Nick Helm – 'If Al Murray is reading this: hello, you mean a lot to me'

Nick Helm – 'If Al Murray is reading this: hello, you mean a lot to me'

Ahead of his Fringe return, the Uncle star recalls some golden Edinburgh memories

The star of BBC Three's Uncle and Channel 4's Loaded is set to crashland his up-close and personal style of stand-up onto the intimate surroundings of the Pleasance Courtyard's iconic Cabaret Bar. Here, Nick Helm muses on Edinburgh memories, domestic chores and his favourite veg

So, you've been filming pretty solidly for a year. Have you even had a minute to think about a new stand-up show?
I filmed Uncle then I filmed Loaded then went straight into filming a food show for Dave: it's just been absolute chaos. I've been doing previews and writing my show and having meetings and on top of that I've been doing my laundry, tidying my flat and trying to see my friends before I go on the tour in the autumn. Life admin. Without laundry, you don't have clothes. Or you'd have to buy new clothes all the time or you'd wear dirty clothes all the time. I've tried all of those things and the best option is the classic one of washing my clothes.

In Edinburgh you'll be performing in the Pleasance Courtyard's Cabaret Bar: what do you think of it as a venue?
One of the first gigs I saw in Edinburgh was Al Murray in the Cabaret Bar in 1997: he got me up on stage and gave me a hug. It was an amazing show; really intimate and before he was super-famous and I think that really had a lasting impression on me about stand-up and about audience participation.

How would you react if you saw Al Murray in your audience at the Cabaret Bar?
If Al Murray came to see me, I would be surprised. I'm not entirely sure he knows who I am. I met him once in some toilets in a members club in Edinburgh. I was drying my hands and he washing his: he commented on the cowboy shirt I was wearing and I told him that without him I probably wouldn't be doing stand-up. We had a moment but we were probably both a bit hammered. But if he's reading this: hello, you mean a lot to me.

Given that you've just filmed a food show, it would be remiss not to ask you about your favourite vegetable. So, which is it, Nick?
Green beans or sugar snap peas. But if I was getting an Indian takeaway, I would always order a side dish of Bindi Bhaji or okra: I do love that. And then of course there's peas, but I've covered that with sugar snap peas. And obviously there's sweetcorn and radishes. It's not a simple question. I like broccoli, I love red cabbage. On sprouts, I recommend them with malt vinegar.

Nick Helm: Masterworks in Progress, Pleasance Courtyard, 14–27 Aug, 5.20pm, £10. Eat Your Heart Out With Nick Helm starts on Dave, 24 Aug, 8pm.

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