We chat to our Festival Favourite Mark Watson ahead of this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After your experience on Bear Gryll’s Celebrity Island, do bad gigs, unruly crowds and hecklers hold any fear?

Mark Watson: It certainly recalibrated my ideas about what danger is. An audience would have to do a lot more to scare me than might have been the case previously.

It must have given you plenty of material though?

Most of what I took from the island was genuine self-improvement and the actual stuff of life. I have had no success making comedy out of it. It genuinely did scar me quite a bit.

It sounds as though it was a life-changing experience

I had a strange couple of existential seconds seeing a headline about my own death. The Mirror ran a story with a headline saying ‘Shock death on Celebrity Island?’. They had seen the trailer for an episode in which I said I felt I was going to die and they had written a story around this. The thing is, I had been back home for about four months before the show was broadcast so it seemed odd to be reading about my imminent death.

Has Celebrity Island changed your audience?

It brought me to the attention of people who had no idea of who I was before. Whether or not I have a gained a new and sustainable audience remains to be seen. If people come to my live shows expecting to see me shivering on an island or picking limpets off rocks than they are going to be disappointed.


Mark Watson: The Infinite Show

Pleasance Courtyard, 1-27 August (not 13, 24, 25), 7pm, from £14.50 

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Mark Watson: How You Can Almost Win (Work in Progress) The Stand Comedy Club, 14-23 August, 1.35pm, £10 

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