The Award Winning Robin Ince Star Of The Off
Show type: Edinburgh Fringe 2004
Channel 4's The Pilot Show, Radio 2's Day the Music Died, Radio 4's The In Crowd, Spanking New on 7. What's his Midas touch?
Robin Ince has enjoyed a glittering showbusiness career, working with all the greats: Pollard, Brandreth and Winkleman to name but three.
On the other hand, you could see him as something as a media whore, appearing on every talking heads programme going, drawing the line only at Sky One's Britain's Biggest Mingers and even then he was tempted.
While his celebrity is not so much Heat magazine as lukewarm, for this show he adopts a stance of false immodesty, promising to share the secret of his phenomenal success with a roomful of devoted fans.
In this character of self-deluded D-lister, Ince bitterly lays into those he considers less talented than him. It's fair to say that after this, he probably won't be working for either Chris Moyles or Vernon Kay again; not after punching a melon likeness of his grinning face, that's for sure.
Some of these attacks have a genuine contempt behind them, while others are more tongue in cheek such as claiming credit for The Office and a handful of other award-winning shows thanks to his glancing involvements.
This is really a show for the media-savvy, as he takes sly digs at the likes of the formulaic jokes he had to churn out for the 11 O'Clock Show or mocks old-school comics with a knowing wink. The brief extracts from Syd Little's autobiography, demonstrating not one jot of self-awareness, are unintentionally hilarious.
Ince often sidetracks himself from the thrust these postcards from the outer reaches of celebrity, and it's here where the funniest stuff often lies, even if it's not strictly on-topic.
He's an engaging raconteur in this smug guise, the misplaced arrogance adding to the disrespectful fun. The show, presented in a lecture style, is consistently entertaining, even if it's a bit too knowingly ironic to scale more impressive heights.