Karen Koren: Fun in the sun in Oz - all in a good cause

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I’M in Melbourne. It is so warm and such a beautiful city, but unfortunately I really just don’t have any time to enjoy it - I’m too busy going to shows at the comedy festival.

At the moment I’m averaging between three and four a day, which probably doesn’t sound a lot but when they are all 15 minutes apart, I end up running from one to another without the chance to chat to anyone or even find time for food or a drink.

It’s all worth it, though. I’ve seen some brilliant shows, such as Daniel Kitson’s new stand-up set, which is a work in progress for this year’s Edinburgh Festival.

I also went to see Jason Byrne’s new show. Absolutely brilliant - it involved a bit of Irish dancing.

Sam Simmon’s new show is also superb - so different from Jason’s. They will both do so well in Edinburgh this August. It’s great for me to get see shows that are going to other Fringe venues as I’d never get to see them in Edinburgh.

Melbourne gives me a chance to catch up with people who have either worked for me or are promoting shows and would like to come to Edinburgh. Inevitably, that means networking in the Peter Cook and Hifi Bars until two in the morning when I retire to deal with the emails waiting from home. Still, can’t complain too much as it is lovely and warm.

The Melbourne Comedy Festival is hosting a private screening of my BBC TV series, Late ’n’ Live Guide To Comedy, on Saturday, and I have to give a wee introductory speech to the great and the good of Melbourne. I’m pretty nervous.

Still, I fly home on Easter Sunday, so if I make an ass of myself there will be another year until they see me again.

Whew!