Nov 27

Hello

I just thought I’d write a wee blog to explain why, after nine years of hosting my own shows on Australian TV, I have decided not to present Adam Hills Tonight for ABC1 in 2014.

Basically, I need a rest. More to the point, I need a break. I fear that in trying to combine a career on UK TV as well as one in Australia, I am in danger of, to put it simply, running out of funny. I love what I do, and am very lucky to do it, but it is also important to recharge every now and then. As a comedian you can’t talk about life if you don’t have one, and at the moment my life consists of planes, trains, cars, TV studios, and stages. Like I said, I love every minute of it, but I also need some time away from it to come up with something new and funny to say.

Added to all this is the fact that my wife and I are expecting our second child any day, and I don’t want to be so busy making other people laugh that I don’t make my own daughters happy.

The mere fact that I will be the father of two girls means I will need to get back to work as soon as possible, in order to pay for whatever outrageous demands teenagers will have in 2023, so rest assured I will be banging on the ABC’s door before the end of the year with a whole laptop full of new ideas, and may even resurrect Adam Hills Tonight in 2015 if anyone will let me.

I am so grateful to the ABC, and more importantly to the viewers, for letting me have the TV career I have had thus far, and I can assure you this is not a decision I have taken lightly.

I will still be on Aussie TV screens in 2014 with The Last Leg, which Channel 4 in the UK have commissioned for at least another two series, and I am also talking to Channel 4 about some new ideas (some theirs, some mine) which may also make it back to Australia. Plus I have plans for another stand up tour in 2015, so I’m certainly still going to be knocking around.

For now though, (and I’ll be honest, I’m not even sure how many people will feel the need to read this blog) I’d like to reiterate how thankful I am for the way things panned out – from Spicks and Specks to Gordon St to AHT – and I have never taken any of it for granted.

Oh, and by the way, I am very happy that Spicks and Specks is to be regenerated. We always felt there was life in the old dog, and I wish Josh, Ella and Adam all the best for a successful run.

Again, I feel very lucky for the career I’ve had – I just don’t want to get to the end of it and wish I had taken some time to enjoy it.

That’s all for now,

Adam

Aug 21

Well, the last regular show of Mess Around was one to remember – for many reasons.

After doing my usual faffing about with the crowd, I stumbled upon a young couple who looked very much in love. His name was Alexander, and he had traveled eight hours from John-O-Groats to be with his girlfriend. It was your classic love story – a psychology and history student working as a barmaid, courted by a Royal Tour Guide of the Castle Mays (I think that’s what he said)

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Compared to the couple of thirty years alongside them, it was like a before and after shot

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Meanwhile two guys in the front row provided a slightly different before and after shot

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However the excitement of the night came via an absent Olympian.

You may remember a few nights ago I called Silver medallist Michael Jamieson from the stage, after a mate in the audience gave me his number. Well, Michael promised to come to the show and bring something for me to auction off for The Sick Kids.

I organised tickets for Michael, but just before the show he texted me to say there was only one ticket at the box office, so I’d have to make do without him. I called him during the show and left a message, begging for him and his mate to come along, and with ten minutes to go he replied to say he was on his way.

As if written by a Hollywood screenwriter, Michael made it in the dying minute of the show. Not only did he sign a Team GB shirt for the auction, he also brought along the Silver medal, and once again our stuffed toy called Hector wore an Olympic medal – this time Silver.

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Michael was such a lovely and generous guy, and I was gutted that a mix up meant he didn’t get to see the show. Thankfully he was a great sport (pun intended) about it, and he set the scene for the Charity Auction later in the night.

Before we document it though, let’s remember how it all started.

2010: A lady called Fiona brings a stuffed toy called Honker to my show. We make him the star of the show, and use him to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. It culminates in Jason Byrne and I hosting a Charity Auction of toy Irn Bru taxis, signed by Iain Rankin, Biffy Clyro, Steven Moffat, Kevin Bridges, and Jason, Mark Watson, John Bishop and myself.

2012: Fiona brings along Hector, and the whole thing starts again. This time, I decided to find Olympic memorabilia, and thanks to some well-connected audience members, and random gifts from other audience members, the items we auctioned included: A Team GB Olympic scarf, a Team GB inflatable mascot, a Team GB Sports Bottle, a Team GB shirt (all of which were signed by the comics on stage) and a Team GB rucksack.

By the way, I should mention that the comedians on stage included Marcus Brigstocke, Heath Franklin as Chopper, Jason Byrne, myself, John Bishop and eventually Jimeoin. Mark Watson couldn’t make it but he did sign the shirt.

