15 August 2017

Happy birthday to me – Memories of Edinburgh Festival 2002 and pre-selfie selfies

Blimey doen't time fly?!
Someone told me recently that they were going to the Edinburgh festival this year and it reminded me of 15 years ago when I was there as a Perrier Awards comedy judge.
Yes folks, you read that right. I won one of the two 'members of the public' London positions (there was also a winner from Scotland) in a Time Out competition – the brief was to write a letter explaining why I was the best candidate for the job. My opening line began with, "my friends say I have an opinion on everything..." and I just knew when I sent it in that I was onto a winner. I had a gut feeling and I was right. I beat thousands of people to the post.

Top centre: me with my VIP awards night ticket and wandering about in Edinburgh. 
Middle row: Daniel Kitson accepting the winner's awards, me with Reg D. Hunter and his friend, and with Trevor and Simon (our pants are swinging just out of shot).
Bottom row: two comedians (oops, I have forgotten their names; a young Canadian and an America) and the lovely, shy and very clever Mr Rich Hall
Us judges were given lovely rented homes for the fortnight with VIP entrance to all the evening dos and backstage bars, travel expenses etc.
Seeing all those comedy shows was hard work though – it involved running back and forth across Edinburgh seeing five or six shows a day, and many of them not in the least bit amusing. At times I started to think I had forgotten how to laugh with my face stuck in rictus.
The thing is though, it was fifteen years ago. Eh? How did that happen? And whilst I was there I turned 40 – what a great way to celebrate – I thought winning that judging gig was one of my best birthday presents ever.
OK... now for the next batch of photos... You'll notice they all have something in common, and I don't just mean how some of the people in them have, er, changed over the years...

Me and... Dave Gorman, Nina Conti, Dara O'Briain, Hal Cruttenden, Jimmy Carr, Phil Nichol, Noel Fielding, Stephen Frost and Brendan Burns. (How did I not get a pic of lovely Sean Lock?!)
... notice that they are all close-ups and I am in every photo – that's because I am taking the photos – in other words, these are selfies before the word was invented.
For decades I have been using regular cameras to take photos of myself alongside friends or places without the need of a viewfinder/screen. Also, note that all the pics above are taken with a film camera – one shot, no deletes, no retakes, no post-production, no editing. Good aren't they?
I will dig out some earlier 'old-school selfies' when I get a mo.
Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me....


  1. nice collection. the canadian on the middle bottom of the first group is Dave Fulton.

  2. Yeeees! Dave Fulton... my mind went blank. Thanks


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