In this special episode, Helen and Barney are at the Edinburgh Festival. Iain Stirling gives his guide to the best shows at the festival.
Browse content similar to Edinburgh Special. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
Hello and welcome to today's Blue Peter. We are in Edinburgh.
During August, over 2,400 performers descend on the city
for the world's largest arts festival, with 500,000 tourists!
And we're here, too!
As well as bringing you the Edinburgh Festival,
new young band You Me At Six give their guide to creating a rock band.
And we find out what it's like being 13 singing for thousands of people.
I cannot recommend this festival highly enough! It's got everything.
Sword swallowers, jugglers, ballet dancers, comedians -
-and they're all over the city!
-It's got kilts, too. Like mine?
-You don't have to wear this in Scotland.
-I know, but I wanted to.
If you come to the festival, you need to know where the laughs are
and the spookiest thrills. We sent out Iain Stirling to find out about
the festival's best bits.
Edinburgh is the capital of Scotland and my home town.
Every year in August it hosts the world's largest arts festival -
the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
The population of Edinburgh doubles to over a million people
with tourists and performers from all over the world as part of it.
The Fringe has over 2,000 acts, performances and events going on.
In fact, there's so many shows, it's impossible to see them all.
So I've hand-picked four shows that you would be bonkers to miss.
Let's check them out. First, a trip to the theatre.
The popular show Horrible Histories has been brought to the stage
in Barmy Britain.
# Barmy Britain makes the rules
# Barmy Britain, Barmy Britain
# Barmy Britain makes the rules! #
It's written by the author of the book series, Terry Deary,
and has all the gore, rude bits and facts from the past you'd expect.
That was absolutely amazing. Neal Foster plays about ten characters
and is also the director and a writer. Awesome!
'Alongside Neal is Alison and they play over 20 historical characters
'including the Scottish murderers Burke and Hare.'
BOTH: The famous body snatchers!
When night would come, we would sneak into the graveyard
-and dig up the bodies!
-AN OWL HOOTS
And sell them to surgeons!
'To play all these characters, they change their costumes
'about every six minutes.
'Let's go meet the cast!'
Neal, Alison, look what I found. Off with your heads!
-Tell me about your costumes. Who are you guys?
-I am William Hare,
-one of Burke and Hare.
-And I am Guy Fawkes.
-What's it like playing so many?
-Like dressing up in your bedroom.
You have a trunk with all the stuff.
What's the most gruesome thing?
For me, the most gruesome bit is having to eat a cooked dormouse.
-I'm going to be sick!
-It's been a pleasure, but I have another show. Keep this?
I can't keep it. See you in a bit.
OK, guys, we've had a bit of history. So far, so good.
I've got three more shows to pack in so I'd better get a move on.
At school, I thought science was really boring,
but this guy will prove me wrong.
Dr Bunhead stars in a show called Blast Off full of big bangs
and chemical reactions and apparently he's saved
one of his favourite science demonstrations for me.
'Remember, Dr Bunhead is a scientist who can do this stunt safely.'
-Ever had your head set on fire?
'At least I hope he does! He's got highly flammable gas in bubbles
-'and is going to use them to turn me into a human candle!'
-A naked flame!
-So now if we measure this
we have got precisely... way too much.
Hold your head nice and still.
Here we go. Three, two, one!
-You'd better blow it out!
I can smell it burning!
There's no time to waste. I've got to get all the way across town.
The next show is all about... bubbles.
'Next is The Amazing Bubble Show presented by Louis Pearl
'who has been thrilling audiences for 30 years with his bubble skills.
'His show's so good, I can't resist volunteering.'
Oh, that guy right there! Come on up. Come on up.
-Step all the way into the tray.
-These are new shoes!
-They won't be new shoes for long.
-And it's Iain in a bubble.
-I'm in a bubble! Bubble!
-You are impressive with bubbles.
-What's the coolest thing you can do with this toy
-and this bubble?
-Well, the spaceship's pretty cool.
I think I've seen this one. This is awesome.
-And then we spin it.
-That is unbelievable!
-OK, ready? Here it goes. And falling...
Louis, that is absolutely brilliant. Thank you. I'd better pop off.
-Can you do me a helping hand?
-Yes, here we go.
Whoa! Where have I gone?!
Pretty cool, eh? That was more a trick of TV.
Anyway, we are now on our last stop of the day.
And to get there we've got to go down there.
'I'm joining a group of very brave ghost-hunting tourists
'as we descend down into Edinburgh's hidden underground vaults,
'one of the most haunted sites in the UK.'