There were also some books on Olympians, provided last minute, but the biggest items were the signed bits and pieces, which included:

A Team GB shirt, signed by Scottish 800m runner Lynsey Sharp. Sold for 100 pounds!

A pair of Official Aussie Team swimming racers, signed by Bronze Medallist Brenton Rickard. Sold to Heath Franklin as Chopper for 200 pounds!

A Team GB top, signed by Silver Medallist Michael Jamieson. As you can imagine, the bidding was fierce, and it hotted up when John Bishop suggested we each throw in four tickets to our next gigs.

Higher and higher the bidding climbed, until a man called Robert eventually won the day with a bid of 800 pounds.

Combining this with the tickets sales for the night, I estimate we raised around three thousand pounds for The Sick Kids. But it’s not over…

You see, I had a sneaky feeling there may be a few more items handed in after the auction. And I was right. A lady called Danielle called me to say she has tracked down a Team GB Cycling top signed by Gold Medal winner Steven Burke. Meanwhile Miachael Jamieson also signed his Team GB swimming cap. And someone has left a gift in an envelope for me at the venue, even though I have ducked back to London for a few nights to appear on a Paralympics TV Show.

So…we have scheduled another Charity Auction – this Thursday at midnight at Assembly Hall. Once again it will be hosted by Jason Byrne and me, and all tickets sales and auction bids will go to the Sick Kids.

You can buy tickets here – http://www.assemblyfestival.com/event.php?id=321 and if it’s anything like last night, it may go on for a while.

Just when I think I’m out of the Fringe, I drag myself back in again.

Of course, you can donate to the cause wherever you are by clicking here www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070 (if you’re in the UK)

Thanks in incalculable amounts to John Bishop, Mark Watson, Heath Franklin, Jimeoin, Marcus Brigstocke and my amazing buddy Jason Byrne. There are no words to describe the talent of our sign interpreters Yvonne and Catherine The Great, and my everlasting gratitude to the venue staff who made it all happen.

Of course, to all the audience members that helped collate the items I say thank you, the same goes to those that bid last night, and every last bit of love I have goes to Lynsey Sharp, Brenton Rickard and Michael Jamieson for being champions in every sense of the word.

And now – to do it all again on Thursday.

More to come, but only a bit

Adam

Aug 20

Ok peeps. the Fringe is getting on top of me. It’s three hours to my final show, and I have to quickly write the updates of last night’s shows. Here’s what happened.

The early show was memorable for a front row that consisted of a group of three Scottish couples, a man whose wife was at home, and a single English girl. After calling a Real Estate Manager by the name of Chris to the stage, where he dutifully picked out who was married to whom, I tried to set single Sophie up with an eligible bachelor in the audience.

With the help of some appropriate music, a fan, and a scarf, we created a lovely romantic moment on stage, and a couple were almost born:

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The second show fired up nicely, as I found two guys called Adam, one of whom looked like what would have happened of the other version had started smoking joints at University.

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I asked the more clean cut of the Adam’s (from USA) to try Irn Bru for the first time, and here’s how it looked:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBwEdsjvGFk&feature=youtu.be

I also found a lady called Jennifer in the front row, who was wearing a Fringe pass. Turns out she is doing a show that she wrote, and she gave me a flyer. I then took the flyer around the audience, trying to find which accent would give it the best voice over effect.

I tried Samuel from Henley-On-Thames

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but the best voice came from Katy, who put on a superb French accent

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Well done Katy, you made an excellent voice over person. If you’re interested, the show is called “Photographing The Dead” and here is a photo of Jennifer and her Mum.

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And there you have it.

Tonight I have my final show, and then my charity auction for the Sick Kids which will take place at midnight. You can help the cause by donating here www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and the amount you wish to donate in pounds to 70070.

Gotta run, more to come

Adam

Aug 18

Unlike last night’s show, I have plenty of photos to show you, of both shows I did tonight.

First up, the early show:

It all started with a tweet I received before the show of a guide dog asleep in the front row, with the caption “Harsh criticism for Adam Hills before the gig even starts”

I decided to take  photos of the dog, called Eamonn, through the show to document his interest levels over the hour. Here’s how it started:

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Next up I found an Aussie with the best name ever – Brock Ditchmen. And here’s his license to prove it:

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Turns out Brock was with his girlfriend, whose surname was “Officer”. So I took this photo:

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and called it “An Officer and a Ditchmen”

Eamon seemed to like this bit

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In amongst all this, I found out it was the 18th birthday of a young lady in the front row called Tori. I gave her Dad twenty quid and asked him to go out and buy a drink and a present for her. He came back with a bottle of Vodka, and a wee Highland Cow, and we sang Happy Birthday to Tori:

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Eamon was not impressed

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There was a little banter with a Dutch guy called Alex:

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and I found an American called Karen, who I educated in the ways of “Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again?”

