Emergency Question: Have you ever been in the proximity of one of your heroes and been too shy to say anything to them? | Edinburgh Fringe comedians answer © Roy Reyna/Pexels

Emergency Question: Have you ever been in the proximity of one of your heroes and been too shy to say anything to them?

Edinburgh Fringe comedians answer

Every day until the end of the Fringe, we're asking one of Richard Herring's Emergency Questions from the RHLSTP podcast to comedians. Here's today's batch of insights... RHLSTP is also at the Assembly Rooms at 13:00 from today 3 to August 14. Tickets.

Yes - Victoria Wood. I was working front of house at a theatre and she was coming to see the show. She came in through my auditorium door, and I had to tear her ticket and give her directions to her seat, but I was so nervous and excited that I couldn't speak, so I had to do the whole interaction through the medium of mime whilst smiling wildly at her. She didn't seem too angry about it, and her friend who was with her gave me a really big thumbs-ups as they walked down the corridor that I'd gestured towards very balletically. So, I think it was ok?     Katie Pritchard whose show Disco Ball is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 6:05pm

I was once in the same bar as Steve Coogan, but being visually impaired I didn't know he was there until my friend told me. I wasn't confidant enough I'd make it over to the right person to say thank you but wish I had. Even if I'd thanked the wrong person first, that would have been nice for them wouldn't it? Tom Skelton whose show 2020 Visions (What if I hadn't gone blind?) is on at Underbelly at 7:15pm

Just the opposite. Finally got to meet Ricky Gervais at the NTAs in 2021 and talked AT him for well over ten minutes (there was free champagne.) He was so polite and patient but I just couldn't stop. Got back to my seat and just buried my face in my hands. There was so much I wanted to talk to him about and none of it came out of my mouth. Just a load of bollocks.  Jon Courtenay whose show Against The Odds is on at Gilded Balloon at 6:30pm

Several times. I used to work as a waitress for a fancy catering company, and there were so many occasions where I slowly, silently, offered one of my heroes a canape with an overly intense stare on my face. Ailis Duff whose show Notflix: Binge is on at Gilded Balloon at 5:00pm

I met Ian McKellen once; he'd just watched a stupid sketch that I wrote and was telling the actor in it that he was really funny but I was too much of a wimp to pipe up and say I'd written it.  Lucy Frederick whose show Lucy Frederick's Big Fat Wedding is on at Gilded Balloon Patterhoose at 3:40pm

Yes, all the time. I used to be pretty cripplingly shy before I started doing standup! I've definitely weirded out a lot of authors in signing lines back in the day. Rebecca Kaplan whose show Arielle Dundas and Rebecca Kaplan: Parfait is on at Laughing Horse @ City Cafe at 12:05am

No, I flyered Nick Cave in Brighton. I flyered him in Edinburgh. Weirdly he has just turned up in my local Peckham deli so I think he is the one stalking me. Charmian Hughes whose show Charmian Hughes: She! Immortal Horror Queen's Guide To Life is on at Counting House at 6:00pm

Yes absolutely! I was standing next to Damian Lewis the other day (I am a big fan of Billions)... but I was in one of those exclusive clubs where celebs hang out, so I didn't want to bother him. I thought that if I ignore him, he will become so intrigued with me and eventually start talking to me! It did work (sort of). He eventually spoke to me. He wanted to order a drink and asked if I worked there. Schalk Bezuidenhout whose show I'll Make Laugh To You (Like You Want Me To) is on at Gilded Balloon at 7:40pm

When I was super new I went to go watch a Just For Laughs roadhow that swung through my town and I knew the theatre they were performing at so I knew were the stage door was. I saw all the comics get into this white van and I was almost going to yell and give them my business card (yes I know, cringe) but I ultimately was too shy and I thank god every day that I never handed Phil Hanley and Tone Bell my business card.  Erika Ehler whose show Femcel is on at Monkey Barrel  at 9:40pm

Three years ago, I saw Nelson Mandela eating Dairylea Lunchables in the car park outside Knutsford Northbound Motorway Services. Fairly sure it was him. Tom Little whose show Tom Little Has Good Reviews So Prepare to Be Impressed is on at Subway at 3:45pm

Once I met a hero, I gushed over them and how their TV show changed my life. A few minutes later a voice in my head said 'Jaysus you're a sycophant', so I returned to my hero and told them, I spoke out of nerves and that I just think their stuff is OK and then I walked away. I've met them since but I pretended that I've never met them before, they probably think I'm tapped in the head, and they'd be right. Alison Spittle whose show Wet is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 4:45pm

I'll always regret not shaking Margaret Thatcher's hand. Smashing the patriarchy long before it was fashionable. What a lady. Yassss Queen.  Garrett Millerick whose show Just Trying to Help  is on at Monkey Barrel at 11:25pm

I was once in the proximity of Tracey Ullman in Toronto, and all I could think to say to her was, 'Do you live in Toronto?' Emmy Blotnick whose show The 30 Fragrances of Jennifer Lopez: A Show About Death, Betrayal and Financial Ruin is on at Assembly at 6:40pm

I was in the same room as Black Francis from Pixies for a couple of hours once. He was alone and seemed happy to have people chat to him. I wanted to tell him I don't think his new songs are as bad as everyone else seems to. Probably for the best I left him alone, I guess. Sean McLoughlin whose show So Be It is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 7:55pm

I once was too shy to speak to Richard Herring after a show at the Leicester Square Theatre. I was hanging around on my own for 10 minutes, before I forced myself to have the courage to go up to him, awkwardly say 'thank you, that was great!', before running away, annoyed that I hadn't said half of what I wanted to. Tom Mayhew whose show Trash Rich is on at The Stand at 9:20pm

I once ran into Steve Carell - like, physically ran into Steve Carell. I was looking behind me while walking on the sidewalk then turned forward and bumped into him. He was standing in a group outside a restaurant waiting to get brunch with his wife and he smiled and said 'excuse me' and I just said 'no problem', even though the run-in was clearly my fault. I sped-walked away and my jaw dropped as soon as I passed him. Then I acted like I forgot something in my car so I could walk past him again, but I walked back through his group, he smiled and said 'hi', and I replied with a falsetto 'hi', and just kept walking. I’m 0/2 for now, but I hear third times a charm… Lanessa Long whose show The Lanessa Show is on at Just The Tonic at The Caves at 10:50am

I once met Roger Daltry from The Who, but was too nervous to talk to him. My Mum on the other hand wasn't and ended up snogging him. Brennan Reece whose show Crowded is on at Pleasance Courtyard at 8:20pm

At our very first live show, we ended up inadvertently opening for Robin Williams. We were in the green room with him for 15 minutes, too scared to say anything. Eventually, he came up to us and offered us Indian food. We turned it down and still regret it.  Brian McElhaney whose show BriTANicK is on at Assembly at 7:45pm

Published: 3 Aug 2022

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