South of where we're standing is Infirmary Street,
where Burke and Hare from Horrible Histories
used to sell bodies of the victims that they murdered.
It's believed that these vaults are haunted by their victims' souls.
'Let's see if we can go find them.
'Our guide shows us the vaults where people felt a ghostly presence.'
-People can feel things?
-I feel it!
I feel ghosts! It might have been water dripping on me.
'No ghosts so far, just drips from the ceiling.'
A ghost just dripped on my head. Literally, that's just happened.
'I'm going to leave the tour now, but I'm not telling them why.'
Because it's too scary! It's too scary.
'What a pity I didn't see anything.'
-And then the monsters got him.
-No, he's over there!
-He made it out!
-It is quite scary.
You start to convince yourself that there's something following you.
I was convinced there were ghosts getting me. It was just damp,
-but could have been anything.
You're a regular here.
Why should anybody who hasn't been come here in August?
There's so much going on. You can see comedy, theatre,
dancing, acting, you can see a man reading a play in his underpants!
-You name it, they have it here.
-Let's not forget the chip shops
-and the fried food.
-Have a deep-fried haggis!
We're on the Royal Mile, the road from Holyrood Palace and the Queen
to the Castle. And, as you said, there is everything on this street.
-I'm excited. I like it here.
-I like it when you smile.
There's bands, people singing, somebody dressed as a flame,
but I haven't seen a rock band. Don't worry.
We are about to introduce you to You Me At Six.
They won the Best British Band at the Kerrang Awards.
-We found out what it takes to be such a class act.
-The flame guy?
He's the hottest ticket in Edinburgh.
-ALL: We're You Me At Six!
-We're backstage at the Kerrang Awards
with our guide to making a great rock band.
# Don't hold your breath I'm not losing sleep over you
# I'm Mr Reckless with a capital R... #
It's got to be quite catchy. It can't be just one word,
-a random word. It can't be Floor.
-That could work, though!
Don't use it - copyright!
- We're Fearless Vampire Killers! - We're Don Broco.
- Bring Me The Horizon. - The Blackout.
-You Me At Six.
It doesn't have to mean much.
You've got guitars, drums, bass, vocals. Anything you want.
You get the wooden spoons and you beat on the kettles.
It's a good activity as well.
It's always good to have icons. They make you want to play better
-and practise. Max has lots of guitar heroes.
-Many guitar heroes.
Dave Grohl - he can play drums and guitar and he sings as well.
-What a lad! Pretty amazing.
-He's definitely the bee's knees.
Leather jackets. Long hair.
-Look how you wanna look.
-It doesn't have to be perfect.
It can be chaotic and still amazing.
One thing we all love about Slash is his iconic top hat.
-And glasses. He's made fuzzy hair and top hats cool.
Clever, catchy lyrics,
which is something that I've always tried to do with You Me At Six.
# I'm the devil on your shoulder I'm the conscious in your mind
# I'm the feeling that you cannot hide... #
That's the first connection someone has with the music they listen to.
I write my own lyrics and what I put into that is my all.
It's straight from the mouth.
Without...these, the band would just be...
Which would be great, but the vocals are like the icing on the top.
# I'll do my best to always be on your mind! #
Who do you think has great vocals?
Jack Black, he's the man. He's hilarious, funny vocals.
He can hit the notes, go high.
He can also go low.
rock music would probably not exist. It's very important.
We used to go to shows as youngsters, little scamps.
I remember queuing up at Brixton Academy for My Chemical Romance.
-And three years later you're on stage headlining.
-So were you.
-You guys were there!
# ..you never had The best... #
-Rock music. Get the horns out, everyone.
-The mini horn.
It's all about the rock. Yeah?
# ..you never had. #
There's only one way to rock out - headbanging and the horns.
-Please try that at home.
-Makes me feel dizzy.
-Unless you get dizzy.
Now somebody who is very talented.
He has sheer talent. It's Tom, everybody.
-He's very tall.
-Go on, Tom.
-We do like a bit of an entrance! Tom, welcome to the show.
-How long have you been riding a unicycle?
-About six years.
So you've been patient. If you fall off, should they get back on?
-If at first you don't succeed...cheat.
-You've got a trick with a tennis racquet.
-I'll force my entire body through it.
-Is it safe to do this at home?
No. It's solid. I wouldn't try this at home, though.
-What made you think of doing this?
-I spent 7 years doing martial arts
-Which we know incorporates tennis racquets.
-I learnt round Wimbledon way.
-I'm just very bendy...
-..and stretchy. I normally finish on top of the unicycle.