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Eamon was so excited he came on stage for a visit

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And Tori’s family seemed happy too

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In other news, my search for Olympic memorabilia to auction for The Sick Kids took an interesting twist, when an audience member told me he was mates with a Silver medal winning swimmer from Glasgow called Michael Jamieson. I asked for the audience member’s phone number, but he gave me Michael’s instead, so I called him from the stage.

Not only was Michael OK with me calling him, he offered to donate something to my charity auction for Sunday. What a champion!

The charity show and auction will be at Assembly Hall at midnight, and will be hosted by me and Jason Byrne (Mark Watson and Marcus Brigstocke are also threatening to drop in). So far I will be auctioning a Team GB shirt signed by comedians, a pair of Official Australian Racing Swimmers, signed by Bronze medallist Brenton Rickard, and whatever Michael can come up with.

Tickets are available here https://www.assemblyfestival.com/event.php?id=321

and you can donate directly here www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070

Finally I took a wrap up photo of Eamon and his owner, a lovely Australian photographer who has an exhibition at The Old Ambulance Depot in Edinburgh. I highly recommend it.

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That was all for an exciting first show, but what a difference a few hours makes…

The late show was rowdy, drunken, and mainly centred around the front row. They were from Norwich, they were all related, and they were celebrating Lewis’ 18th Birthday (it seemed to be the night for it)

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They brought along their own party poppers, balloons, and a card, so we saved them all up and ended the show with a party-poppin, balloon-bouncin rendition of Happy Birthday.

I also managed to find a young American lad who impressed me mightily by knowing who Norman Borlaug was

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and serenaded Kimberley from Australia, who was an Environmental Scientist

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and that was the end of my night. A lovely, long, lively one indeed.

Only two more nights left of my Edinburgh season of Mess Around. I will of course, let you know how they go.

Adam

Aug 18

Hi peeps

I am cramming a few blogs in tonight, so in the words of Prince – “forgive me if I go too fast”.

Last night’s show was hard to document, mainly because the star of the show didn’t really want to be photographed for a blog. He was lovely, he was older, he was wearing what I thought was a cravat. His name was Tony, and he took great pleasure in telling me “You know nothing”.

He removed what I thought was a cravat, and showed me that it was in fact “a square”. Tony was a true gentleman, and I acquiesced to his wish of not including a photo of him in this blog.

The only other people of note were, well, the entire front row. They were a positively rowdy group of Geordies, all connected to a Scot who was an engineer in Kuwait. When I asked how they all knew each other, he said “From Oman”.

Of course.

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I’m sure other stuff happened in the show, but these seem to be the main points.I plugged my campaign to raise money for The Sick Kids, and if you’d like to help out, please click here www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector

Also, I plugged my final night charity gig and auction, which will be hosted by myself and Jason Byrne, tickets for which can be purchased here – https://www.assemblyfestival.com/event.php?id=321

That’s all for last night’s show, now on to tonight’s blogs….

Aug 16

Tonight’s show began with a man called John Archibald, who looked vaguely familiar.

It turns out John was in my show two years ago, and I referred to him as James Bond. In fact, two years ago I called John on stage, and created this photo:

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After a bit of chat, I decided to let John off the hook for the night, as I realised it was time to find a new Bond. I asked John to come to the stage, and with the help of a couple of women in the front row, we took the last photo of the outgoing James Bond.

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I then called a dapper lad by the name of Andrew to the stage, and with the help of Lauren and her mum, we ushered in a new Bond.

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I tweeted that photo, and asked “If this is a James Bond film, what should it be called?”

An audience member suggested “Keeping it in the Family”, a title that was then tweeted to me by another audience member, but the clear favourite was

JRB @JRBSays The man with the purple tum

I then continued my mission to compile a video of people tasting Scotland’s favourite beverage Irn Bru for the first time. Tonight it was Janet from Australia.

You can see it here

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnLrEfs5GFw&feature=youtu.be

What you won;t see on that video is what Janet said after I stopped filming, which was “It’s not as bad as Coke.” I decided that would make a great slogan should Irn Bru ever want to advertise in America, so I asked a Scottish man called Graham to demonstrate what that ad might look like.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=efjPhnDMUnM&feature=youtu.be

Finally, it came time to add to my Olympics memorabilia to be auctioned for The Sick Kids.

