IT’S the morning after the opening of his debut Fringe show and Baywatch legend David Hasselhoff is happy.
“It was a good night,” he laughs, as he arrives at the Evening News office to record today’s On The Fringe festival podcast.
“It was a very funny night because, after we had a rehearsal, I had to fly back to London for the premiere of Keith Lemon: The Film - in it I play David Hasselhoff, the host of Hoff An Hour.
“So, I saw Keith, and the movie was hysterical. Jumped on a train. Saw the beautiful countryside and the next thing I know we’re on stage.
“There’s an act before you and an act after you, so you don’t have much time to prepare, so what could go wrong, went wrong. But the audience loved it and I got a five-star review, which got me quite emotional because they could have talked about my kilt almost falling off...”
The Hoff, as he is affectionately known to millions, first visited the Capital last August and admits he’s fallen in love with the city’s medieval feel.
“I really want to visit Mary King’s Close and I can’t wait to go to the Tattoo tonight, so I’m quite excited,” he reveals.
“My first visit, I was here with my daughters. We did a radio show for Comic Relief at midnight and I didn’t get much of a chance to see Edinburgh - when I walked around, everyone chased me. So I’ve decided to wear a David Hasselhoff mask this time, because I figure no-one will think I’m such an idiot as to wear a mask of myself.”
An Evening with David Hasselhoff Live: From Baywatch to Broadway to Berlin, runs until Monday at the Pleasance Courtyard. A stroll through his life, it’s a multi-media celebration of all things Hoff.
“I do a tribute to Knight Rider,” he says. “We show the out-takes of the car exploding when it landed and there’s also a few of the dress mishaps on Baywatch.”
More recently, Hasselhoff has been a judge on Britain’s Got Talent, but it was his cameo in the 2004 Spongebob Squarepants movie that helped re-establish him with audiences.
“Spongebob was one of my all- time favourite things,” he grins. “My daughters were eight and nine at the time and were like, ‘Oh my God dad! You’re on Spongebob!’ That kept me current with the kids. My audience is eight to 88. It’s amazing.”
Modestly, he reflects that his popularity is simply due to his longevity.
“I think it’s because I’ve been around for centuries. I’m 60 years old now... I may bring back Baywatch, but I will definitely be running in slow motion.”
As the title of his show suggests, music too plays a large part in Hasselhoff’s life - famously he played Berlin’s Brandenburg Gate in 1989.
“I had a hit single called Looking For Freedom. The Berlin Wall happened to come down on November 9, my song was No 1 during that period. They asked me to sing on New Year’s Eve to one million people and I said, ‘Only if I can sing on the Berlin Wall.’ I thought they would say no. They said yes.”
That song, too, features in the show.
“It was an amazing event, 22 years later it’s getting honoured as a moment in history. A lot of times, people made a joke about it, and I laughed. When I went on tour last time, the Germans were thanking me. I thought they were making a joke, but they said, ‘No, we were in East Germany, the first English words out of our mouths were, I’ve been looking for freedom.’
“Music and sport transcend all politics and race. So if you’ve got music and you’ve got sport, you can get into any country and bring the world together. That’s what my show is about.”
• An Evening with David Hasselhoff Live: From Baywatch to Broadway to Berlin, Pleasance Courtyard, until Monday, 6pm, £17.50-£20, www.edfringe.com