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At the Edinburgh Fringe, Jimmy Savile Show Actor Beaten up in the Street After Being Named in Chortle Website Review

By Thejohnfleming @thejohnfleming
Juliette Burton (right) and her flash mob yesterday in the High Street

Juliette Burton (right) and her flash mob in the High Street

But, before that…

Juliette Burton led a flash mob in a choreographed dance down the High Street to publicise her show When I Grow Up

And, on my way to see Irish comic Christian Talbot’s late night comedy compilation show at the Phoenix venue, I heard one of those lines that only seems reasonable during the Edinburgh Fringe.

I bumped into Frank Sanazi in the street and, as we walked along, he told me: “She only does the gimp act on my show when Jesus Christ is not available.”

This is both bizarre and true: I myself have seen Jesus climax Frank Sanazi’s Dax Vegas Night II.

Other things which seemed perfectly normal yesterday were:

Andy Zapp introducing his gorilla (who had flown in from London) at Christian Talbot’s show…

Stompie - The Half-Naked Chef - cooks up mischief last night

Stompie – The Half-Naked Chef – cooks up mischief last night

Stompie performing his unbilled nightly Half-Naked Chef show at Bob’s Bookshop partially in the venue and partially in the street…

And Bob Slayer of Bob’s Bookshop explaining where he got his new chairs from. Bob is known for his high-profile criticisms of the Big Four venues in Edinburgh, including the Underbelly.

“I was in the Udderbelly’s Abbatoir last night,” Bob told me, “and Ed (co-owner of the Underbelly/Udderbelly) came up and said: So you’re Bob Slayer, who writes things about us!

“I said: We don’t have a problem here, do we?

Bob Slayer (left_ thanks Ed of the Underbelly (photograph by Claire Smith)

Bob Slayer (left) makes up with Ed Bartlam of the Underbelly (photograph by Claire Smith)

“He said: Well, it does annoy me when you get your facts wrong.

“I gave him my card and said: Well, do correct me, because I would like to criticize you with the correct facts.

“We had a bit of a smile, a bit of a laugh and he said, as an aside, Well, if there’s anything I can help you with, just let me know.

Well, funny enough,” I said, “I’d love some new chairs for my audience. And – first thing this morning – Ed had 40 brand new chairs delivered to Bob’s Bookshop.”

And so to the beating…

At last year’s Edinburgh Fringe, I blogged about performer Ian Fox being randomly attacked in the street.

Three days ago, I mentioned in a blog that Scotsman journalist Claire Smith had been randomly attacked in Leith.

Yesterday, Gareth Ellis of comedy duo Ellis & Rose told me about being attacked in the street – but not randomly. He was with his comedy partner Richard Rose.

They are performing in two Fringe shows this year – their own show Ellis & Rose: Big in Denmark and (as actors) in Jimmy Savile: The Punch and Judy Show.

Richard Rose (left) wit Gareth Ellis and his eye yesterday

Richard Rose (left) with Gareth Ellis and his eye yesterday

“We went out for a few drinks last night,” Gareth told me. “We were walking down to Cowgate, near Bob’s Bookshop, at about two or three in the morning, a little bit drunk, and this guy walked past and asked us: Are you Ellis and Rose?

“We were quite chuffed that someone had recognised us,” said Richard.

“He told us,” continued Gareth. “You’re sick! You’re sick in the head! and we reacted like What?? and he said You do that Jimmy Savile show, don’t you? We said Yeah and he said You’re fucking sick!

Richard explained: “Gareth tried to engage in dialog.”

Gareth continued: “I was saying to him But you haven’t seen it, have you? You haven’t seen the show. He was quite a big guy, Scottish accent, in his late-twenties.

“And then he just punched me in the face. I stumbled back a bit and then just ran.”

“To look on the bright side,” I said, “the good thing is that you were recognised in the street. That’s all most Fringe performers want.”

“This stuff wasn’t happening before we were named in the reviews,” said Gareth.

Gareth Ellis suffers for his art (photo by Lewis Schaffer)

Gareth Ellis – how he he suffered for his art (photograph by Lewis Schaffer)

As I mentioned in my blog three days ago, Gareth and Richard (who did not write the Jimmy Savile show) had specifically asked the reviewers from Broadway Baby and the Chortle comedy website not to name them, but both did.

“We initially didn’t want to be named,” explained Richard, “because we just didn’t want it to be confused with our own show.”

“I imagine if he’d see the actual Jimmy Savile show,” continued Gareth, “he would not have punched me.”

“Maybe we should sue Steve Bennett of Chortle,” mused Richard.

“Yeah,” said Gareth, “maybe Steve Bennett (editor of Chortle who personally reviewed the Jimmy Savile show) actually is culpable.”

“This wasn’t happening before that Chortle review came out,” said Richard.

“But the Broadway Baby review also named us,” reasoned Gareth. “It came out two days before the Chortle one, so Steve Bennett was not a pioneer. He just copied someone else’s gimmick for his own review. Hello Steve, if you are reading this. It may increase our audiences. We are doing the Fringe properly… One star reviews; audiences love it; and I got punched in the street.”

“A couple of days ago, at the end of the Jimmy Savile show,” said Richard, “it had gone really well so we asked the audience: Would you like to hear a review of the show? And we read out Steve Bennett’s review to rapturous applause. They particularly liked the opening line This show is an insult…

“Did you see stars when you were punched?” I asked Gareth.

“I only saw five stars,” he replied.


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