Frank Skinner (3 stars)

This article is from 2007

Frank Skinner

Fiftysomething comic at ease with the crowd if not his material

After a decade away from the stand-up circuit, you’d think that quite a fuss would have been made of Frank Skinner’s Edinburgh return, back in the exact same room where it all started for him with his Perrier-winning year of 1991. Yet when the lights go down there is no big drum-roll or fanfare, just the sight of a 50-year-old chat show host from the Midlands sneaking out from behind a curtain. And when he does join us, what is his material mainly about? Yep, you surely guessed it, it revolves around being a 50-year-old chat show host who’s returned to stand-up after all this time.

Given his vast experience of handling crowds (whether it’s boozy hecklers in comedy clubs or leery lads in England tops), he is most at ease when chatting to the front row (a Paisley woman is tonight’s main focus for his banter) or making caustic remarks to mid-show toilet-stoppers. On the downside, it could also hint at a lack of complete faith in his material and it’s really only in the last third that he gets truly motoring, with some pleasingly jaw-dropping material about his current tastes in pornography.

Given that he’s 50, there is much musing about his favourite tablets and his friends’ overly-concerned reactions when he takes a tumble in the street, while he proudly shows off his gold tooth which may or may not makes him look like a gangsta rapper. For some, Frank Skinner may be best remembered for his role in the ‘Three Lions’ Euro 96 hit, but now back doing stand-up, he only occasionally makes us roar with laughter. (Brian Donaldson)

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 27 Aug, 8pm, £11.50–£12.50 (£10–£11).

Frank Skinner

The host of 'Fantasy Football' and ex partner of David Baddiel returns to stand-up after a decade away from the live mic.