They say there's no such thing as a free plug and today, on a mini golf course at an out-of-town shopping centre, Janey Godley, Fred MacAulay, Des Clarke and Julia Sutherland are working hard for their money ahead of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival.
The banter, thankfully, is better than the golf. "Golfer, gangster or ned?" asks MacAuley as he arranges his cap. "Ha,ha, you look like a dick," says Godley, pointing to Clarke's tartan breeks. "He does," Sutherland confirms.
A motion-activated mechanical macaw screeches in the background as monkey noises echo around the course. All four peer through green plastic topiary. "Des, get your bush out my eye," chides Godley. "Sorry Janey," he replies.
MacAulay sighs happily. "Ah, it reminds me of my days in the SAS," he says.
"There are worse ways to spend an afternoon," muses Sutherland. "Although I'm not sure what they are."
Godley shrugs. "We could all be clamming shells in a clappy doo shop," she says.
"I'm still doing glaikit," interjects MacAulay, posturing like an aspiring Tyra Banks. "What you all doing?"
"Glaikit," comes the reply in unison.
A lot of graphic chat about varicose veins, in particular the one on MacAulay's left leg, follows – much of which I've subsequently blocked from memory.
Why golf? Well, simply because we thought it would be funny. Besides, we couldn't afford the public liability insurance to do wing walking or alligator wrestling.
Describe your show for this year's comedy festival in five words
Janey Godley: "Provocative, funny, interesting, challenging and endearing."
Julia Sutherland: "Outrageous, funny stories – all true."
Des Clarke: "Sweaty and energetic life observations."
Fred MacAulay: "Innovative, unrestrained, same old material."
When I think of golf I -
Godley: "Feel like really smacking balls."
Sutherland: "Start to drift off. It's as exciting a spectator sport as watching someone doing the weeding, isn't it? Give me tennis any day."
MacAulay: "Think it must be Wednesday."
Clarke: "Picture tartan trousers. So far it's living up to the dreams I've had watching the pro-ams with Brucie Forsyth, Terry Wogan and Ronnie Corbett."
When were you last in the doghouse and why?
Godley: "For accidently hoovering my husband's toenail off."
Sutherland: "I haven't been in the doghouse recently but I have been in the Cathouse, which is possibly more shameful. My husband is generally very understanding of my job, but the Edinburgh Festival usually stretches his patience."
MacAulay: "I forgot my wife's birthday. I phoned her up to wish her happy birthday and she asked: 'When did you remember?' I had to admit it was when my daughter reminded me."
Clarke: "I did a gig on Valentine's Day because I believed I'd had a conversation with my girlfriend where we agreed it was all commercial nonsense. Apparently I was wrong. I redeemed myself by taking her out two days later."
What's your proudest moment or biggest achievement?
Sutherland: "You're supposed to say your child, aren't you?"
Godley: "That's not an achievement, anyone can have a child."
Sutherland: "Although managing to keep him alive for five years is an achievement."
Godley: "True. My greatest achievement is being able to do stand-up in the face of adversity. And have Billy Connolly come to my show, sit through an hour of it and tell me afterwards I'm a f****** great comedian."
Sutherland: "Every time I face a new challenge and get through it without making too much of an arse of myself. I certainly get the most praise from others for shedding six stone, which is a source of much of my comedy. Personally I think raising my son to be a kind and thoughtful boy beats that. I'm proud of him, definitely."
Clarke: "Carrying the Olympic torch through the streets of Glasgow."
MacAulay: "It's difficult to choose. There's a whole list of goals I set myself way back: to date I've probably done half a round of golf's worth."
When was your last weary morning after a wild night?
Godley: "I don't drink so my wild nights are limited. I was in a club the other week, stood on a table to help fix a heater and almost fell on someone quite famous. My wildest night recently was with my pal Monica where music was played loudly and there was some quite suspicious eighties dance moves going on."
Sutherland: "The last one involved dancing in a gay club until 3am then drinking whisky in someone's kitchen until dawn. I got 45 minutes' sleep and then had to fake being a responsible human being for the whole of the next day. My head aches just thinking about it."
Clarke: "I get up at 4.30am to do breakfast radio so I don't tend to have wild nights that often."
MacAulay: "I don't drink on school nights."
Clarke: "So, you are clearly talking to two of the most boring men in Scotland."
MacAulay: "I haven't been hammered in probably three months."
