DON’T be fooled by the accent. Comedian and actor Ian Smith is Scottish, despite speaking in broad Yorkshire.
“My Mum grew up on Dalkeith Road and went to Prestonfield Primary and Boroughmuir High School,” he reveals.
“She’d play on the ‘play street’ - a street closed to traffic for a few hours so kids could play. A bit like what happened with Princes Street, but that was closed for years and instead of kids it was trams.”
He continues, “I am Scottish, but grew up in East Yorkshire. Every August I return to Edinburgh to perform comedy and top up my tan and while I don’t look or sound like a local, there are subtle signs to my heritage,” he laughs.
“I like Irn Bru more than most and when I hear the word tablet, I don’t think of medicine first.”
Returning for his annual visit. Smith who you might know from the Sky comedy Officially Special, or from having a leading role in the BBC1 drama The Ark, alongside David Threlfall, is performing his new stand-up show Snowflake, at Underbelly Med Quad, this Fringe.
He finds being back in the Capital conjuring up memories of his recently departed grandma.
“My mum trained and worked as a nurse in Edinburgh, and my mum and dad got married in the chapel at the Royal Infirmary,” he elaborates, “My grandma was a patient there at the time, but still made it down for the wedding. She was brilliant at making a full recovery when it looked like she wouldn’t.
“My grandma died last August - my earliest memories of her are visiting at St Barnabas Court in Moredun.
“The warden there was obsessed with Barry Manilow and had photos of him in her office, where she’d cut and glued pictures of herself in next to him - this was before Photoshop.
He adds, “When I arrive in Edinburgh I head straight to Waverley Mall for a peppermint slice - the finest Scottish snack there is.
“My show this year is about uniqueness - who better to talk about that than a Scottish man with a broad Yorkshire accent?”
Ian Smith: Snowflake, Underbelly Med Quad, Meadows, until 27 August, 5.15pm, £10-£12, 0131-226 0000