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I am available as a Director or Creative Consultant (or whatever words you want to use) on live comedy shows in 2016 - mostly, I guess, for people who intend to stage a show at the Edinburgh Fringe, For details, click HERE.
2011-2015, I wrote So It Goes - a blog about interesting people doing creative things - mostly, but not exclusively, on the comedy industry. It continues sporadically.
LIVE ON STAGE
Surreally, I won
a 2010 Fringe Report Award
as "Best Awards Founder" for the Malcolm Hardee Awards, started
Until 2017, I am arranging the three annual Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards at the Edinburgh Fringe: The Malcolm Hardee Award for Comic Originality, The Malcolm Hardee Cunning Stunt Award for the best Fringe publicity stunt and the Act Most Likely to Make a Million Quid award.
The 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards were presented during a 2-hour variety show at the Edinburgh Fringe.
At the 2011 Fringe, as well as staging the Comedy Awards, I chaired two debates about the comedy business and arranged two spaghetti-juggling contests. At the 2013 Fringe, I hosted a 5-day chat show and, at the 2014 Fringe, a 23-day chat show The Grouchy Club.
At the 2010 Edinburgh Festival Fringe, I produced two separate comedy shows by Helen Keen: It is Rocket Science:V2 and Keen & Khan: Starstruck! plus Free Until Famous with Lewis Schaffer.
In 2009, I produced two Fringe shows: Helen Keen's The Primitive Methodist Guide to Arctic Survival and a 90-minute charity event Aaaaaaaaaarrghhh! - It's Bollock Relief! - The Malcolm Hardee Award Show. I was also Fringe consultant on Aindrias de Staic's award-winning The Summer I Did The Leaving and the show Bigger and Blacker by Lewis Schaffer.
2007-2010 I was consultant to two off-Broadway theaters in New York - the Bleecker Street Theatre and the Green Room venue. Since 2010, I have been UK consultant for US entertainment company Inbrook and via them, since 2012, to off-Broadway venue the Gene Frankel Theatre.
I write a daily blog and, with comedy critic Kate Copstick, record a weekly Grouchy Club podcast. I occasionally contributed feature articles to the Indian news website We Speak News (2012-2014) and the Huffington Post (2011-2013). I wrote comedy
reviews from the Edinburgh Fringe for
the chortle.co.uk website, (2004-2006) plus a 2005 Fringe blog and a Fringe
feature for the Writers' Guild of Great Britain. I have built and webmastered sites for, among others, Scottish comedians Janey
Godley and Ian
Watt, Cardiff-based comedy scriptwriter Nigel
Crowle, London-based comedian Ricky Grover, eccentric inventor John Ward, and a tribute site for the late comedian Malcolm
Hardee. I also designed, built built and webmastered the original Cass Pennant website and
a now defunct website for imprisoned artists called ConArtists.
I edited and advised on Handstands
in the Dark, the non-humorous, pre-showbiz autobiography of comic Janey
a No 3 hardback bestseller in 2005 and a UK Top Ten paperback bestseller in 2006. Previous books include Sit-Down
Comedy, an anthology of specially-commissioned writing by 19 British
and Irish stand-ups (now also available in Apple iBooks and for Amazon Kindles); I
Stole Freddie Mercury's Birthday Cake, the autobiography of 'godfather of alternative comedy' Malcolm Hardee; and I contributed three
chapters to Anatomy of The Movies (other chapter contributors included
Martin Scorsese and Donald Sutherland). I have also written for various magazines, newspapers
and partworks including Halls of Horror, House of Hammer, The Independent, International Times, Mensa Magazine, Metro, The Movie, Screen International and Starburst. I wrote a weekly column for Three Weeks magazine during the 2012 Edinburgh Fringe.
In 2008, I production managed a series of Underground Boxing events transmitted on the TWC Fight channel. In the last few years, I've also researched a TCM documentary The A-Z
of Crime Movies, was script consultant on a TCM documentary The
First 100 Years of The Western, a consultant on promo/script/style
elements within the Granada/ITV series This Morning and gave
an alleged 'script masterclass' to the production team of Trisha.
