Chat shows are a brave format for any comedian. There was an odd moment, watching Hardeep Singh Kohli, just after the guests sat down and he had finished his prologue, that the idea seemed to stumble. He started cooking and chatting away with his first guest, but the audience didn’t seem to warm; indeed the conversation came across as forced.
Cooking, on stage is, again, a bold idea. Kitchens, especially for Scots, are something we famously associate with stress, and the careful preparation of food – readily available from the chippy or freezer – often seems pointless. Welcome to the unhealthiest place in Western Europe.
These problems quickly dissipate, however, as the cooking gets underway. Hardeep is from Glasgow, where banter is ingrained in the collective psyche; he proves a more than capable host. The combination of his friendly, easygoing nature and the wafting scent of spices and simmering lamb had an instantly calming effect on the audience.
Hardeep, more generally, has hit on the excellent idea of cooking curry at random points in life. Think how many drunken brawls or riots could have been averted had there been an open air curry cooking session. Better still, this would make excellent television, allowing the BBC to replace Jonathan Ross and combine our obsession with celebrity chefs and chat shows.
The ever-affable turban-clad Glaswegian, complete with neon yellow trainers, makes an excellent host and is well worth a taste.
Gilded Balloon Teviot, 4-30 Aug (not 25), 6.30pm