The artist fomerly known as Jim Dowd... | 20 questions: James Dowdeswell

The artist fomerly known as Jim Dowd...

20 questions: James Dowdeswell

Which comedian(s) inspired you to become a stand-up?

Kenny Everett and Peter Cook.

Where and when was your first gig?

Swansea Uni Students Union in the late 90s.

How did it go?

Got through it by sheer enthusiam.

What’s the best gig you’ve ever had?

At Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, part of the Phil Kay tour with Russell Howard.

And the worst?

Comedy Cafe 2000. First paid twenty-minute set but I only had seven minutes. My mouth dried up, confidence withered. Fortunately I performed under a pseudonym - Jim Dowd. One gig. One death. He's now retired.

What’s your ultimate ambition in comedy?

To tour a show round the world.

What’s the worst thing you’ve ever regretted saying on stage?

Good Evening I'm Jim Dowd ...

What’s the worst thing a critic has ever said about you?

My first solo show was described as not just a bad hair day, his jokes were bad too. Local newspapers can be cruel.

When did you first come to Edinburgh, and what did you do?

2001 - Big Value Show.

What’s been the biggest change since then?

The Free Fringe.

Is the Fringe still where stars can be spotted?

I don't think so. Most people who do well up here have earned it by working hard for years. There's no such thing as overnight success in stand up.

What’s you favourite Edinburgh experience?

Meeting up with your mates the night before the Fringe starts. Everyone's excited and in a good mood.

And your worst?

Flyering in the rain.

Where’s your favourite place to eat in Edinburgh?

A vegetarian restaurant opposite The Counting House on West Nicholson Street [Susie’s]

And to drink?


Where do you go to escape the festival?

Our flat, bantering round the kitchen table.

What’s your view of comedy awards like the if.comedy?

Good and bad. Good - they reward excellence. Bad - some comedians get extremely competitive over them and egos clash.

What one bit of advice would you give to someone visiting the festival?

Buy one ticket to a sure fire hit, then gamble on an up and coming show.Apart from your own, what other show would you recommend?

Yianni's show - Maybe YOU'D Like To Teach The Class. At The White Horse, Canongate. 5:20pm. And it's free!

  • James Dowdeswell: Wine is on at the Baby Belly at 19:05 daily

Published: 20 Aug 2007

Today's comedy-on demand picks


This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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