Clarke: "I rarely drink alcohol. I stopped three or four years ago. I'm not teetotal, but I can't remember the last time I had a drink."
How would you sum up your style on the golf course?
Godley: "I'm going to sweep through every hole – just like I've done in my life."
Sutherland: "I'm probably going to end up with a lot of rough. I've never played golf, but I'm fiercely competitive – I scare myself sometimes."
Clarke: "I'm a hacker. Or a good gardener – depending how you look at it. I'm good at turning the ground when I play golf. You could plant potatoes at the end of it. I once dug so far down I found Roman coins. I always do the classic of looking into the distance to see where my ball has gone, then realise it's still at my feet."
MacAulay: "Steady Freddy. Decent handicap – 14 – but could do better."
Clarke: "My handicap is that I can't play golf."
What is your comedy USP?
Godley: "I'm white, Scottish, auld, working class and a woman."
Sutherland: "I'm a woman who has lived life in two different bodies (size 22, and now size 10), so I have a unique perspective on how the world treats us based on how we look. Plus I'm unnaturally honest – I seem to have no shame."
MacAulay: "I'm an everyman."
Clarke: "High energy and fast paced. Material that would take other people an hour to do, I can do in 15 minutes. It's concentrated comedy: just add water."
Who were you in a past life?
Godley: "A very successful male comic."
Sutherland: "A pirate – or a sailor at the very least. I get this visceral, inexplicable thrill at the sight of a ship in full sail and love all things nautical. I went through a phase of wanting to join the navy. I used to draw anchors on my arm like Popeye when I was wee, and now have a real tattoo of one – plus a tall ship and a sextant."
MacAulay: "I spoke to someone the other day who'd had a past life regression and told me he knew someone who had been a blade of wheat. The most exciting ancestor I have used to make boots in Bankfoot, Perthshire. It wouldn't be someone like Henry VIII or Cleopatra – perhaps a court jester."
Clarke: "A woman in the Victorian era. Or perhaps a suffragette? Someone leading the equal rights movement from a very tight corset."
What song would be the soundtrack to your life?
Godley: "(Something Inside) So Strong by Labi Siffre."
Sutherland: "Probably George Michael, who was my first crush and, given I had three gay boyfriends after that, perhaps a sign of things to come."
MacAulay: "Colonel Bogey. The Laurel And Hardy theme tune."
Clarke: "The songs from Rocky: I watched that film religiously growing up."
What makes you blush?
Godley: "Catching my tits in a door. I've done it a few times, especially in the automatic ones on trains."
Clarke: "Wearing blusher. I did my first panto last year and had to buy and apply my own blusher."
MacAulay: [simpers] "When a girl you really fancy notices you."
Clarke: "Sitting with your parents and sex comes on the telly."
MacAulay: "Or, at the other end of the spectrum, watching TV when something rude comes on and the kids are in the room."
Who was your childhood hero?
Godley: "Dave Allen. I liked watching him on the telly. I had posters of Donny Osmond on my wall."
Sutherland: "Er - I don't remember having one. I was a real bookworm, a tomboy, and used to live in my own wee world. The characters in my books were like my heroes: I wanted to go on exciting adventures and make discoveries."
MacAulay: "My uncle Jimmy, who was a painter and decorator in Perth, and had a colour telly. Seve Ballesteros was a hero, even though I'm probably the same age as him."
Clarke: "My dad because he was taller than me, wore working boots and had a job on a building site. I aspired to that until, well, I realised I was not suited for manual labouring. I'm like Frank Spencer, I'll put furniture together and it ends up with five legs. In comedy terms, Billy Connolly because that is who we were allowed to watch growing up."
Biggest ever fashion fail?
Sutherland: "Oh man, my entire teenage years were horrific. When I was about 13, I was awkward and weird looking, but thought maybe I'd be really cool if I got my haircut like my favourite pop star, which didn't work out so well, as it was Rick Astley."
Godley: "A Moschino Cheap & Chic waistcoat that was bright red, white and blue and styled as an American flag. I thought I was the hottest thing on the planet. My daughter Ashley has particularly horrific memories."
Sutherland: "When I was in my early twenties and a size 22 I thought I looked cool in orange, tie-dyed boot-cut cords."
MacAulay: "In the seventies I can recall once wearing, from the floor up, platform-soled shoes, green cords, a green crew neck – which was a mistake as I was going to a disco – a green leather bomber jacket and white silk scarf. Ladies, form a queue. Thank God there is no photographic evidence."
