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Chat Masala's Guest Booker Andrew Rogers Winds Down

By • Scotland
I write this with just a couple of hours to go before my last Edinburgh show. At 3pm on Sunday 28 August 2011 my Edinburgh will officially end.

Monday is a day to sort myself out and then on Tuesday I'll catch the 10.30 train back to London, my home and my cats and my Edinbubble will pop.

For the last four weeks I've been eating, living, sleeping, drinking (quite a lot of drinking actually) Edinburgh with other people who have been doing the same. Apparently there were some riots or something in London and there's some kind of storm on the Eastern seaboard of America but neither of these things really penetrated the Edinbubble.

My job here has been to book the guests for Hardeep Singh Kohli's Chat Masala - a cookery-cum-chat show in which the Glaswegian Sikh raconteur interviews celebrity guests while cooking a curry (haggis curry on a number of occasions). The hour is rounded off with a music act while Hardeep serves up the curry to his guests and members of the audience.

I cannot off the top of my head think of a better gig to have had. How many people can say they have hung out backstage with the lovely Debbie McGee while the legend that is Paul Daniels did some card tricks for them? And who knew that Anita Dobson is actually the nicest woman on the planet? (Well, actually, everyone who's ever met her knows that, it turns out). Ruby Wax, Fascinating Aida, Frisky & Mannish, Dave Gorman, Viz founder Simon Donald, Buffy's Tom Lenk, Miss Edinburgh and Miss Glasgow, Bobby Crush in his Liberace outfit... I could go on. And I will. At every dinner party. Who am I kidding? To anyone who will listen. Watch out, Post Office clerks.

Of course there were some panics and some misfires: the guest that cancelled at 40 minutes' notice, the guest who didn't turn up at all and the occasion on which I mistook Sarah Millican for a member of an a capella girl group from Berwick upon Tweed with the disappointed-sounding words, "Is it just you?"

But I suppose what has really surprised me has been how nice everyone has been: no divas, no demands. Nobody minded sitting for three-quarters of an hour in what passes for the Green Room, squeezed between the props from the other shows with whom we played Box & Cox.

And that's about as glamorous as it gets for anyone here which is one of the reasons there is such an easy-going camaraderie around the place. New friendships have been made. The company (quite big because Seabright Productions has 12 shows in Edinburgh) feels like a big, mostly happy family. I hope that not all of this evaporates as soon as the Edinbubble bursts.

I'm sure it won't.


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