City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

City Guide to Edinburgh, Scotland

Johnnie Walker’s Guest Night Review

By Irene Brown - Posted on 03 August 2013

Johnnie Walker
Show details
Freemasons Hall
Universal Quidem
Running time: 
Johnnie Walker

As the twanging notes of Duane Eddy’s Because They’re Young fill the auditorium of the New Town Theatre, fans of BBC Radio 2’s legendary presenter and top class DJ, Johnnie Walker, will recognise the familiar tones of his long standing theme tune.

Looking the epitome of casual elegance in well-cut jeans, pale blue shirt, navy high-buttoned sleeveless top and a fine pair of brown cowboy style boots, Walker warmly greets the audience in his well-known great radio voice. He is carrying his years extremely well and has a pretty good TV face too!

The stage is set to give the appearance of a kind of gentlemen’s club with a pair of winged chairs, a filled bookcase, a standard lamp and a table between the guests with drinks. A screen is behind Walker and his guest on which relevant slides appear at the click of a button by Johnnie, if the technology works!

Walker is famous for his time working on Radio Caroline, the pirate station of the ‘60s, as well as putting out some fine music over the years on BBC Radio 1. The former is suitably saluted with the playing of Neil Diamond’s Sweet Caroline before the start of the show. He is now regarded as one of today’s finest radio interviewers, having conducted hundreds of interviews, stories and features, covering a wide range of topics and bringing attention to a range of eclectic subjects.

Having honed his skills, and recently won the Sony Bronze Music Radio Broadcaster of the Year, Walker has come to Edinburgh’s Fringe to interview a different star guest each night from the worlds of music, arts, sports and politics during his daily 60 minute live show.

Actor Steven Berkoff was the guest on Saturday 3rd August. In spite of just having come off stage from his show An Actor’s Lament, he spoke virtually unprompted for nearly the full time, during which Walker was mostly a polite listener, his not inconsiderable interviewing skills being greatly underused on this occasion.

That is not to say he was impassive. When he got a word in, he put in a diplomatic challenge. Berkoff however gave great value with his strong opinions regarding the arts and modern society and although the exchange was somewhat imbalanced, Walker’s pleasant and easy demeanour still makes the remaining shows augur well.

Over the run, Walker has a fascinating variety of guests to join him for a tête à tête, covering a wide spectrum of tastes. (See list below)

This event marks two firsts for him - visiting Edinburgh and appearing as both host and star of a Fringe show. The question is, will he still manage to broadcast Sounds of the Seventies?!

Aug 1-25 18:15, £14.00 (£12.00)

Johnnie Walker’s Guest Night Schedule

Thursday 1st August
interview with Johnnie Walker

Friday 2nd August John Godber & Jim Gellatly

Saturday 3rd August
Steven Berkoff

Sunday 4th August
Mitch Benn

Monday 5th August
Robin Ince

Tuesday 6th August
Ian Lavendar

Wednesday 7th August Martha Reeves

Thursday 8th August

Janet Street Porter

Friday 9th August Garry Christian

Saturday 10th August

Reginald D Hunter

Sunday 11th August
Val McDermid

Monday 12th August
Lucy Porter

Tuesday 13th August
Tony Benn

Wednesday 14th August
Esther Rantzen

Thursday 15th August Billy Ocean

Friday 16th August
Jon Culshaw
Saturday 17th August
Scott Gorham (Thin Lizzy)

Sunday 18th August
Elizabeth McGovern
Monday 19th August
KT Tunstall
Tuesday 20th August
Francis Rossi

Wednesday 21st August
Steve Harley

Thursday 22nd August

Friday 23rd August
Kate Adie

Saturday 24th August

Kiki Dee

Sunday 25th August interview with Johnnie Walker