Simon Fanshawe
Simon Fanshawe

Simon Fanshawe

  • 67 years old
  • Writer

Press clippings

On Simon Fanshawe being made University of Edinburgh rector

I don't like our new rector. I think he's an attention-obsessed "activist" reliant on the trendy anti-trans rhetoric tossed around academia. But I won't blame the university for his new power just because his personal politics are opposed to my own; I can't, they didn't elect him. We all elected him. By not even so much as nominating another candidate, we gave power to whoever did actually nominate a candidate. And that's a shame.

Anna Claire Shuman, The Student Newspaper, 27th February 2024

Simon Fanshawe: why are trans activists raging against a gay-rights hero?

Stonewall co-founder Simon Fanshawe is loathed by the LGBT lobby because he believes in same-sex attraction.

Jo Bartosch, Spiked, 15th February 2024

Simon Fanshawe named as University of Edinburgh rector

The former comedian, who now works as a consultant on diversity and inclusion, will take up office on 4 March following an uncontested election. Mr Fanshawe won a Perrier Award - awarded for the best comedy show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe - in 1989. He was one of the six co-founders of LGBT rights charity Stonewall but has recently criticised the organisation for their views on transgender rights.

Craig Williams, BBC, 12th February 2024

Edinburgh Festival Fringe: 26 photos looking back at the Fringe in the 1980s

So many memories from August in Edinburgh in the 1980s.

Kevin Quinn, Edinburgh Evening News, 23rd July 2023

Simon Fanshawe: I'm proud to be a politically correct comedian, but I'm not woke

The comedian is a white British atheist, his husband is a black Nigerian Muslim who is 26 years younger - humour is all about difference.

Simon Fanshawe, The Sunday Times, 14th August 2022

Simon Fanshawe: Transwomen are transwomen

I am all for people trying to find themselves. I just wish men weren't finding themselves in women's spaces.

Kate Copstick, Entertainment Now, 12th August 2022

Edinburgh Fringe 2022: The comedy lineup so far

Here's a small fraction of some of the comedy coming up at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Jamie Dunn, The Skinny, 24th July 2022

Simon Fanshawe interview

In this broadly biographical performance, Simon looks back at his career and childhood using razor-sharp wit and personal stories to explore, hand in hand with his audience, why valuing difference and finding common ground with people you disagree with matters.

On The Mic, 21st July 2022

Standups on why they quit comedy

She may be one of the favourites for this year's Edinburgh Comedy awards, but Hannah Gadsby is about to call time on her career. Here, Gadsby, Patrick Marber, Natalie Haynes and Simon Fanshawe explain why they hung up their microphones.

Brian Logan, The Guardian, 16th August 2017

We do love a bit of camp, we Brits. Frankie Howerd, Larry Grayson, Dick Emery, Mr Humphries aka John Inman all perpetuated the non-threatening camp stereotype in the sixties and seventies - unlimited innuendo but no sex please, we're British.

That all changed in the eighties with the coming of alternative comedy and the black leather-clad Julian Clary. Camp's hidden agenda was well and truly outed, paving the way for Rhona Cameron, Graham Norton, Simon Fanshawe and others to do full-frontal gay comedy, warts and all.

In The Archive Hour, Simon Fanshawe traced the history of gay comedy over the past 30 years, from the double standards of Howerd and Grayson, always fearful of alienating the audience by appearing openly homosexual, through the overtly gay material of Clary and Cameron to today's more androgynous approach, where the quality of the material counts for more than any concerns about sexuality.

You got the impression Julian Clary quite missed the shock and awe days of the eighties - "I enjoyed the sharp intake of breath when I crossed the line" - though Fanshawe was in no doubt that today's open-minded audiences were much to be preferred.

Graham Norton said he soon got bored with doing gay jokes, having traded on his gayness at first, and consciously started to introduce other subjects. "I was lucky in that I could do Irish jokes as well as gay jokes," he said.

I'd never heard of the Australian Brendan Burns, a straight stand-up who does a funny line in anti-homophobic material, nor the Anglo-Bengali gay stand-up Paul Sinha, but their contributions sent me scurrying off to YouTube to see further exposure.

Nick Smurthwaite, The Stage, 28th September 2010

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