£500 to £2,500

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"We have worked with Purple Cactus for several years and they always comes up with the goods. They work hard securing the most suitable act at the best possible price. So much so that we are now working with them on our biggest event ever.” – Specsavers


Stephen Carlin

Stephen Carlin was born in Scotland in 1976. He frequently claims to have made his stage debut in a school nativity play aged five. This is almost certainly untrue.

It is far more likely that he made his stage debut the previous year performing magic tricks at his nursery school. No recording of that show now exists but eye witnesses recall a mesmerising turn. Carlin, sensing that the tide was turning against variety got out while he could. He was to take no further part in the 1980s. Carlin had yet to embrace the alternative comedy revolution. He was four years old and an idiot.

1993 and now aged 17 Stephen recorded a mockumentary Cabbie about fictional taxi drive Ken McGafee. To achieve a realistic recording as possible, Stephen had learned to drive specifically so it could be recorded while he was driving. Off the back of this he sometimes claims in interviews to have invented the mockumentary format. In fact Spinal Tap had hit the big screen nine years earlier. However Stephen was one of the first people to wrongly claim he’d invented the mockumentary. So he is a pioneer.

Whilst a student at Aberdeen University he submitted scripts to the Student Show. Carlin’s Monty Python writing bias at the time conflicted sharply with the rest of the writers Are you Being Served writing bias. None of his material was used but despite this fact he was awarded a writing credit in the programme. He was also referred to as an enigma in the programme. The producers had confused being an enigma with being pissed off at not having ones work used.

In 2001 Stephen moved to London to ‘do something’ with his life. He wasn’t sure what that something was. At first he thought ‘something’ may comprise of spending all his time with a guy called Dave drinking in The Black Lion in Plaistow, East London. However after persevering for a year it did not prove artistically fruitful.

In 2002 after attending a gig at London’s Chuckle Club, Carlin finally took the plunge and started performing stand up comedy. His first gig was at the Camden Head pub in Islington. Stephen now performs all over the country, he also writes a lot of comedy. He is particularly proud of his recent BBC radio series Gus Murdoch’s Sacred Cows.

Stephen lives in London. His hobbies include drinking whisky and refusing to ask directions even when lost.

He has written and performed two solo shows at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, recently supported Stewart Lee and Stephen Merchant on their national tours and appeared in ‘Stewart Lee Presents The Ten Best Stand-ups in the World Ever’.


Fast establishing himself as one of the most distinctive, and funniest, new comedians in Britain.” – Chortle

Stewart Lee is one of the funniest men on the planet, and it was no surprise to see him prove it for the umpteenth time on Tuesday night. What did come as a shock, however, was to see his support act – the hitherto unknown Scot Steven Carlin – come within a cat’s whisker of upstaging him.” – The Scotsman

PRICE BAND: Bronze £500 to £2,500

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