Back at the Edinburgh Fringe for a third year – News Block

The Edinburgh Fringe has been very much on my mind this week, with Joanna Cherry MP’s victory over comedy venue The Stand having her show banned and having to do a reverse ferret after receiving legal advice that they were breaking anti-discrimination laws. She had not been invited because several of her staff did not like her views on self-identification and gender recognition. She kindly pointed out that she is an elected MP for the City of Edinburgh and that she had every right to be able to articulate her views on the subject. If she had been banned because she’s lesbian or Catholic, that would be a clear case of discrimination, so why not when the views she holds are perfectly conventional, and in fact are held by many trans people? She had already decided that if The Stand held her position, I would add her to my guest list at this year’s Fringe, but I thought it was best to let everything play out first.

This is my third year doing shows on The Fringe. I love it, and when I look back on all the things I’ve done in my life, when I’m at the East Worthing Nursing Home for Dribbling Broadcasters, performing at the Fringe will be far superior.

I’m doing 13 All Talk events and 5 For the Many Lives with Jacqui Smith, and our guest list is almost complete. Only two spaces to fill. This weekend I confirmed Mick Lynch and an All Talk on the art of the political diary with Sasha Swire and Chris Mullin. I have also reserved a very important name, but we will not reveal it yet until the tickets can go on sale.

One thing I’ve learned in the last two Edinburgh races is that it’s the politicians people really want to see in the flesh, so there are fewer non-politicians on the show this year. It is very difficult to find a true balance when drawing up the itinerary. Center-right politicians are less willing to give up a day in August to travel north. This year I have quite a few SNP politicians. There are also fewer women that I would have liked but in the end you can’t force people to say yes! I’m sure we’ll have a lot of shows that sell out completely. I suspect that Penny Mordaunt’s will be one of them, as a quarter of the 300 tickets are already sold out. Of course, the advantage in the place is that we can always change to a larger room if necessary.

Tickets for most of the shows are on sale now, with the others expected to be uploaded to the Pleasance website this week.

Here is the schedule…


August 5th 1:00 PM EVERYONE TALKS to Jeremy Corbyn and Len McCluskey

August 5 EVERYTHING TALKS with mick lynch (Not for sale yet)

August 6 1:00 PM EVERYONE TALKS to penny mordaunt

August 7 at 4:00 p.m. Sasha Swire and Chris Mullin (Tickets not yet on sale)

August 7 1:00 PM EVERYONE TALKS to Wes Streeting

August 7th 4pm EVERYONE TALKS to Harriet Harmann

August 8 1:00 PM EVERYONE TALKS to Alex Salmond and David Davis

August 8 EVERYTHING TALKS with Peter Hitchens and Polly Toynbee

August 9 16:00 FOR THE MANY with Peter Tatchell

August 10 FOR THE MANY with Mark Drakeford MS

August 11 16:00 FOR MANY Kate Forbes MSP

August 12 16:00 FOR THE MANY with Mr Ed Davey MP

August 13 1:00 PM EVERYONE TALKS to Sir John Curtice and Brian Taylor

August 13 16:00 FOR THE MANY with Ian Blackford MP

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