THE BLOG

Stewart Lee Is the Biggest Threat to the Edinburgh Fringe

31/07/2013 14:22 BST | Updated 25/09/2013 10:12 BST
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It wouldn't be Edinburgh without Harry Deansway writing an article that gets the whole industry talking. Last year it was the BBC syphoning off tickets from the Fringe with their atmosphereless marquee filled with free comedy and backed by thousands of pounds of marketing money. What could Harry Deansway have up his sleeve this year?

Obviously Harry knows what this article will be about because Harry Deansway has already sent it off to Huffington Post comedy editor Andrea Mann, Harry wrote this in the past you are reading this in the future. SPOILER ALERT this blog gets finished. Look at Harry playing with the form and writing in the third person, take that GCSE English teachers.

I'm writing in the third person because really famous people talk in the third person all the time. I think it will be good practice for when I become really famous after Edinburgh, but I'm sure we can discuss me getting really famous in future blogs here. Unless I get really famous during Edinburgh, in which case I'm not going to lie to you, I'll be way too busy to do a blog.

Right! What's the threat to the Fringe this year? Before I announce what the title of this blog gave away a long time ago, I must make it clear that Stewart Lee is possibly the best British stand-up out there. I have the ultimate respect for him as a comedian but I need publicity for my show so I am going to slag him off for the next 600 words[1]. But enough about my personal life.

Every year in Edinburgh, as sure as Scottish landlords will put their rent up by 300% and acts will make a joke about deep-fried Mars bars in their show, Stew will write an article saying how the Edinburgh Fringe isn't what it used to be. It's probably due any second now. However this year he is part of the problem not the solution. The Fringe is supposed to be a place where artists on the outside of comedy find an audience (clue is in the title: the Fringe) how are they supposed to do that when acts like multi-award-winning Stewart "Two TV shows" Lee are there taking away audiences from lesser-known acts?

His two TV shows have turned Lee into a one-man "Big 4", hoovering up tickets for both himself and all the acts he has endorsed in his Avaloffthekerb rival "alternative"coterie. It's just really hard to take someone seriously who's Comedy Vehicle show is so nepotistic that it books the same act every week: him. Why does he even need two TV shows? Lording it up like a comedy equivalent of John "Two Jags" Prescott while us up-and-comers can't even get TV meeting let alone a TV show.

When he's not telling audiences how to attend the Fringe or saturating the TV schedules with his own shows, he's telling comedians how they should be comedians [2]. He has so many rules I just wish he'd write them all down because I'm losing track of what we are allowed to do and not do. And after the articles, the lecturing, the TV shows and the books all of this, he then has the audacity to tell us after travelling 400 miles to get to the festival we must then go a further two miles away from where all the comedy is to support the Stand.

Stewart, if this piece ever reaches you in your ivory tower that you have had erected in Stoke Newington with all your TV money to store all your awards in, please stop and think about the consequences of your fame and success. Think about acts from the "New Wave" who share your time slot, such as Nick Helm, Mae Martin and Nicholas Parsons. Think about how you would have felt if Tom O'Connor had done what you are doing now in 1987 when you first attended the Fringe. And finally, think about coming to see my show - Wrong Way, 6pm, Pleasance Courtyard.

[1]. Stewart if you could enter into the spirit of the article and get really offended and maybe write a response that in turn publicises my show I'd really appreciate it.

[2]. Stewart has since come out and said that the comments about acts using writers was taken out of context. However I have it on good authority that he got an unknown act to write this statement and didn't pay them.

• To get two free tickets to Harry's show, simply find a Wrong Way flyerer in the Pleasance Courtyard between 4 and 5.30 and say "right way". Offer only available Monday to Thursday. No show on the 13th. Check @deansbomb on Twitter for details