Fern Brady and Marjolein Robertson top Scotland's cultural power players list | Comics ranked alongside Young Fathers

Fern Brady and Marjolein Robertson top Scotland's cultural power players list

Comics ranked alongside Young Fathers

Fern Brady is the second most influential name in Scottish culture – with fellow comedian Marjolein Robertson at number 3.

That’s according to The List Hot 100, an annual barometer of the artistic scene published by the what’s on guide.

Mercury-nominated group the Young Fathers, with  Two Doors Down star Kieran Hodgson at number ten.

Brady – who was at No22 in last year’s list – was cited for her podcast, and memoir as much as her stand-up.

The List writer Kevin Fullerton said: ‘Between Combo and Strong Female Character, it feels like Brady is being given the space to shine. And with a comic voice as unique as hers, we hope she occupies that space for a long time to come.’

It is the second year running that Robertson ha featured on the list, making No 8  last year – the highest ranking of any comedian.

Critic Jay Richardson described her 2023 Edinburgh Fringe show as a ‘tour-de-force performance’ and her comedy as ‘nakedly personal stand-up with the folk storytelling rhythms and imagery of her Shetland roots’.

Richardson also wrote the commendation for Hodgson, saying that he ‘bookended a successful 12 months with the scurrilous Prince Andrew: The Musical on Channel 4, an all-singing, all-dancing portrayal of the Duke of York sweating (or not) his association with Jeffrey Epstein, and the seventh series of Two Doors Down, BBC One’s hit Glasgow comedy in which he plays highly strung Gordon. 

‘In between, his Fringe show Big In Scotland, the only slightly embellished account of how this proud Yorkshireman conquered Caledonia (or at least came to call it home), garnered him his fourth Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination.’

Here are all the comedy names featured with their position in the 100 listed in brackets/

1. Fern Brady (2)

2. Marjolein Robertson  (3)

3. Kieran Hodgson (10)

4, Liam Withnail & Christopher MacArthur-Boyd (11) - comics who co-host the Enjoy An Album podcast

5. Janey Godley (17)

6. Neil Forsyth (35) writer of Bob Servant, Guilt and The Gold

7. Susie McCabe (37)

8. Rab Florence (38) of  Burnistoun and The Scotts – although his co-writer and co-star Iain Connell does not get a look-in

9. Susan Riddell (77)

10 Sharon Rooney (85)

11 Amy Matthews (86)

12 Stuart McPherson (95)

 Last year, new Doctor Who  Ncuti Gatwa was No1 with violinist Nicola Benedetti No 2 – but neither features this year.

The List editor Brian Donaldson said: ‘Last year’s high-flyers could very easily have replicated their positions at the top again, but we felt that the likes of Ncuti Gatwa and Nicola Benedetti would be fine with stepping aside and letting a new bunch of stars take their spots. 

‘There’s nothing predictable or safe about our Top 10 and we believe it encapsulates what makes Scottish culture so unique and exciting. Where else would you have established players in their field such as Fern Brady and Paolo Nutini rubbing shoulders with rising stars like [novelist] Martin MacInnes and [visual artist] Sekai Machache?’

The Hot 100 will be revealed in The List’s December/January issue, which is out tomorrow.

Published: 30 Nov 2023

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