How many people listen to the advice about never meeting your heroes? Probably not too many but, then again, the majority of the population never get that opportunity.

When you’re the host of a chat show, there’s a fair chance that, at some point, one of those heroes will walk on to your set and sit down, waiting for some pertinent and interesting questions.

That happened to Jack Docherty one night – April 18, 1997 to be exact – when David Bowie wandered on the set, as part of the promotion tour for his new album, Earthling. Watching the interview on YouTube Jack looks happy and relaxed and Bowie seems to be enjoying the banter.

That experience is at the heart of his new show for this year’s Fringe, David Bowie and Me: Parallel Lives.

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“I don’t really talk about the interview itself but there is a section about hanging out with him after the show,” says Jack. “I  was amazed at how unbelievably relaxed he was around everyone, who clearly weren’t that relaxed around him, and, honestly, just how funny he was.”

The show isn’t just about the encounter but it is the jumping-off point for exploring all areas of life.

“For me it’s a key that unlocks all kinds of memories. Childhood, family, growing up, love, sex, drugs and rock n roll you know.”

We all have that figure, whether music or sporting, who has been a huge part of life at a formative age. For Jack in his early teens it happened to be Bowie.

“When someone has been your hero at 13, that never changes – that’s such a formative age and stage that a person who has been central to your life then will always be the person they were when you were 13.

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“Of course, there were other moments … I remember seeing Blondie at the Edinburgh Odeon, it might have been the Playhouse, and Debbie Harry walking out on a runway in her silver dress singing Fade Away and Radiate. That has to have an effect!”

With a nightly chat show, every musician or actor with something to promote would have ended up across the desk from Jack.

“Through the work I’ve met a lot of famous people but they don’t have that effect. You can meet George Clooney and think: ‘I’m amazed at how much he looks really like George Clooney’, but it would never have the effect on me that Bowie would or even meeting any of the Monty Pythons.”

The show does cover how someone can become a soundtrack to your life, but how that figure can have their flaws as well.

“The show is also a lot about growing up in 1970s Edinburgh. Nothing triggers the memory like music. I can hear one song and I’m automatically right back there – I’m getting off with Eleanor, or whatever I was doing at the time, but there’s nothing like music to transport you to a moment.”

This year’s show follows up the successful Nothing But from last year’s Fringe, which was followed by an extensive tour of Scotland. From staying away from performing for many years, Jack is now making up for lost time.

“Now I can’t stop. I’m kind of kicking myself and wondering why I stayed away, but maybe I’m enjoying it because I did have such an extended break from it.

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“I really enjoyed taking Nothing But out around Scotland, because it is something that I had never done before. I might still look at taking the Chief (Chief Miekelson from Scot Squad) out on the road at some point. Friends said to me: ‘Why don’t you do that and you could do much bigger venues?’ But I really had an appetite for doing this kind of show. Nothing But was a play but there were areas that I wanted to explore. For that I needed to do, not exactly stand up, but the closest to stand up that I’ve done in an awful long time. There’s a serious bit near the end but apart from that it’s all comedy. It’s certainly the chattiest I’ve been to an audience for a long time. It’s like every show though: you throw it out to the audience and hopefully they enjoy it.”

Visuals are an important part of the show, put together by Jack’s step-daughter. Placing the stories about growing up in the city around that time in that context does help an audience to see just how much the city has changed in the space of 50 years.

“It is incredible how much it has changed and I think the visuals do give the stories more of an emotional punch. The photo of Bowie and me that we’re using to promote the show too – my kids thought it was Photoshopped!”

The Parallel Lives part of the show has a sprinkling of stories too. “I won’t give you them all but one involves Infirmary Street in Edinburgh. Bowie actually lived there during his Lindsay Kemp phase and my very first gig was there.” There’s also a story about Jack being Bowie in the recreation of album covers for a photographer friend – that one is best for the stage.

Another Fringe means another month at home. Jack does he his family and recently took his mum to see ABBA Voyage.

“That was another moment for me actually. My mum loves ABBA, and my dad, who is no longer with us really loved ABBA so it was emotional for me watching her. It also dragged me back to playing Subbuteo, looking up, seeing Agnetha and knowing that Subbuteo wasn’t going to win this one.”

Another Fringe means another month in Edinburgh. “That also means another month staying with my sister and bothering her when I come in at 2am. I actually do think she enjoys me being there, because obviously the whole family comes up at times and it’s a good opportunity to get together.”

When we spoke Jack was just putting the final touches to the show and was happy with how it’s come together.

“Well, one thing is for sure – it’s going to have a kicking soundtrack!”

Jack Docherty in David Bowie and Me: Parallel Lives, Gilded Balloon, Teviot - Dining Room, August 2 to 27, 8.30pm.