In August 2008 Georgina and I decided to do a show on the Edinburgh Fringe. Called “Sex Tips for Pandas” the idea was that we would perform the book on stage, while at the same time hosting a showcase of up and coming comedians. We also planned to record every show and release a new podcast every single day of the 25 night Edinburgh run. Which was ambitious to say the least.

We booked ourselves into a Free Fringe venue called The Dragonfly and started to do warm up gigs on the London circuit. Our old friend Richard Cray acted as our producer and began to book acts for the show. Then, about two months before we were due to leave for Edinburgh, Georgina’s dad died. We stayed in North Yorkshire for several weeks, and did our best to support Georgina’s mum. It was a difficult and harrowing time for everyone. All thoughts of Edinburgh were forgotten.

About a week before the festival began, Georgina suddenly announced that we should go ahead and do the Edinburgh show. Since her dad had been a keen writer and actor himself, she was sure that he would have wanted us to go ahead and do it. I asked Georgina if she was absolutely sure, and she said yes.

The first couple of gigs in Edinburgh went really well. Then Georgina collapsed. Despite her determination to do the festival it was all too much and too soon. She really hadn’t yet recovered enough, either physically or mentally.

Georgina crawled into bed in our Edinburgh flat, and looked like she wouldn’t be getting up for a very long time.

Richard had booked about 30 acts for the Edinburgh run, so we simply couldn’t pull the plug on the show. We’d have been letting too many people down. I hosted the next three gigs on my own, and Richard intrepidly manned the sound desk and continued to edit the daily podcasts.

Despite the way she was feeling, Georgina incredibly only missed five shows during that 25 night run. She slowly got back on top of performing again, and I think eventually it became good therapy for her, and helped her to cope with one of the most difficult and challenging times of her life.


Edinburgh Fringe 2008
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