Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Edinburgh Fringe: Angus Deayton on returning to where he launched his career

Angus Deayton and the Radio Active cast (Steve Ullathorne)
Angus Deayton and the Radio Active cast (Steve Ullathorne)

ANGUS DEAYTON is back where it all began.

The One Foot In The Grave and Have I Got News For You star is at the Edinburgh Fringe, where he launched his career more than 30 years ago.

And he’s performing in Radio Active, which grew out of those first shows with the Oxford Revue that went on to be an award-winning hit on radio before transferring to TV.

“The first time I came up to Edinburgh was 1978, and the last time I did Radio Active here was about 1984,” says Angus, who doesn’t look anything like his 60 years.

“What drew me back was coming to see the show Missing Hancocks here last year, which was put together by Neil Pearson who I knew from our days on Waterloo Road.

“I noticed they were basically 1950s scripts that hadn’t changed, they were still making references to Anthony Eden and they were playing to packed audiences.

“I thought that was pretty much what we — me, Philip Pope, Michael Fenton Stevens and Helen Atkinson-Wood — had spent the whole of the 1980s doing, and the stage show originated at the Fringe, so why not resurrect it?

“So we’ve totally nicked Neil’s idea!”

Speaking of stolen ideas, Radio Active — which spoofs the early, chaotic days of commercial radio — morphed into KYTV which did the same for satellite TV.

And it’s not difficult to see similar ideas in Brass Eye, the news show send-up that gave us inept sports reporter Alan Partridge who now seems uncannily like Angus’s Mike Channel, an ageing, fading star.

So has Steve Coogan been sending royalty cheques for inspiring his most successful character?

Angus Deayton (Steve Ullathorne)
Angus Deayton (Steve Ullathorne)

“Funnily enough, I did a show called Brunch on Capital Radio in the 1980s and played a sports presenter called Jim Nike, and I was away for a couple of weeks and they got another actor in and it was a young comic called Steve Coogan!” reveals Angus.

“Nike was even closer to Partridge than Mike Channel, but I don’t know if that was the inspiration, maybe he already had the idea?”

The Oxford Revue — the student comedy group of which the current incarnation is appearing for its 52nd year at Edinburgh — is a breeding ground for British comedy talent.

It’s spawned the likes of Dudley Moore and Rowan Atkinson as well as Michael Palin and Terry Jones who joined up with John Cleese, Eric Idle and Graham Chapman from Footlights, their counterparts at Cambridge, to form Monty Python.

However, that’s an unusual incident of cooperation between the two.

“In our day, you’d come up with about 40 other people and sleep on the same gymnasium floor in a Masonic Lodge with everyone taking a turn to cook,” Angus recalls with a smile.

“One year, we shared a venue with the Footlights, which was a mistake because they were our arch rivals and there was a number of fist fights!

“I recall one cast member, whose name I won’t reveal, fighting with a set designer and they’re still frosty when they meet in London today!”

Radio Active is at the Fringe until August 28. For tickets visit


Rula Lenska on her upcoming Edinburgh show and her infamous appearance on Celebrity Big Brother

12 Sitcoms to sit back and savour