob Carruthers, the man behind the 2012 festival, has said the sold out event will go ahead as planned at Annapurna Gurkha Restaurant on Thursday (October 18).

And he confirmed Bob Doolally’s show at Betty Nicol’s on Saturday is also back on.

Mr Carruthers is also speaking to agents with a view to restoring several of his headline acts - and he has taken control again of Kreative Destiny Ltd, the company which was handed the contract to deliver the 2012 festival.

The moves come just days after Kirkcaldy4All announced the comedy festival had been scrapped.

On Friday it said Kreative Destiny couldn’t deliver what was left of the programme which was scheduled to include gigs featuring headliners Brian Blessed, Josie Long, Patrick Monahan and Henning Wehn.

The BID organisation said it would honour last weekend’s shows, but that everything scheduled thereafter was postponed.

The announcement it was off angered Mr Carruthers who contacted the Press today to say he was back at the helm.

He set up Kreative Destiny Limited in summer but resigned as sole director in August, with Warwickshire based Claire Gambold taking over.

He says he has now put in motion the process which will see him back at the helm - and he is determined to salvage what he can from the festival.

This afternoon (Monday) he said the curry and comedy night was on - and would go ahead.

‘‘It is sold out and it will definitely happen,’’ he said.

Mr Carruthers said he was also speaking to agents and venues to try to put the shows back on.

‘‘If we cannot put a show back on, people will get a refund or an alternative show,’’ he said. ‘‘Nobody will be left holding a ticket that they can’t get a refund for.’’

The festival’s website remains down, and plans to sell tickets locally had yet to be re-established at the time of writing.

‘‘The announcement on Friday caught us all by surprise, and I am only now getting round to sorting it out,’’ continued Mr Carruthers. ‘‘I am dealing with it and will do what it takes to sort it out.

‘‘It’s my mess and I will sort it out. I have started the process to take over Kreative Destiny and Claire has resigned. She isn’t from Kirkcaldy and was doing this to help me - she did a lot of the admin and set up bank accounts and this is the reward she gets. It doesn’t reflect well on Kirkcaldy.

‘‘Kreative Destiny was funded by Fife Council and Kirkcaldy4All to organise events like this and Hogmanay as a social enterprise. It was never Bob Carruthers’ company. I set it up and then resigned as a director with a view to appointing a local MD to pick up the ball and run with it. I didn’t leave the company and I was authorised to organise events on its behalf.’

He said any question marks over its social enterprise status were ‘‘outrageous’’ and ‘‘completely untrue’’ adding: ‘‘It is formally established. It is a social enterprise company.’’

On the festival he added: ‘‘Everything we were supposed to deliver we have delivered. We have been working on this since July when they (Kirkcaldy4All) were let down. We picked it up and put together a brilliant festival. I have done everything they asked of me.

‘‘I have an extended festival done at short notice, and it is just outrageous the way I have been treated.’’

>> Full report and much more background on Kirkcald’s troubled comedy festival in this week’s Fife Free Press.