This Sunday at 11.59pm I intend to hold a charity show and auction for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh. I can tell you that Jason Byrne has agreed to co-host with me, and that all proceeds of both ticket sales and auction items will go to The Sick Kids.

Tonight Aussie swimmer Brenton Rickard (who won two Silver medals in Beijing, and a Bronze in the 4 x 100 relay in London) was in the audience, and brought along a signed pair of the official Australian team racing swimmers for the auction.

Not only that, Brenton brought along the Bronze medal from London, and graciously agreed to bring it on stage. He even let me photograph the mascot of my Sick Kids campaign, Hector, with the medal around his neck

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It was actually quite a special moment to have an actual Olympic medal in the room, and after all the jokes that have been made at my expense about the performance of the Australian team, there was a hushed awe when Brenton took the medal from his pocket.

Thanks mate, it was a pleasure to have an Olympian on stage, and I hope the trunks will be a hugely popular item at the auction.

Don’t forget you can donate to Hector’s campaign here: www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070.

I can’t wait to see what happens next.

Adam

Aug 16

Are we really up to Night 13? My God how time flies.

My apologies for not posting this blog last night – I was out on the town with an Olympian, but more of that later.

Last night’s show centred around a few memorable people. One was a young lad who was in no doubt that the man claiming to be his father was indeed his father. Take a look at this photo and tell me it isn’t the personification of the phrase “a chip off the old block”

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Take a look at this photo of “Trent” from Australia, and tell me he isn’t an Aussie Jesus.

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I tweeted the photo and asked what an Aussie Jesus might be preaching, but I have to say, the responses didn’t get the laughs I was hoping for. The only one of note was “He’s turning water into waves”

I decided that maybe Trent needed to give us a sermon of his own choosing, so I started filming and he came out with this:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FC2fMHhRues&feature=youtu.be

It was the look at the end that sold it.

The only other audience members that really caught my attention came via twitter. I had read a tweet backstage from a lad called Christopher, who said he was in the front row. His twitter bio said he was in love with @stevieshoop. I was a little unsure who Stevie was, and why Christopher was in love with his hoop, until he pointed out his girlfriend’s name was Stevie Shoop.

In fact, there was a whole family of Shoops in the room. Three generations of Shoops. I brought them all to the stage, and asked them to pose with a plethora of bits of Olympic memorabilia that had been left for me backstage.

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The Shoops do follow me on twitter, and have been to my shows before, and I was very happy to see them again.

As you can see, my search for Olympic items to auction off for The Sick Kids is bearing fruit, with a lovely audience member leaving all those items in my dressing room. The auction itself will be in my final Mess Around show, Sunday August 19 at 11.59pm. All proceeds will go to The Sick Kids in Edinburgh, and you can help out by donating at www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070.

I was very impressed by the Olympic stash I had accrued, but not as impressed as I was in tonight’s show…

To Be Continued…

Aug 15

The Mess Around caravan continues to roll on my friend, and here’s what happened last night.

Amongst the madness in the audience were a group of Americans who were traveling with a gnome called Brian. Of course.

Brian was brought to the stage, where I staged a photo in which Brian was doing a gig to the crowd.

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I tried to tweet it and ask the question, “What should Brian’s show be called?” After a few failed attempts to harness phone reception, only three tweets came back:

Tom Newman @TomNewman07 “fifty shades of gnome”…

Wendy @theweird1ne Brian ‘gnomes’ best! ^_^ #Edfest
Dickie @guittarra101 …. Gnoming me, gnoming you ?
What’s weird is, after the show I looked at my phone again, and I don’t think my initial tweet ever actually sent. Which means those replies were either psychic, or came from within the audience. Either way, well done.
Other notable audience members included Callum and his girlfriend – who seemed like the oddest couple ever but were actually really sweet
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A Canadian guy (who, when asked to say something hot, replied with “I quite like chips with cheese and gravy”) and his girlfriend
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and a Swedish guy called Dante (who I only found at the end of the show, but looked like the illegitimate son of one of the Proclaimers, so I invited them back tonight)
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I continued my pledge to raise money for The Royal Hospital for Sick Children by announcing that I am staging a charity auction at my venue, on Sunday August 19 at 11.59pm. Tickets are on sale now, and all proceeds go to The Sick Kids.
I asked the audience if anyone had contacts at the Olympics, and after a long pause a man called Robin was dobbed in. Reluctantly he admitted he may be able to help, and he gave me his card. Turns out he is the President of the ACT Olympic Council in Australia. He promised to source something valuable for me, so fingers crossed it’ll be a hit.
By the way, here is a photo of Brian the gnome with Hector the stuffed toy that is spearheading the charity campaign.
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You can help out the campaign by donating at www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting the word HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070
Finally I found three women down the front who told me they came from Brazil and Italy. When I asked how they knew of me they said that they all watch my stuff on youtube, and they they were part of a bigger group that included a Welsh woman sitting up the back, and some Americans that came earlier in the week.
I have to admit I was a little bit chuffed, surprised and a l non-believing of the fact that I have an international group of internet fans that traveled to Edinbrugh to see me. So I decided to put something up on youtube that the ladies could watch when they get home, that proves they were on stage with me at the Edinburgh Fringe.
At the audience’s suggestion, I hauled Dante to the stage, and we all took part in a rendition of The Proclaimers’ 500 Miles. And here it is ladies.
Again, I am genuinely touched and happy to know that there are people around the world that like what I do. Good for you, and Youtube.
And that’s about all for last night’s show. Great fun, and thanks to yet another brilliant audience of people.
Aug 14