My credits in various production capacities include Tiswas, Game For a Laugh, Surprise Surprise, The Last Resort With Jonathan Ross as well as Jools Holland's The Happening, The Last Laugh with Jerry
Sadowitz, Prove It (with Chris Tarrant), Jack Dee's Saturday
Night and, well, you get the general idea......comedy, punters &
jollity. I've also produced a couple of Gong Show style pilots.
TV PROMOS & CORPORATES
I've written, produced and directed promo trailers for all the major
ITV companies and many others in places as diverse as Amsterdam, Dublin
and Prague as well as in languages I didn't understand (Czech, Danish,
Dutch, Norwegian, Swedish). Oh and I've also produced-directed multi-language
corporates in England, Wales and the Czech Republic. And managed promotion departments at Anglia TV & Granada TV in the UK. Oh! And I worked in the News Depts at Anglia TV, BBC TV, Granada TV and ITN.
2002-2010, I advised on and production managed 48 UK titles and 8 North American titles for Gangster Videos.
I financed the highly controversial 2010 British gangster film Killer Bitch. Its Facebook page has extensive links to reviews, features and photos. You can read a Sunday Herald interview with me here and see the trailer banned by YouTube here. Click on the logo above to buy the DVD.
In its early days, I worked as a features researcher and news sub-editor on the BBC's CEEFAX teletext service. I have done a little bit of radio (promos
and programme) and written questions for a Basque-language children's
TV gameshow. I like new projects and the unexpected. The Chinese curse "May you live in interesting times" has always seemed a rather attractive option to me...
Starting in February 2015, comedy critic Kate Copstick and I have I have made a weekly Grouchy Club audio podcast mostly, but not exclusively, on the comedy industry.
I have occasionally been interviewed by other people...
June 2014 - BROADWAY BABY - A Q&A with me about Malcolm Hardee and the Edinburgh Fringe.
March 2014 - NUNHEAD AMERICAN RADIO WITH LEWIS SCHAFFER - An edited version of my appearance on Resonance FM, 10th March 2014, talking about comedy reviews, the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards and the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe (10mins 48secs).
August 2013 - WE'RE ALL WAITING FOR THE COMEDY BEATLES - The Skinny magazine claims I am "one of the most influential figures in British comedy"
August 2013 - CASTLE FM RADIO INTERVIEW - A truly awful piece by me about my shows at the Edinburgh Fringe. Interviewer Ewan Spence is very good. I am truly, truly awful and oddly sound nervous, though I was not. Odd and awful.
July 2013 - WHAT DOES 'ALTERNATIVE' COMEDY MEAN TODAY? - interviewed by Fest magazine for a piece on the future of comedy
April 2013 - KING OF THE FRINGE - 16 year-old Glasgow comedy fan Lyle Russell asks me about comedy and the Edinburgh Fringe.
March 2013 - AN IRISH PODCAST IN A LONDON PUB - Irish comic Christian Talbot talks to me for the Seven 2 Seven site. (62 minutes, unedited)
August 2012 -THE BUMPY ROAD TO THE EDINBURGH FRINGE - Hayden Cohen interviews me for his series of Royal Mile podcasts. (8 minutes)
May 2012 - WHO EXACTLY IS JOHN FLEMING? - Interview about my past by Ian Fox, author of How To Produce, Perform and Write an Edinburgh Fringe Comedy Show.
August 2011 - ON MALCOLM HARDEE - I am interviewed on camera, half-asleep, after the Malcolm Hardee Comedy Awards Show.
May 2010 - HOW TO MAKE THE WORLD'S WORST MOVIE - Scotland's Herald newspaper interviews me about Killer Bitch.
I've holidayed in Albania, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia,
China, Colombia, Ecuador, India, Kosovo, Laos, Lebanon, Mongolia,
Montenegro, Nepal, North Korea, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Russia, Serbia,
Siberia, Tibet, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and Vietnam. I have eclectic
interests....In music, I like Bach, Randy Newman, Stereophonics
and Kurt Weill. In writing, George Eliot, James Joyce, Richard Matheson and Terry Southern. My favourite films include The Wild Bunch, It's
a Wonderful Life, Once Upon a Time in The West and Fight Club. Television: Quatermass and The Pit (1958-1959), Talking to a Stranger (1966), The Cops (1998-2000) and Doctor Who (2005-2009)