I TALK TELLY

FRINGE 2017 REVIEW: Iain Stirling

This year, voice of Love Island Iain Stirling is performing his sell-out show U OK hun? X at the Edinburgh Fringe.

Selling out before the Edinburgh Fringe Festival begins is no mean feat, but Iain Stirling achieved it. How? By voicing a little TV show on ITV2 called Love Island. You might have heard of it. A few people watched it.

OK, I’ll admit. I was OBSESSED with this year’s series so it’s no surprise that the hilarious voice of Love Island sold out very early on. Not a day went by someone didn’t tweet “The best thing about Love Island is the voiceover.” – and they’d be right. Apart from Chris and Kem’s bromance, that was pretty strong. But anyway, I digress.

Having had to spend two months out in Mallorca (poor guy), there are a few indicators in this year’s show that make me think the show was written very last minute. He recycles part of a baby joke from last year’s show and despite starting the show with “Previously… that’s all you’re getting” there is a lot of Love Island material in the show which could only have been written in the last few weeks.

He references how he’s “made idiots into millionaires” and talks about how Marcel now has a book out called Doctor Marcel’s Book of Love – a name Iain came up with but receives none of the credit/royalties.

Then there’s the water bottle. That’s right, if there’s one thing more well-loved on Love Island than Iain’s voiceover, it’s the personalised water bottles and as the audience were walking in, Iain had strategically placed his on the stool on stage which many (including myself) could help but take a picture of. Something Iain references at the start of the show.

There’s nothing wrong with writing the show late of course, after all he only had a few hours to turn around a brand new voiceover script every day for Love Island so if there’s anyone that can turn around comedy quickly it’s Iain. And if there was no Love Island material in the show, I’m pretty sure people would leave feeling disappointed.

Thankfully, he doesn’t just rely on that one TV show for material. Recycled baby joke aside, Iain talks about growing up in Edinburgh and how it was better when it was shit – “When did Leith get good?” he asks.

He’s of an age where all his friends are having dinner parties instead of going to nightclubs – Come Dine With Me Live if you will. He’s also a BAFTA-winning kids TV presenter, which leads him onto telling a hilarious anecdote of a kids Live At The Apollo style TV pilot that never came to be, where he accidentally swore in front of a kid called Farquhar.

It’s rather unfortunate that in order to grow his fanbase, Iain has to spend the two busiest pre-Fringe months in the sun narrating young people in a villa rather than writing his show, but never-the-less he has does a great job in turning a hilarious show which kept the laughter going throughout the hour.

Iain’s naturally ability to make people laugh will always shine through and I’m sure he’ll be selling out venues for many years to come.

★ ★ ★ ★


Iain Stirling: U OK Hun? X runs until Sunday 27th August at 7:40pm at the Pleasance Courtyard (Pleasance Above). Book tickets here.

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