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Television; Breakfast TV stars Mel and Sue go back to their stand-up roots.

Byline: Steve Hendry

Fronting a show called RI:SE is a contradiction in terms for Sue Perkins.

The dark half of comedy duo Mel and Sue admits being roused from bed at 5am to front the Channel 4 breakfast between 8.30 and 9am show is akin to waking the dead.

She's still wiping the sleep from her eyes when she and Mel Giedroyc endeavour to make people at home chuckle into their cornflakes.

The double act are on holiday from RI:SE to perform at the Pleasance during the Edinburgh Festival for a week.

She said: "A week off is like getting your life back. To be honest I don't wake up until after the show's finished. Come 9am, I'm zinging - right! I'm ready to tell some jokes!

"The problem is I still go to bed around midnight. Mel's in bed by 8pm. That's why she looks about 12 and I look about 105."

Edinburgh is a favourite stamping ground for the duo, who made their name in the capital before Channel 4 daytime show Light Lunch broke them into the mainstream. The show's successor Late Lunch confirmed them as small screen favourites and then they really hit the big time... advertising Kingsmill bread.

Sue went solo in the last ill-fated Celebrity Big Brother alongside poor old Les Dennis (she was third out the door) before she and Mel joined RI:SE in January.

They were brought in as part of a revamp to save the ailing show and while their presence hasn't quite managed that, they have avoided been tarnished by its failure.

She said: "There's a lot of speculation about the show. If it does dry up we're not going to spiral into reclusive alcoholism. We'll do something else." In the meantime they are looking forward to visiting some of their old haunts in Edinburghand being back in the thick of it with friends and peers.

They will also be visiting Sue's new niece or nephew in Glasgow, where her brother and his wife are due to have a baby imminently.

And, of course, they will be putting the finishing touches to their show.

Sue said: "I think there will be a bit more pressure on us because people will think `They've copped out, they sell bread and are sagging, yesterday's people'. So we will have to do some work but that's good for us because we are the laziest double act in the western hemisphere.

"We tend to be fairly last minute. There's no process, no artistry, it's just `Oh that's funny...' and then this incredible tension as you are about to go on stage and you realise, `We have no material'.

"But we've managed to survive so far. If it all ends tomorrow I'll still think, `Bloody hell how did we manage to get away with that?'"

n Mel and Sue appear at the Pleasance One from August 11 to 17.

STAYTUNED

SEX AND THE CITY (C4, August 1, 10pm)

The time has come to sip your last cosmopolitan as Carrie (Sarah Jessica Parker), Samantha (Kim Cattrall), Charlotte (Kristin Davis) and Miranda (Cynthia Nixon) return for a sixth and final season of the multi-award winning hit comedy series.

DEATH IN HOLY ORDERS (BBC1, August 25)

Martin Shaw takes on the role of PD James' celebrated detective Commander Adam Dalgliesh as he goes back to his old theological college St Anslem's to tackle murder, greed, corruption... and a serial killer on the loose. Veteran actor Robert Hardy and ex-Neighbours star Jesse Spencer also feature.

TEACHERS (C4, date TBC)

It's business as usual for the young teachers who can barely look after themselves, never mind the pupils they are supposed to be guiding through life in the hit comedy drama.

Regulars Navin Chowdhry, Adrian Bower and Tamzin Malleson are joined by Book Group star James Lance and newcomer Vicky Hall.

PSYCHIC NIGHT (C4, date TBC)

As more people turn to psychics Channel 4 dedicate a night to the punters who claim to be in touch with the paranormal. Leading psychics are put to the test, a documentary investigates the rise of interest in psychic phenomena and the top ten dos and donts of contacting the spirit world.
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Jul 27, 2003
Words:700
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