Fern Brady & fellow comedians dominate The List magazine's Hot 100

Thursday 30th November 2023, 5:00pm by Jay Richardson

Fern Brady. Copyright: James Robertson

Comedians dominate Scottish culture magazine The List's Hot 100 creative movers and shakers, with Fern Brady in the number 2 position and two more comics in the top 10.

Fellow stand-up Marjolein Robertson is at 3 in the Scottish talent run down, with Yorkshireman Kieran Hodgson at 9, the Two Doors Down star qualifying because he lives in Glasgow.

The annual list, which is nominated by the magazine's writers, is topped by Edinburgh-based pop-rock-rap trio Young Fathers and features comedians Liam Withnail and Christopher Macarthur-Boyd at 11 for their Enjoy An Album podcast and stand-up and author Janey Godley at 17.

Bathgate-born Brady was primarily cited for her "brutal and frank" memoir Strong Female Character about her autism, with the magazine praising its "rich insight into smalltown Scottish living, Catholicism, feminism, and the clear class divide which still fester in universities" in a "sharply written piece of work which pulls readers through incredible trauma with a morbid sense of humour and genuine laugh-out-loud moments".

The Social Presents... Comedy. Marjolein Robertson. Copyright: BBC

Robertson was acclaimed for her "tour-de-force" Edinburgh Fringe show Marj, "bringing intimacy, mischief and magic" to an hour blending "nakedly personal stand-up with the folk storytelling rhythms and imagery of her Shetland roots".

Kieran Hodgson

Hodgson meanwhile, was included for his show Big In Scotland, which earned him his fourth Edinburgh Comedy Award nomination, as well as his role on Two Doors Down and for writing and starring in Channel 4's Prince Andrew: The Musical.

Other comic voices featured in the Hot 100 include prolific panto and theatre maker Johnny McKnight (21); Gary McNair (24), writer and performer of the acclaimed play Dear Billy about Billy Connolly; Neil Forsyth (35), writer of the returning Bob Servant sitcom; stand-up Susie McCabe (37); The Scotts co-creator Robert Florence (38); rookie stand-up Gail Porter (48); comedian Susan Riddell (77); Bob Servant star Brian Cox (88); comedy actor Sharon Rooney (85); stand-up Amy Matthews (86); sometime comedy actor Lois Chimimba (88) and comic Stuart McPherson (95).

Brian Donaldson, editor of The List, said: "It's been another special year for culture within Scotland and by those Scots who are plying their creative trade outside the country these days. Last year's high-flyers could very easily have replicated their positions at the top again, but we felt that the likes of Ncuti Gatwa and Nicola Benedetti would be fine with stepping aside and letting a new bunch of stars take their spots.

"There's nothing predictable or safe about our Top 10 and we believe it encapsulates what makes Scottish culture so unique and exciting. Where else would you have established players in their field such as Fern Brady and Paolo Nutini rubbing shoulders with rising stars like Martin MacInnes and Sekai Machache?"

The Hot 100 issue of The List magazine is available free in various outlets across Glasgow and Edinburgh from Friday.

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