+44 131 225 9666 info@scotlandstophostels.com


The Basement

As I tipped on down to the Basement the other day, I knew we were in for a special night when I espied that the tables on stage were bedecked with some rather razzle dazzle gold table cloths! And as nights go it certainly was entertaining and I intend to experience it again in the near future. But what exactly did I encounter? None other than a live BBC recording of a radio comedy panel quiz show!

I have only ever been to a type of show like this once before in my life, but it was so distinct and amusing an experience, that pretty much as soon as I heard of this one I made sure my evening would be free for it.

The nature of this show is that a team of comedians must pit their wits against a team of journalists. And to be honest at times it’s that most literally, as the barbs do fly back in forth between them. It’s a rather fun way to find out about what’s topical in the news at the moment.  It’s moderated by Edinburgh’s favourite son Grant Stott, fresh from his tour of “Double Feature” and we have Jo Caulfield of “Mock the Week” fame representing the humourists as team captain and Gary Robertson representing his reporters.  In a matter of fact, actually two shows were being recorded that other evening. So in the first half we had local comedian Julian Sutherland competing against political correspondent Brain Taylor and in the latter half we had Ian Rankin go up against Teresa Talbot the radio voice of travel updates. Now I hear you cry, “Ian Rankin, are we talking about the same Ian Rankin who’s world famous for writing crime novels? I didn’t know he was much of a comic?” True, it’s the same fellow; I mean he’s at least written one comic but it wasn’t too full laughs. Still he’s up for bit of mischief here and certainly plays along with it too, as the show does get a wee bit augmented in the second half and Caulfield’s team transforms into “The World of Entertainment.”

Stott is a genial and cheeky host, which I think really suits him, as although he’s quite famous for his pantomime theatrics it would have probably have been a bit to overbearing here. There are all sort of quirky rounds they have to play for: one of my favourites being the guest specialist subject round. And Sutherlands targeted topic being “Celebrity Hairstyles”! Which much mirth was derived from, even her captain was taking the mick. Caulfield was very quick off the mark with word play and for coming up with new material on the spot.

Actually, one of my favourite parts of the evening was not within the official show itself and was actually in the editing stage. Stott and producer Richard Melvin were good humouredly bickering between each other and were pretty much channelling their inner Abbott & Costello into what the rock style in the question was; “Hairy Metal” or “Hair Metal”! (Its hair metal, by the way.)

Well, a lot of fun was had and I urge you to come and join in for the next and final show on Monday the 28th of May. You do have to book your tickets in advance but don’t forget it’s FREE!

Markus Helbig.


MONDAY 28th May




Leave a Reply

Close Menu