Iain Dale and comedian pay tribute to Edinburgh Fringe after "heartbreaking" cancellation

1 April 2020, 21:00 | Updated: 1 April 2020, 21:05

Iain Dale and comedian pay tribute to Edinburgh Fringe

By Fiona Jones

Iain Dale and comedian Matt Forde, who were both set to perform at this year's Edinburgh Fringe, pay tribute to the "wonderful" world-renowned arts festival.

Five of Edinburgh's summer festivals, including world's largest arts festival Edinburgh Festival Fringe, have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic.

This is the first time in 70 years the festivals haven't taken place - the events attract 4.4 million people to Scotland's capital every year.

Iain Dale, who did a show at the Fringe last year, talked to longstanding comedian Matt Forde about this shocking news.

"Your safety and your health are the most important things," said Matt, "but it's just heartbreaking."

Living in London now, he said, the month in Edinburgh is the only time of year he experiences fresh air and clean tap water.

Iain lamented the loss of income for all the venues, restaurants and taxi drivers that depend on the Fringe's income each year.

"I really worry for the city," said Matt, agreeing that it'll be devastating for the Edinburgh economy when one considers the millions of people that descend on the city yearly for a whole month.

Iain Dale said he was particularly devastated because Michel Barnier had agreed to come and talk on his Fringe show this year.

Matt added that this will be extremely damaging for all the up and coming comedians because "it's the biggest global stage for a comedian to be found."