-Want to see that?
-How do you get on?
-A little bit of help would be awesome, guys.
-Just pop a foot behind and a foot in front.
-There. If you can, both hands on the pole.
-I've done some interviews,
-but never underneath somebody.
-All right. Sorry...
We've literally just met Tom!
We're taking all of your weight.
OK. I don't weigh that much.
I still enjoy the fact that just because you were bendy
-you thought you'd do this.
-Guys, if you could get my hand.
That'd be great. Superb. Let go of the bike, move your feet.
Hang on. Wait for the big finish!
-I think I know what he'll do and I feel a little bit ill.
-He IS going to do it. He'll have to.
-Oh! Does that hurt?
-No. It's just a stretch. It's just a bit bendy.
We did tell you there was a mixture of skill here. There it is!
-Thank you, Tom. Inspiring stuff.
Speaking of which, over the summer we've asked you to read six books.
Each week, celebrities have told you about their favourite books.
Here's another celebrity with their favourite book.
I love this book.
It's called The Firework Maker's Daughter and it's all about a girl
called Lila. Lila has always dreamed of being a firework maker.
Just like her father.
Fireworks can be dangerous and you have to be very careful around them,
but luckily for Lila, she's got an expert teacher - her dad.
And he shows her how to make some eye-popping fireworks
like Leaping Monkeys and Golden Sneezes.
In order to become a proper firework maker, she has to travel
to the Grotto of Razvani, the fire fiend,
to bring back some Royal Sulphur.
Razvani lives in the smouldering centre of Mount Merapi
and the journey to get there is a long and gruelling one for Lila.
This is one of my favourite parts.
Lila is in the grotto watching the flames rise around her.
"And then into the heart of the light and the fire and the noise
"leapt Razvani himself, the great fire fiend,
"whose body was a mass of flame and his face a mass of scorching light.
"Thousands of fire imps scattered as he landed
"and even the blazing flames bowed down to him
"and so did Lila.
"In a voice like the roar of a forest fire, Razvani spoke.
"'By what right have you come to my grotto?'
"She swallowed hard. It was difficult to breathe.
"She seemed to be taking fire into her lungs as well as the air.
"'I want to be a firework maker,' she managed to say.
"He laughed a great laugh.
On her quest, Lila does get some help
from the worst and funniest pirates you'll ever get to read about.
Oh, and her best friend Chulak
and his talking white elephant, Hamlet.
But I'm not going to tell you how Lila's encounter with Razvani ends.
Or how she tries to save somebody's life
with a spectacular firework display.
With this adventure, like any other story you want to read,
grab yourself a book, open it up
and let your imagination fizz!
If the Story Lab project sounds good, head to the Blue Peter website
or to your local library.
We are enjoying the Edinburgh Festival. Ladies,
what's your favourite thing?
I really enjoyed seeing Jacqueline Wilson at the Book Festival.
-Oh, she's a legend. We love her.
-Yes. How about you, boys?
We came up from London just today.
We're really liking the festival and all the variety of stuff.
-It's such an amazing atmosphere.
-Who has seen Marrying Mum and Dad?
Three out of four's not bad. I was like a teacher then.
It's a new CBBC show with Ed Petrie and Naomi Wilkinson.
It does what it says on the tin.
The kids decide everything about the wedding - food, venue,
what they wear. Sounds brilliant.
Judging by what we've got here, do you think you'll enjoy it?
-Helmets and a harness.
-That's not for me.
'Will Dad be able to handle it? Devil's Chimney is a sheer drop
'and Dad is petrified of heights.'
-My throat's gone a bit dry.
-Does that feel snug?
-Nice and snug, yeah.
-How are you feeling?
I can't believe I'm doing this.
Cannot wait! Anyway, there has been so much to do here in Edinburgh
that we went to the top of the Castle to see a very large gun.
We're at the Castle and it is a little before one o'clock,
almost time for a famous tradition.
Every day at exactly 1pm, this cannon is fired.
It goes back 151 years ago. Back then, Edinburgh was a coastal town
and had a big shipping lane.
But every day the guys docked there needed to know what time it was.
So they came up with a signal. On top of Nelson's Monument was a ball.
They thought if that dropped every day at 1, the sailors would see it.
But they have this thing called haar or fog,
so the sailors couldn't always see.
A sound was needed. It was decided that the military at the Castle
would fire a cannon every day at one o'clock. That continues today.
I'm delighted to be joined by Bombardier Allison
-who has the Castle Gunner's job.
-That's correct, yes.
-And you're the first woman to do this.
