Jack Dee's Helpdesk (Edinburgh Fringe)
The straight faced comedian is joined by a different panel of comedians each night to try and solve fringe-goers' problems
If you've ever had a pressing problem that you were too afraid to ask a qualified practitioner, be it marital issues, an eating disorder or something more embarrassing perhaps, then you may just need a trip to Jack Dee's Helpdesk, where five comedians line up to counsel, assist and ultimately ridicule you in the name of comedy.
At the top of the show, Dee suggests that it's not easy booking celebrities for panel shows, "You book a bunch of TV stars, only to wake up and find the police have conducted another paedo raid." But, luckily for us, the panel for our show included top comedy talent Jen Brister, Sarah Pascoe, Jon Richardson and John Bishop, a stellar line up for the £13 ticket price.
The show's premise involves the five comedians offering advice to audience members who have scrawled down their woes on cards whilst waiting in the queue outside. Dilemmas ranged from a man whose partner didn't like his ginger hair, a mother whose daughter won't stop emptying her bank account and a septuagenerian who can't stand children in restaurants.
Hilarity ensues as the comics offer their somewhat questionable suggestions and Pascoe even got the scribbling members of the press on board, describing a dream that she had which involved her sleeping with a reviewer from the Guardian.
But it's not all about poking fun at defenceless audience members, some wise words are also offered including Bishop's suggestion that the 'grumpy pensioner' should embrace the joy and youth of the future generation rather than scorning them.
Dee admitted that the format - which feels a little like a spin-off of Room 101 - hadn't worked in London trials, but I'm pleased to say that somewhere along the A1 on its journey from one capital city to another, Jack Dee's Helpdesk has found a unique way of harnessing the day-to-day trivialities of Joe Public and using them as a spring board for a very funny 60 minutes, which could easily be twice the length.
Jack Dee's Helpdesk runs at Assembly George Square until 24 August
FOR MORE ON EDINBURGH 2014 VISIT WHATSONSTAGE.COM/EDINBURGH-FESTIVAL