Clarke: "I was clearing out my house a few years back and found a purple shell suit, something I have only ever seen Gazza or David Icke wear. If that shell suit is a guide to where your life ends up, the next five or 10 years are going to be very interesting."
Who or what sets your teeth on edge?
Godley: "The whole attitude of woman thinking cupcakes, shoes, handbags, mojitos and girly nights will solve all their problems without actually addressing an issue. Everything Sex And The City, especially women getting together and calling themselves "girls", or inventing a cupcake vending machine. I mean, who the f*** needs a cupcake that quick? Women pretending they don't like men, but then getting drunk and greeting about it."
Sutherland: "The cast of TV shows like TOWIE or the Kardashians. It drives me nuts how these people are "celebrated", the ideals they are promoting to young girls especially. It's really damaging."
Godley: "The fact we have one in five children in Scotland living in poverty, but yet we are still paying for the pandas and trams. That keeps me awake at night."
Des: "Chewing tinfoil."
MacAulay: "I'm not good with heights or wasps."
Clarke: "Water. Not that I'm a soap dodger, but I was pushed into a swimming pool when I was really young and convinced I nearly drowned. I've always had a chronic fear of swimming."
Something not many people know about you?
Godley: "I'm shy. I fake being confident. People do think I'm weird. When I'm not on stage my shyness is so covered up by a blustering attempt at self confidence that inevitably fails and I come across as psychotic or aggressive."
Sutherland: "I love maths, studied law and used to be a snowboard instructor. I'm quite handy with a needle and thread. Halloween is my favourite time of year – I make costumes for the whole family."
MacAulay: "I have been doing live radio for 16 years, so everyone knows everything about me. I give tens of thousands of pounds to charity – but not in cash, in used brassieres. I came up with a cure for malaria, but I'm keeping it to myself."
Clarke: "I once shared a plate of Jaffa Cakes with Nick Clegg (we were appearing on Gabby Logan's Five Live show at the time)."
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Godley: "Nothing. I'm happy in my own skin, every scar and mark on my body has a story – and I'm proud of all of them."
Sutherland: "To have a little more self-belief and be less critical of myself."
MacAulay: "My wife is going to hate this answer - I'm only joking. I would like to get rid of the varicose vein on my left leg."
Clarke: "My thumb clicks sometimes. I have a lot of ingrowing hairs. I care too much about what people think, even though I shouldn't."
What's your party piece?
Godley: "Breaking ukuleles. If I see one at a party, I'll break it. Plus I can dance like Beyonce and do the songs. Usually I don't have any trousers on."
Sutherland: "Being the last one standing."
MacAulay: "I can remember one Hogmanay singing You're The One That I Want by John Travolta and Olivia Newton John while brushing my hair with a loo brush."
Clarke: "I used to be able to do the entire rap to Ice Ice Baby by Vanilla Ice. I should do that in panto next year instead of singing Ghostbusters 67 times in a row."
Tiger Woods or Colin Montgomerie?
Clarke: "For what? Best sex scandal?"
MacAulay: "Tiger Woods is far and away the best golfer."
Godley: "Colin Montgomerie."
Sutherland: "Tiger Woods. I can't help it -"
Godley: "He's got mammy issues."
Drink of choice at the 19th hole?
Sutherland: "Gin and tonic."
Godley: "Cup of tea."
MacAulay: "A pint of Guinness."
Clarke: "Orange juice laced with tears." n
Glasgow International Comedy Festival runs March 14-31. Julia Sutherland: This Happened is at Vespbar on March 23, 9.30pm (£8/£5); Des Clarke: Stand Up Guy is at Oran Mor on March 28, 8pm (£13.50/£11.50); Janey Godley: Godley Ungagged is at Oran Mor on March 29 and 30, 8pm (£13.50/£11.50); Fred MacAulay: The First 25 Years is at Citizens Theatre on March 30, 8.30pm (£15). Visit glasgowcomedy festival.com or call 0844 395 4005.
All clothing available in the golf department of Greaves Sports, 23 Gordon Street, Glasgow. Visit greavessports.com or call 0141 221 3322
Paradise Island Adventure Golf Xscape, Braehead, Glasgow, has two 18-hole indoor courses. Tickets cost £7 adult, £5.50 child. Visit paradiseislandgolf.com