Lee & Herring Press

Rich & Stew discuss the 1996 Edinburgh Festival - Source - www.comedyweb.co.uk

Stew : Edinburgh presents this unique chance to see lots of things from fields outside comedy. And then to copy them. And it also lets you do loads of stuff that you wouldn't do on the comedy circuit, and spend a month seeing if it works.
So that's nice. Nicer than the way mediocrity is rewarded while excellence is shunned, anyway.
Something that disappoints me about the Festival and the Perrier Award in particular is the way that people are already talking about who they think is going to win the award.
And the only criteria they can judge that on is the fact that lots of comedians are going up there and just doing extended versions of the sets you already know from seeing them in London.
So there's already a buzz about that, whereas the people that are writing new shows, specifically for Edinburgh, which is surely what Edinburgh is all about, are slightly penalised, because there's no way that what they're putting together can be judged.
It's a shame that the Perrier tends to award people that it thinks it can then put into chat shows or on runs in the West End, rather than simply rewarding what is best. Me and Rich have been for the last ten years now.
And every year something has happened to me that's changed my life... having sex, my first acid trip, seeing shows that showed me ways of doing things that I'd never have thought of, finding out what a twat Patrick Marber was, or swimming with seals... so there's always something every year. Always something.

Rich : Every year I say I won't go to Edinburgh, because of the pressure being too much.
By the end of the Festival, you can be really ill. Like when I did This Morning With Richard Not Judy, by the last day I was just retching and nothing was coming up at all.. it's an abuse of your body.
Everyone's really paranoid up there during the festival. Everyone's really worried about the reviews, and also about what the word on the street about your show is. It's quite supercharged and tense, but largely okay because everyone's in the same boat.
There have been a few scuffles in the past, though I'm going to be 29 this year, and it's getting harder and harder.
I took a week off during last year's Festival, because I was getting fed up with being drunk all the time and being followed around by loads of teenage girls.
Edinburgh for me and Stew is the nearest we come to being celebrities, I think. You get all this attention in Edinburgh and it all gets a bit wearing. Sad, that.