Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan

Mark Dolan is a comedian, writer and presenter who made his name in the 2002 hidden camera series, The Richard Taylor Interviews, in which he gave job applicants horrendous interviews.

He has fronted The Last Word debate show on More 4 and appeared on Sky One's movie review show Popcorn, but is probably best known for hosting Channel 4's Friday night entertainment show, Balls of Steel in 2005 and 2006.

Dolan started his career on the live circuit, where he still appears, making it to the finals of new act competition So You Think You’re Funny in 2000.

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Mark Dolan: You're Awesome!

Note: This review is from 2013

Review by Hilary Wardle

Possibly the laziest show at this year’s Fringe, You’re Awesome sees Balls of Steel host Mark Dolan reading out a list of things he thinks are awesome. No, really. That’s it.

He hasn’t even bothered to memorise the list. He’s just reading out a series of words he’s printed out and then stuck to a music stand. He probably wrote them down on the train on the way to Edinburgh, while chuckling quietly to himself in the first-class carriage.

Some of the things that Mark thinks are awesome include ripe and ready to eat avocados (although they never are, are they? Eh! Ahaha!) and farting while alone.

It’s worth noting at this point that awe is defined by the Oxford dictionary as ‘an overwhelming feeling of reverence, admiration and fear’. It’s hard to say whether anyone has ever been so overwhelmed by the sight of a ripe avocado that they’ve fallen to the ground trembling, dazed with a sense of utter wonder and mind-boggling rapture, but it’s possible. But feeling the same complex soup of emotions after being dazzled by your own farting ability? That seems slightly less likely.

Some of the ‘awesome’ things on his list do raise genuine laughs, and his frequent digressions into chatting about his own experiences are amusing. However, some of the list items seem a bit out of place.

A story about tattooing your mother’s maiden name on to your cock sits uncomfortably alongside observations about how nice it is to find money in a pair of old trousers. The scatological sections make a nice change from the cardigan-and-pipe humour that fills the rest of the show, but at the same time they’re extremely tonally jarring: a bit like finding a set of instructions for cooking meth in a Jane Austen novel.

There are glimmers of star quality in amongst the bog standard ‘dogs putting their heads out of a car window! Doncherjustlovethat!’ internet list humour, but on the whole you could get the same experience by just going online and reading a ’32 Things That Are Awesome’ post on Buzzfeed. If you did, you’d at least be spared his self-congratulatory chuckles, patronising head tilts and cries of ‘Darling! Aren’t you lovely, darling? What’s your darling name, my lovely darling?’

Dolan should definitely cross ‘my attempts at audience banter’ off his awesome list.

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Published: 7 Aug 2013


Past Shows

Edinburgh Fringe 2007

Mark Dolan: I’m Here To Help!

Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Mark Dolan: Sharing Too Much

Edinburgh Fringe 2013

Mark Dolan: You’re Awesome!

Edinburgh Fringe 2014

Mark Dolan Changes the World

Edinburgh Fringe 2016

Mark Dolan: Life Hacks


Patrick Bustin
Contact by email
22 Rathbone Street
Office: 020 7287 1112

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