Sandi Toksvig comes to Fringe with live show My Valentine
The author and broadcaster's show is inspired by her latest novel, Valentine Grey
This article is from 2012.
You started your career writing and performing in Footlights first all-women show at Cambridge University. What advice would you give to acts new to the festival experience?
I would recommend you see as much as you can, and learn as much as you can. You can learn such a lot from other performers.
You’ve had an incredibly varied career. What’s been the highlight?
I always say the best job I had is my last but really I’ve loved them all, it’s all been pretty jolly. Well, actually, that’s a lie. I did a sailing expedition for the BBC in the 90s; I was asked to paint a lighthouse -- as you do. Everyone laughed and said, I bet you haven’t done this before, and of course I had, for a kid’s programme, years before, I realised how surreal my life was then! But I wouldn’t have it any other way.
You write everything from kids to adult fiction, as well as an array of non-fiction. What inspires you?
I love writing. I think about who I’m writing for and I just do it. I’ve been inspired by the comments of a 12 year old girl, my own son, or just bits of history that inspire me. Different people and things inspire me: that’s how it should be I think to keep it interesting. My latest book, Valentine Grey [which inspired Toksvig’s latest tour] was inspired by a plaque in a church. Everything starts from something and then you just allow yourself to dive into another world.
Here at List HQ there is a lot of love for your role in Radio 4’s The News Quiz. What’s been your favourite topic in recent years?
Sarah Palin has been a total gift. A gift from the Gods, and continues to be an ongoing source of entertainment.
You’ve been quoted as saying, you don’t think of yourself as a comedian but rather a writer and broadcaster. Why?
I don’t like the word comedian. There’s a suggestion you haven’t got anything intelligent or important to say. It suggests you have no point to make, which isn’t true. Funny can say a lot.
What can we expect from your Fringe show?
There’ll be a lot of laughing and dancing, a questioning of why people write. There’s a history quiz, and by the end we’ll be on our feet listening to some lovely music. I hope people will go away smiling.
Sandi Toksvig Live: My Valentine, Pleasance, 0131 556 6550, 17--23 Aug, 2pm.