Words: Claire Smith
What are your plans for the Edinburgh Fringe this year?
“My show is called Gyles Brandreth: Can’t Stop Talking!!! It was my wife’s idea. She seemed to think that was very funny.
Do you see yourself as a comic?
I realised that I have done a lot of different things. I’ve been an MP, a novelist, a presenter, I’ve been on Just a Minute and Goggle Box. So that gave me the idea that this is the only show in Edinburgh where the audience decides where the show is going.
So do you take requests?
I give them a menu. There are three courses and you can choose whatever you want. I could talk about royalty, theatre, politics.
But I’m going to have to do something about the pudding menu. Every audience so far has chosen ‘Rough Sex’. I put that in as a joke and I don’t know anything about it.
Do you enjoy letting the audience choose?
It keeps me on my toes. I quite enjoy the variety of it. The idea is it’s a lucky dip. A kind of A la carte Brandreth.
And you’re sure you won’t run out of steam?
I know I won’t run dry. I’m in the Guinness Book of Records for making the longest ever after dinner speech. It was twelve and a half hours.
How about time off. What do you enjoy most about Edinburgh?
My passion is literary history. You can walk through the streets of Edinburgh and think about Arthur Conan Doyle, Robert Lewis Stevenson. I think about people who have lived 100 years ago and who created Sherlock Holmes, Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Peter Pan.
I love the National Portrait Gallery so you’ll often find me there. And I enjoy having my own cathedral – St Giles.
Gyles Brandreth: Cant’ Stop Talking!!!
2nd – 27th August
Assembly George Square – Gordon Aikman Theatre