The host of Whose Line Is It Anyway, Loose Ends and Talks Back is back at the Edinburgh Fringe stage with a one-man show much funnier than Shakespeare’s greatest tragedy.
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Clive Anderson strides onto his stage, bedecked in a 19thcentury interpretation of a theatrical Macbeth.
He teases that he resisted the temptation to wear the Trump tartan, “Garish, with checks round the borders” but nevertheless he is brilliantly and deliberately flamboyant. Several pheasants sacrificed tail feathers to make his hat.
Macbeth is his theme of the evening, or rather it is the symbolism with which he knits together several themes. His love for and interest in the play is clearly genuine.
Citing his favourite play allows him to discuss his school theatre experiences, tales of stars he would one day interview, or horrify, and his “pretensions to be sort of Scottish”.
He speaks of family on Bute sending down the Sunday Post to be read second-hand by his father and other local Scots.
Despite being “sort of Scottish” he admitted his English home counties influenced his character development when jesting, “I like my Mars Bars pan-fried”.
Touching on national identity, family, and a distinguished and successful career, Anderson is an amusing and convivial host who enjoys explaining his trade.
It is over 20 years since he interviewed The Bee Gees, and while it still makes for a hilarious anecdote it is easy to sense that it has been a frequent topic of dinner table conversation for him, and he may just have analysed it to death.
Interestingly, time has not necessarily given him empathy. He seems genuinely bemused that his acidic one-liners in various interviews have caused offence – or maybe that is still part of the interviewer’s persona.
Certainly, he appears frustrated that those in the trade are best remembered for the shows that go “wrong”, whilst making the point he appears to have debated with many producers over the years: how “wrong” have they really gone if the audience watch?
Clive fronted ten series of Clive Anderson Talks Back on Channel 4 and four series of Clive Anderson All Talk on BBC 1. As well as presenting several other TV and radio programmes. He has made many guest appearances on shows such as Have I Got News For You, QI, Mock the Week, Countdown and Fighting Ta.
This year he is also presenting the latest Edinburgh version of Whose Line is it anyway? Live at McEwan Hall.