Phul Nichol on his new show Phil Nichol:20

Tell us about your Fringe show

Phil Nichol:20 is a celebration of my 20 years of solo hour comedy shows on the fringe. I will be putting together a fast paced, silly and rip-snortling funny hour of my favourite bits from all those shows. And that’s a lot of funny! There will be stand-up, sick poems, stupid characters and ridiculous songs. Expect a really good laugh!

Best thing about the Fringe?

Being surrounded by creative minds and curious audiences who are there to be entertained and educated. Anytime that number of people gather to celebrate something amazing is created. In this case they have created the best Fringe festival in the world.

Worst thing about the Fringe?

It’s become too expensive. If the city would allow itself to be slightly more charitable and expect less in the form of profit from the event then the participants wouldn’t feel stung for the amount they shell out every year in expenses. Mounting shows for the price of a mortgage is no small feat year in and year out.

How many years have you been coming to the Fringe?

It’s been 26 years since my first Fringe however it has been 20 years since I began presenting solo hours! This is my 20th year.

I’ve spent over two years of my life in Edinburgh so i’m nearly a local.

Favourite Fringe venue?

There are so many good venues it is hard to choose one however the Assembly Checkpoint where I am performing this year is going to be the place to be and to see shows this year, especially mine!

Best Fringe memory?

Winning the Edinburgh Comedy Award in 2006 was certainly a highlight however standing on the cobblestone streets near then Pleasance with Viv Soan watching the sun come up between the buildings after being up all night blathering over cups of tea is a memory I will never forget. It’s the little simple moments that define the fringe for me and make it special.

Best heckle?

Standing naked with my guitar straddling some unfortunate audience member and watching his son creasing up in laughter because I had sloshed sweat into his fathers eye whilst singing ‘Get The Troops Out’ when someone quietly heckles “Show off!” has to the single funniest heckling moment for me.

Craziest on stage experience?

Having 112 naked ‘dancer/protesters’ join me onstage at the Pleasance Grand at the end of my last performance of the award winning show The Naked Racist was completely wild and what made it wilder was that a group of us then ran naked up the Royal Mile and in to the Castle forecourt! Crazy Edinburgh antics! What a blast!

What’s on your rider?

No rider. A bottle of Scottish spring water to drink on stage.

How do you wind down after a show?

I do another show. Haha. I have a reputation for doing too much at the Fringe so this year i will try to have more time to myself. An afternoon out in North Berwick also always helps doth the mind.

What do you love about Scotland?

The people. For the most part, they are a warm, thoughtful, cheery, funny and understanding bunch. They love a laugh and have a great critical eye.

What do you like about Edinburgh?

I love the architecture and Edinburgh’s lust for art and nurturing art.

What’s the most Scottish thing you’ve done?

I was born there in Cumbernauld. Can’t get much more Scottish than that.

What kind of jokes do a Scottish crowd seem to respond to?

The Scots love a laugh! For me they laugh at the raunchy, the daft, the droll, the over the top, the surreal, the political, the funny. As long as it’s funny they will laugh!

Favourite joke?

I have no one favourite but a Edinburgh Taxi driver told me this one- Two dyslexics sitting in a lounge room.

One says to the other “Can you smell gas?”

The other one says “I can’t even spell my own name, mate.”

Favourite Scottish food/drink?

Fish and chips with salt and vinegar, no sauce and a can of Irn Bru.

Phil Nichol’s new stand up show ‘Twenty’ will be at the Assembly Checkpoint for August for tickets go to