Des Clarke (2 stars)

This article is from 2009.

Des Clarke

Showbiz shine disappears with tired material

It’s a ‘semi-political’ show this year, announces Des Clarke (the neatly-eyebrowed one off the telly, not to be mixed up with the slightly less-tidily topiaried one from Neighbours). Des has booked himself a meeting with MSP Nicola Sturgeon in September, so he’ll be using each audience as a focus group, then giving her feedback on what rules need changing. Tonight’s crowd suggestions call for forced acceptance of Scottish bank notes under the border, and killing the 80s telly and advert-man, Dougie Donnelly.

Clarke’s material about delayed trams, the pricey Scottish Parliament (yes, we are still talking about it) and the horrible Scottish weather feel a bit like the stand-up equivalent of reading The Evening News, ie heavy on the local gripes, low on any funny stuff. A surprise highlight arrived when someone in the audience announced that he was the boyfriend of Dougie Donnelly’s daughter, but Clarke somehow got no extra comedy ammo out of it. It’s a much less perky and enjoyable show than he’s brought in the past, and it seems some of the sparkle might have gone from his showbiz smile.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 31 Aug, 6.20pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10–£11).

Des Clarke

Erratic word-meister with a tongue for puns.

Des Clarke - Clarxism

  • 2 stars

UK's comedy champion (Galaxy FM, BBC Sportsround) returns to the Fringe with a dream - to start his own political movement... in under an hour. 'Memorable, distinctive and very popular' (Stage). **** (The List); **** (Evening News); **** (

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