Page last updated at 00:03 GMT, Saturday, 22 August 2009 01:03 UK

Roll up for publicity stunt prize

By Angie Brown
Edinburgh reporter, BBC Scotland news website

Ideas man stunt on toilet roll
Comedian Shed Simove sent out 1,000 toilet rolls to promote his show

The award for the best publicity stunt at the Edinburgh Fringe has three contenders so far.

Comedian Shed Simove has been noticed for his "poo publicity" after he printed details of his show, Ideas Man, on every sheet of 1,000 toilet rolls.

Warren & Hanbury climbed Arthur's Seat naked to publicise their show, All To Bare at the Gilded Balloon.

Comic Lewis Schaffer persuaded The List in Glasgow, he was sponsoring the Edinburgh Comedy Awards for £99.

He managed to get the publication to print that the awards would now be called 'The Lewies' in his honour and his 82 year-old mother would be on the judging panel.

John Fleming, co-producer of the Malcolm Hardee Awards, said: "What impressed me is that, even in an abject apology forced on him by the Edinburgh Comedy Awards' lawyers, Lewis, managed - not once but twice - to plug full details of his own show, including title and venue.

Malcolm Hardee
Malcolm Hardee was known for his outrageous publicity stunts

"It is this subtle mastery of blatant marketing spin that Malcolm would have appreciated.

"Edinburgh has got a bit serious about comedy. We want to put the fun and anarchy back into the Fringe."

A retrospective 2008 award is being given to Gill Smith who, last year, sent the organisers an e-mail nominating herself for the main Malcolm Hardee Award.

She then put on her own posters "Malcolm Hardee Award Nominee".

Kate Copstick, Malcolm Hardee Award co-producer, said: "We thought we'd better give her a Best Publicity Stunt Award before she gave it to herself."

The 2009 Awards will be made on Friday evening (28 August) in the Debating Hall of the Gilded Balloon.

The late Malcolm Hardee, an English comedian and comedy club proprietor, died when he fell into the docks in Rotherhithe, London, in 2005.

He was known for his outrageous publicity stunts.



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