Interview with Hardeep Singh Kohli

Hardeep Singh Kohli takes some time to talk to Voice about the show, inspirations, and to give advice to young people.

Interview with Hardeep Singh Kohli

Could you first introduce yourself to the reader?

Hello reader. Can I say how handsome/lovely you look today. I'm Hardeep Singh Kohli, comedian, raconteur, chef, broadcaster and international style guru*

*Not really

How would you describe your show?

Alternative, Fact is about the political state of the world. I'm a deeply political animal and it feels like we need to reflect and laugh about the madness around us….

Why do you want to perform at Edinburgh Festival Fringe?

I think it's hugely important for Scottish acts to be part of the world's largest arts festival that is held in our country. It's also just a great time. I get to see a lot of shows and catch up with lots of friends. Plus they have great beer in Edinburgh….

What differentiates it from other festivals?

It's 48 minutes from my house….

Do you think the Fringe has changed over the years? If so, how? Are these changes positive or negative?

In the words of Robert Burns, "Everything changes but you." Or was that take That? The Fringe has grown. It feels less like the edgy event it was and much more like a business. The free fringe has shaken things up but it does often feel like it's a showcase festival for performers that want a career in TV and radio.

On the upside there are a lot more women on stage and there is a real sense that the acts are representing the diversity of the UK

What first motivated you to enter the industry? Who were your inspirations?

Who doesn't want to work in showbiz?

Like so many Glaswegians of my age we simply wouldn't be where we are were it not for Connolly.

If you didn't have your current job, what would you probably be doing?

I'd probably be an advocate (what the English refer to as a barrister. Either that or an international style guru*

*Not really

If you could have any job in the world, what would it be?

I'm doing it….

What is your earliest childhood art memory?

1975, Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Salvador Dali's St John of the Cross.


Do you ever feel any pressure to be a social commentator, or constantly update material to respond to events?

That's a very good question. In a sense it doesn't feel like pressure if you are genuinely engaged in the subject matter. Alternative, Fact is slightly different though. I need to be very careful not to end up lecturing or preaching….

Equally, do you think there has been a shift in public sentiment that has affected your work?

I regard myself as a regular citizen so inevitably there is a shift

Describe the last year in 5 words or less?

Careful what you wish for

If you could work with anybody, from any point in history, who would you pick and why?

Billy Wilder

Why would a performer opt to do either a ticketed event or participate in the free fringe? What are the benefits and limitations of both?

Yet another very incisive question! The free fringe mitigates against the huge expense of simple getting a show on at the fringe. Some folk budget to lose a few grand just to come to the fringe.I might have gone to the free fringe but given I already have a profile I might have taken an audience that an up and coming act deserved.

What advice would you give to someone who wants to take a show up to the fringe?

Ask yourself why?

When and where can people see your show?

17.15, Assembly George Sq. Studios (Venue 17)

And where can people find, follow and like you online?

Twitter/Instagram @misterhsk

Hardeep Singh Kohli: Alternative, Fact is performing at Assembly George Square Studios at 17:15 on 2nd – 27th (not 14th). For tickets and more information visit the Ed Fringe website.


Tom Inniss

Tom Inniss Voice Team

Tom is the Editor of Voice. He is a politics graduate and holds a masters in journalism, with particular interest in youth political engagement and technology. He is also a mentor to our Voice Contributors, and champions our festivals programme, including the reporter team at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

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