Karen Koren: Montreal was my warm up

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I HAD a wonderful time in Montreal at the Just For Laughs Festival. It is good to see how other Festivals do it and Montreal really knows how to present a festival. The Hotel was right in the middle of the action and the hotel lobby and bar area was full of TV cameras, podcasting and radio interviews constantly.

It was lovely to catch up with people who I have not seen for a while. Eddie Izzard was there compering one of the many Comedy Galas, he was in great form, looking good, told me he had given up refined sugar in all forms.

He is also very keen to promote comedians from other countries, like Germany and Russia. He has already performed his comedy in French and he is determined to be able to do the same in other languages. As well as this he is going into politics and is determined to run for Mayor of London in 2020, I am sure he will achieve this as he is dedicated and committed.

There were many other comedians there who I looked at for the Gilded Balloon next year and I am pleased to say that I have definitely found someone I am very excited about.

There were UK comics there performing in a show called Brit Com and there is a show called Set List, which will be coming to Edinburgh, sadly not the Gilded Balloon. Aisling Bea was there, one of the prizes she received for winning So You think You’re Funny. She did a set at the Set List Show and very bravely had to follow Eddie Izzard, which was amazing! It takes guts to do that and she did a brilliant job. She will be doing her first show at the Gilded Balloon.

Now my focus is completely on the month ahead. All the performers are arriving and the buzz is incredible. My team are focused and working incredibly hard. I have a great programme and on Thursday we will have a big show presenting to the press, TV and media. There will be TV cameras, radio interviews happening and all the focus will be on us. Montreal is great, but there is no festival like our own Edinburgh Festival Fringe – let the shows begin!