Queen’s Hall, Edinburgh, Sat 28 Jun
This article is from 2008.
They say a person’s character is formed by the time they’re seven. According to Fred MacAulay, his was pretty much good to go by age five. ‘Back then I was making up stories and telling lies to amuse people. And 45 years on I’m doing exactly the same thing.’ Proof of MacAulay’s tall tales can be seen in his stand-up show, which is coming to Edinburgh at the end of a two-month Scottish tour. The presenter of Radio Scotland’s morning show, MacAulay & Co, and guest joker on TV shows like Mock the Week, has dug out his primary one school jotter, and blown it up for a slide show that reveals an early flair for fabricating stories. ‘It’s not fabrication, it’s utter shite!’ he corrects. ‘I claim to have been fishing. How many five-year-olds do you know who go fishing? I’d never been anywhere near a rod in my life.’
If lies don’t work, the pally Perthshire man, known for affable, quick-on-his-toes banter, has other ways of getting laughs. In the past he’s flashed his bum in a sketch show with Ally McCoist, sung on Fame Academy and performed stand-up wearing a polka dot dress. ‘That was before Eddie Izzard started doing it though. I suspect he was in the crowd that night and nicked my idea.’
When this tour wraps up, it’s back to his second and third loves (after stand-up), live radio and TV. But he’s looking forward to August when, as with every year, he and his wife will ditch Glasgow to rent an Edinburgh flat for two weeks, cramming in as many Festival shows as humanly possible. ‘I wouldn’t miss it. But this year the kids aren’t allowed to share. I was an angry dad last year. They were coming in as I was leaving for the radio show. That just made me jealous.’