-It's a dream come true.
You don't fire real cannon balls or they'd be in someone's front room,
-so what do you fire?
-Today what we fire is a blank cartridge.
And this is it here.
This is basically a big bullet.
-Basically a firework.
-I'm getting nervous. There'll be a loud bang
-and we should not be here!
-Come on. We'll retreat.
Thank you, Allison.
I jumped even though I knew! Allison, you could hear a pin drop!
It was eerily silent. As soon as the gun went off, everyone got excited.
-Does that always happen?
-Every day. Except Boxing Day.
It's quiet when I'm here myself.
You know what's going to happen, yet I jumped.
-So did I!
-So did the gun!
If you are out and about in Edinburgh, don't be shocked
-when you hear a loud bang.
-Thank you, Allison.
There are so many talented people here at the Edinburgh Festival
and lots would love the opportunity that 13-year-old Tallia Storm got.
She performed for Elton John. Thousands of people were watching.
Here's her story.
A Scottish schoolgirl will open Elton John's concert in Falkirk
after he was wowed by her soulful voice.
Come on, everybody!
Hi. I'm Tallia Storm, I'm a singer,
and tonight I'm sharing the stage with a world-famous megastar.
This is what it's like being me.
'In a few hours I'll be supporting Sir Elton John in concert.
'Elton has been a massive pop star for more than 40 years.
'He's won Grammys, Brit Awards and sold over 300 million records,
'which puts him in the top five best-selling artists on the planet.'
I'm extremely nervous, but I've got to look the part tonight.
That's my hair done. Now I'm off to a 5-star hotel to prepare. Let's go.
'It's not every day I get this luxury treatment.
'Time to get some practice in.'
'Next stop, I'm about to be interviewed live
'on satellite TV news. They want to know how this opportunity happened.
'And look, there's my mum.'
Stand by, Tallia.
Tell us how you got Sir Elton to listen to your demo CD.
Well, my grandfather took us away to Hawaii
and his partner, David Furnish, was having breakfast in our hotel.
So I ran up to my room, got my demo, wrote a quick note
and I was really nervous. I went down and passed it on to him.
I didn't think anything of it until the next day my phone rings
and it was Sir Elton John and it was such a surreal experience.
Before you know it, I'm going to perform with him this evening.
-I hope it goes really well, Tallia.
That's the live interview done. Now off to the stadium.
When you sing with a star, you have to make an entrance. Here's my car!
'I'm off to Falkirk Stadium where Elton and I will perform
'in front of thousands. All my friends and family have gathered
'before they see me perform tonight, including my big sister Tessie
'who has some last-minute advice.'
Just relax and enjoy yourself and have fun.
You won't really notice everyone and you're such an amazing singer.
You'll do amazing. Give me a hug.
Time to leave the party. Now I have to get my big costume on.
Wait until you see this! And here it is...
All that's left is to give the audience an amazing show.
'While I make my way to the stage, I get my first look at the crowd
'waiting to see me open Elton's concert. I'm pretty nervous!'
Here it is backstage. I'm minutes away from performing. Wish me luck.
Falkirk, make some noise for Tallia Storm!
Hello, Falkirk! Whoo!
That was amazing! I can't believe it! I can't believe it's over.
It went so quickly.
That's my bit done. Let's let the true pro, Elton, do the work.
# Saturday Saturday, Saturday
# Saturday, Saturday Saturday night's all right! #
'Just when I thought this day couldn't get any better,
'I get to meet the man who made all this happen - Sir Elton himself.'
-Hi, you. How was it?
-Amazing! Thank you so much.
-Thank you so much. Here, I got you a present.
Oh, thank you very much. Oh, that's fantastic.
-Thank you so much.
-Incredible, this girl.
'And here's the photo of the day I'll never forget.'
-We'll keep in touch.
-Yes, we will.
-All right, gorgeous. Thanks!
What an amazing day. Thank you so much for spending it with me.
This is what it's like being me!
It takes a lot of confidence to sing in front of that many people.
Well done, Tallia. I don't think that's the last we'll see of her.
She'll have her own CBBC show!
Here's what's on next week's show.
Michelle will chat to Damien Hirst, one of Britain's top artists,
-and finds out how Blue Peter inspired him.
-I'll take a photo
and show you a new technique to try.
-That's it from us in Edinburgh. We'll see you next week.
In this special episode, Helen and Barney are at the Edinburgh Festival. Iain Stirling gives his guide to the best shows at the festival, Naomi Wilkinson reveals her favourite children's book and everyone's invited to a pet wedding!