Edinburgh Festival: Side View: Diary

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Friday Arrive in Edinburgh with my Yamaha keyboard and a holdall containing 16 cans of 'Lucozade Sport' - one for each performance of my show. It's isotonic, you see: kinder on the environment - which is what my show's all about. And saving the rainforests, although, as I always point out, the natives must require some open spaces for steam fairs, ball games etc.

Saturday On my morning stroll I pass the Gilded Balloon theatre - situated in one of the dingier parts of town - and am impressed to see so many fellow early-risers. However, I sense they're not used to it, as most of them look as if they've been up all night. Stroll to Ali's Cave, where I purchase four dusters for 99p - they've gone up - and a talking parrot for pounds 13.99. After a splendid fish-and-chip supper I compose a lyric which would work equally well in a service mess or at a beach party: In Edinburgh they have salt and sauce / in Sheffield, salt and vinegar. / My voice is getting a teeny bit hoarse / And Mary - I am missing her.

Sunday The only funny show I've so far encountered is the one performed under a viaduct with no proper seating. It stars a bloke dressed as a traditional tramp with blackened-out teeth and a dirty face. There is no plot to speak of but his drunken demeanour - correctly achieved by pivoting on one leg and waggling his head slightly - is brilliantly observed. Indeed, his bawdy gestures have the audience in stitches. Well, me - I'm the only one watching for any length of time. Everyone else keeps leaving, which is a bit rude.

Tuesday Tell outrageously blue comedienne Jenny Eclair - with whom I am sharing a dressing- room - that she's naughty to let her lovely bouquets wilt and die in the cellophane. If she doesn't want them she should divide them equally between the city's hospitals. She lets out a huge guffaw - showering me with spittle and cigarette ash. Then she punches me playfully in the tummy, winding me slightly. Write a song about the incident called 'The Vicious Lady' which I might present to her - but on a tape with normal bias I think, no Dolby.

(Photograph omitted)

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