Karen Koren: Still funny after 25 years at Balloon

THE office is buzzing with the lovely Australian girls working in our Festival press and marketing operation. I feel like Methuselah as they prance about in their short skirts, leggings and thinness!

Thanks to all the giggling and chattering - our offices are open plan - I have no idea how my technical team are coping. Sorry, they’ll read this now and think I don’t appreciate them but they are, of course, very hard working and their enthusiasm is amazing.

I too am busy, booking acts for Late’n’Live and looking for a compere and celebrity judge for So You Think You’re Funny?, which this year reached its 25th anniversary - 25 years of the best and worst comics on the planet coming through Gilded Balloon.

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I’ve very fond memories and some embarrassing ones. Like when Johnny Vegas completely dried in the final. He reached down to talk to a girl and just stopped... he didn’t do comedy for another two years after that.

Then there was the time Russell Brand went into a tirade about something and our bouncers had to carry him off stage - he put his leg through a glass door in the process and ended up in hospital for over a week.

Happier memories include when Julian Clary went to announce the winner in reverse order... and announced the actual winner as being third. It was very embarrassing. I had to shout out, ‘No, No’ and point out his mistake.

He did feel a bit of a fool and made a big joke about it - but of course it really did spoil the surprise.

Then there was the year Lee Mack put moustaches on our little baby, our brand logo for many years. He also broke the pop-up banners - all in good fun, but expensive for me. Still, the baby has now grown up with our new sponsor and our logo is a grown- up man with a big blue question mark painted on his face - all very Braveheart!