Well it was all happening in last night’s audience.

First up was a man from London, who had spent a week at the Olympics, decided to come up to Scotland, and didn’t realise he had booked tix to see me on the night of the Olympics Closing Ceremony. He asked if I could wrap the show up by 8.45 so he could get home in time to see it.

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I then asked if anyone was in from somewhere exotic and got “Netherlands” from Anne Marie:

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but she was easily outdone by the lady from Jamaica

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There was also an Australian who made the nasal whine of all Aussies

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And a Scot who made the unintelligible noises of a Scotsman mumbling dourly

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Of course, Sunday night is my sign-interpreted show, and tonight there were a few deaf audience members in. A guy called Joel was sat behind a young man whose mother was deaf. The young lad had no idea what was being signed behind his back, so Joel threw in a few “blue” signs

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but revenge was sweet

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and Mum, being Scottish, was very proud

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I then announced that I would be doing a Final Charity Show this Sunday the 19th at 11.59pm to help Hector the stuffed toy raise money for The Sick Kids. I plan to have an auction of Olympic memorabilia, and already one of the Australian swim team, Brenton Rickard, has offered to bring something to the show for me this week.

A glance into the crowd let me know that a woman called Christine was wearing a Team GB shirt. I asked if she would be up for donating it to the cause, and she said she could take one of my shirts from backstage in return. A quick change later, and I had an extra item to auction, while Christine went home with one of my shirts

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Tickets are available for the Sunday show at 11.59pm, and all tickets sales will go to the Sick Kids as well. In the meantime you can donate at www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070

Finally I did my usual trick of filming an audience member as they had their first ever taste of Irn Bru. This time it was Ellen from Australia:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=us_bBptym4g&feature=youtu.be

And that’s all for last night’s show. Another wonderful, silly, messy hour of audience-play.

More to come

Adam

Aug 12

Hello all

It’ll be pretty clear from this photo who the star of last night’s show was:

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Yes, an Irishman who lived in Australia and looks like Jesus. I found him as he made his way out of the venue ten minutes into the show because “I need a piss”. That is becoming a feature of my shows of late.

I tweeted the above photo, with the words “Clearly Jesus is doing a show at the Fringe. What should it be called?”

The responses included:

neil forrest @rusperneil nailed

FLC @flcrosbie my dad’s bigger than your dad

Brian O’Keefe @rider45 The Last Fish Supper?

Scott @dascotton 1. Cut My Hair If You Like But Leave The Fringe or 2. We May Need To Deep Fry The Fish or 3. Turning Wine To Irn Bru

Ian @Realitydenial Bradley Wiggins let’s himself go

But the one that got the biggest laugh was tweeted from within the room

louise coombs @Zaroesoul Jesus has a Hitler tash (on photo) n he’s a wanker , with love from his girlfriend! :) x lol

I also took a photo of Jesus spruiking Irn Bru to the masses, and if anyone at Irn Bru reads this, feel free to use it in an advertising campaign

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Finally a Swiss man called Jan came to the stage, and helped me with a photo. See, not many people know that when Jesus returned to Earth he took himself off to a day spa, and got himself cleaned up. This is the before and after shot:

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And that’s really all there is to tell of last night’s show.

I will be making an announcement tonight about a charity show I intend to put on in order to raise money for the Royal Hospital for Sick Children next weekend, but in the meantime you can continue to donate to Hector here

www.justgiving.com/AdamHillsHector

or by texting HECT87 and an amount in pounds to 70070

More Messing to come

Adam