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Last Updated: Monday, 11 August, 2003, 14:10 GMT 15:10 UK
Street-Porter on her Fringe debut
by Jenny Green
BBC News Online in Edinburgh

Janet Street Porter
Media mogul Janet Street-Porter has been winning rave reviews for her one-woman show All the Rage at Edinburgh's Fringe festival.

In a career spanning four decades, she has had jobs including an architect, producer, director, presenter, executive, journalist and editor.

But she is now asking audiences what direction she should take next.

Her show is a warts and all account of her life and offers an entertaining hour of showbiz stories.

Street-Porter answered 10 questions on what it is like performing for the first time in Edinburgh.

  • How different is it being an act at the Edinburgh Fringe compared with the other work you have done at the festival in the past?

    I first came to the festival in the 1980s, when I attended the TV Festival, which was full of lots of self-important executives talking about the demise of the single play. Eventually I chaired it and even gave the McTaggart lecture, in which I moaned about the 4 Ms ruining the British media - male, middle class, mediocre and management.

    I've been to the Fringe about 20 times, often looking for talent for TV series I'm making. This time is a first - every day I have to go out on stage and give it everything - it's like running a marathon. The first time I was really scared, but now I'm enjoying it.

  • What has been your Festival highlight so far this year?

    The end of my first show, the applause and people coming up to me in the street saying they have enjoyed it.

  • Have you had much heckling yet?

    I chose to be on at 5.10pm, between tea and drinks, which is not a major time for hecklers.

  • What made you decide to get on stage and share your stories so honestly?

    My friends said I was whingeing a lot and in danger of becoming a female Victor Meldrew and why didn't I turn all my ranting into a one-woman show. I also liked the idea of doing something I hadn't done before - I like a challenge.

  • Why Edinburgh and where will you take your show beyond the Fringe?

    I have always enjoyed the complete variety of shows on in both the Fringe and the main festival. You can go from opera to drag. Edinburgh is also architecturally one of the most beautiful cities in Europe and I love being able to sample everything else that's on.

    We haven't decided if I'll do the show anywhere else yet, it has always depended on how audiences responded to it and how I felt at the end of a three-week run.

  • Which area of your life do you find the most difficult to talk about?

    Nothing really, if you see the show, you'll see it is very honest.

  • Which shows have you seen and what do you recommend?

    Twelve Angry men is great. Napoleon in exile - a very unusual production with a great soundtrack and choreography. Monet - not really my cup of tea. Topping and Butch, gay cabaret - that's a laugh after a few drinks. Also the J boys, Gay Samurai review - great dancing but goes on a bit long.

  • What has been the best suggestion for your next career move?

    Relationship counsellor or leader of the Conservative Party - both equally appealing.

  • In your show you speak frankly about your relationships - have you ever had a highland fling?

    No, but I got so drunk at a shepherds' dance in the Borders once I wandered out from doing reels and fell in a ditch for a sleep. I was found after several hours because my bright green suede boots were sticking up in the air.

  • What's your best Edinburgh moment or memory?

    Getting slaughtered with David Baddiel and Jenny Eclair one year in the bar at the George Hotel. Some of us decided to have a Frisbee throwing competition in the foyer at 2.30am.

  • What will you bring to the Festival next year?

    I'll come whether I'm on stage or not because there will always be shows I want to see, and I love staying in the New Town.

    Janet Street-Porter's All The Rage is on at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh at 1710BST until 24 August.


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