EP72 – Ben Venables – Editor at The Skinny – How to get your show noticed / reviewed.

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EP72 – Ben Venables – Editor at The Skinny – How to get your show noticed / reviewed.


Total run time: 1 hour 28 mins 57 secs.

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About Ben Venables…

Ben Venables (@benvenables) is the comedy editor at the Skinny which covers the Glasgow and Edinburgh Festivals (as well as the Scottish scene the whole year round). Ben has been a journalist for a number of years and has carved out a great niche for himself as a knowledgeable and earnest lover of stand-up. I got him on to talk about the future of the Edinburgh Fringe, what it is like working at the Skinny and his best tips to get reviewed (with and without a PR).

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Here’s a list of questions we covered…

The Skinny…

  • How did you end up at the Skinny? [0 mins 0 secs]
  • Are there too many middle-people in comedy / at the Fringe? [1 min]
  • Walk us through a day in the life of a comedy editor at the Fringe. [6 mins]
  • How the Skinny operates during the Fringe. [6 mins]
  • Why they turn down shows and what it feels like to have to say ‘no’ to reviewing a show.[9 mins 30 secs]
  • How many shows can they review and why is it limited? [10 mins]
  • Which shows don’t qualify for a review in the Skinny? [10 mins 45 secs]
  • Do you just turn up to shows? What prep work goes into every day /hour / minute of the Fringe for you / the team at the Skinny? [12 mins]
  • What do you think of the fact so many judges voted for a show they didn’t think was the funniest show to win the newcomer award? [14 mins 38 secs]
  1. Bruce Dessau’s pod
  • Does an Edinburgh hour need an emotional hook? [16 mins]
  • When you should send your press release / show info to the Skinny? [17 mins]
  • What demographic of reader does the Skinny have? [22 mins]

Edinburgh Fringe…

  • Given the expansion of the Fringe do you think that a “great show” will really make its way through still?
  • The Edinburgh Award Winner this year,  Bruce and I were talking about how it’s not the funniest show and even in it he said (jokingly) that he shouldn’t have put it in the comedy section. What did you think of it and what do you think of awards in general?
  • How do you see the Fringe evolving over the next year?
  • What practical advice do you have for a performer looking to get coverage from the Skinny either during or outside of the Edinburgh Fringe?

Other questions…

  • What are the best books on comedy, writing, stand up etc you’ve read?
  • Best show you’ve ever seen?
  • What’s the biggest mistake you’ve ever made and how did you get over it?
  • What are the common misconceptions people have about what you do?
  • What is the most interesting thing you do that nobody else ever seens?
  • Who do you think is the most underrated person in your industry?
  • What do you think is the biggest problem in the comedy industry and how would you go about solving it?
  • Best bit of advice you’ve ever been given?





Simon Caine is a comedian, author, podcaster, writer and social media manager. He's the host of the Ask The Industry Podcast (iTunes link) , writer of jokes for Twitter and teller of gags on the London comedy scene. He's also the person writing this and it is taking all his willpower not to make a "Simon Says" joke.
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