Spank! seeks new hosts: ‘Ant and Dec are very welcome to apply’
Spank! is a late-night Fringe favourite at the Underbelly where anything – including clothes – usually goes. But hosts James Wren and Leon Fleury are passing on the baton after ten raucous years. Kate Copstick finds out how the recruitment process is going.
Well, some people just can’t stand the pace. After only ten Augusts at the Fringe (which makes them still toddlers in Festival years), James Wren and Leon Fleury of Spank! fame are leaving the building. The late night sweaty swearbox and comedy round-up in which we have surely all ended some nights is looking for new hosts. Yes, the show Spanks on, but James and Leon will retire into the roles of producers. They both have “other projects” and, as Wren points out: “Leon is about to become a father which means he will have to grow up (as if!)”.
And so this could be your chance at joining the Fringe Aristocracy without all the bother of creating an audience for yourself. “They just need to upload a two minute video to YouTube saying why they would like to host and they will be considered…” says Wren.
But surely they have ideal heirs to the hilarity and the heckling in mind?
“I think my ideal hosts would have to make each other laugh,” says Wren. “It’s not a show for traditional stand ups to host – Leon & I came from sketch comedy. You need to be more of a party host. I was going to say ‘Cheerleaders’ but imagine how unbelievably shit a sports team would have to be to have Leon and I as cheerleaders. I have a few people in mind who I would like but my lips are sealed at this point.”
I suggest Ant and Dec might like to get down and dirty once a year.
“Ant and Dec are very welcome to apply for the job. One of my favourite heckles ever was “you look like the fat Ant & Dec”. START THE RUMOUR!”
You heard it here first.
Talking of dirty … the new hosts (at least one of them) will be expected to continue the tradition of the naked promo.
“It started because people kept asking us to plug their shows, so we said anyone doing a show at the Fringe can promote their show on our stage for one minute on the condition that they are completely naked. We had NO idea how popular this segment of the show would become. We’ve had people produce reviews from very intimate places, people who are doing children’s shows but just want to get naked, and a group enema back stage and then sitting on buckets singing while releasing their bowels. If no-one volunteers, Leon has to do it to promote a show we have seen that day. So I think that should continue.”
I think we all do.
MORE INFO: Spank, Underbelly, midnight, until 25 August.