Former comedy promoter to stand for council in May

SHE made her name pulling off some of the most audacious stunts in showbiz.

Now Melanie Main wants to save the planet instead – and is starting in the Capital.

The former comedy club promoter, who once hired a white Rolls-Royce to parade Julian Clary and his entourage down the Royal Mile, will contest the city council elections for the Edinburgh Greens on May 3.

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The dusty corridors of the City Chambers are a long way from running a raucous club in the 1990s, and bringing acts such as Jo Brand and Mark Thomas to the Fringe for the first time.

She even organised an after-show party for Nelson Mandela at Wembley and persuaded Mark Lamarr and Sean Locke to have their photos taken for French school textbooks.

Mrs Main grew up in Edinburgh and moved to London to work in production in the West End but soon became drawn to the exploding comedy scene.

She said: “I started helping out at a comedy club and eventually gave up my job and took it over. At the time it was hailed as ‘probably London’s most influential comedy club’.

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“We had a good reputation for doing things differently and we attracted people like Harry Hill, Jo Brand, and Mark Thomas.

“The Julian Clary episode was certainly among the highlights, it turned a few heads.”

The mum-of-one from south Edinburgh gave up comedy some years ago after working “every weekend of her life” and worked for the Scottish Greens at Holyrood between 2003 and 2007.

However, it was when her daughter went to school that she switched her focus to local politics.

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She said: “My daughter went to Sciennes Primary and it was very overcrowded and I thought it was important something was done.

“I felt strongly about the conditions. My daughter did her reading groups in the corridor.

“This is our future, we need to give them the best start.”

She is married to Ian Main, an academic at Edinburgh University, and works for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

Mrs Main, who is standing in Meadows/Morningside ward, is one of just over 100 hopefuls from the five main parties who will compete for the 58 council seats in the May 3 elections.

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Some key seats are already shaping up to be closely-fought contests. There are 17 wards across the city, each electing three or four councillors, and a total of 58 seats to be filled.

No party is fielding enough candidates to win an outright majority on the council, which means a coalition is likely.

The SNP is putting up the most candidates, 26, while Labour will have 23, the Conservatives 20 and the Liberal Democrats and Greens 17 each.

One of the most hotly-contested wards will be Forth, where Labour and the SNP each have one of the four seats but are both fielding two candidates in the hope of winning another. It’s the same situation in Leith Walk.

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Labour and the SNP are also both fielding two candidates in three-member Craigentinny/Duddingston and three-member Portobello/Craigmillar.

In four-member Inverleith, the Tories and the SNP are both fielding two candidates.

The SNP is also fielding second candidates in Drumbrae/Gyle, Sighthill/Gorgie, Leith, Liberton/Gilmerton. And the Tories are putting up an extra candidate in Pentland Hills.

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