SCOTS COMEDIAN Daniel Sloss has won awards for his stand-up, has performed all over the world and is a regular hit on late night US TV.
He’s also written an online indie sitcom, conducted a TED-style talk about the nature of stories and sold out the previous NINE Edinburgh Fringe Festivals.
But finally, the Fife-born comedian has done something to make his grannies – Margaret and Jenny – very proud.
“I quite like swearing, so a lot of my act really isn’t suitable for my grans,” he grins, slightly shame-facedly. “When they heard I was doing a guide to do with smart energy meters, they were over the moon. They’ve even got the meters, so they’re just delighted to see me talking about something they can get into.”
Daniel has written and released a new guide all about the ‘inaccurate estimates’ that the comedian has experienced on his comic travels, tying in with the launch of new smart electricity and gas meters and the end of estimated energy readings. You see what he did there?
“I come up against stereotypes of the Scots all the time,” he explains. “People assume we’re all kilt-wearing, red-haired stingy folk and really, we’re not.
“I’ve always found estimations of our people and cultures to be a bit easy and often inaccurate.
“Like we don’t all have red hair, wear kilts or have bad teeth - but when tourists come over we definitely do have a 50-foot beast in Loch Ness that only eats toffee.”
The Estimated Guide to Scotland takes a light-hearted look at some of the assumptions he comes up against – such as the idea that Scottish men wear kilts every day of the year (64 per cent say they never wear a kilt), and the suggestion we all eat haggis at least once a week (21 per cent never touch the stuff) – and debunks them completely.
Other ‘facts’ that are explored include the guestimate that one in five redheads across the world are Scottish (that would add 28 million people to the population of Scotland) and that Scots swear 100 times a day (13 per cent say they never use bad language).
“It’s been a really interesting project for me to do,” he admits. “I’m really proud of being a Scot and it’s been fun to look into how others see us, and get to the truth behind it all.”
Could this be the start of a series? After all, Glasgow people are always criticised for being cheeky patter-merchants, and everyone in Edinburgh is an upper-class twit…
“Ha! That would be hilarious,” he laughs. “There are lots of regional variations, it’s true. I come from Fife and I think we probably have the worst ones.
“The only positive thing I’ve heard someone say about Fife is that St Andrews is in it.”
Daniel has loved comedy since he watched it with his parents as a child.
“I’ve always been quite careful not to make my comedy about being Scottish – I’m a Scottish comedian, without making everything I say exclusively about Scotland,” he says.
“It’s like Billy Connolly has done – his appeal is international even though he is a Scot. The stories he tells are things everyone can relate to, which is why he is so successful.”
Daniel has spent the last three months at comedy festivals in Australia and New Zealand, so he is looking forward to being home for the summer.
“I’m writing a new show for the Fringe, which I’m really looking forward to,” he says. “It’s great to get the opportunity to travel but it’s brilliant to be back home for a while.”
DANIEL’S TOP TEN ESTIMATED READINGS OF SCOTLAND:
1. Loch Ness Monster
Estimation: There is a 50-foot mythical beast in Loch Ness called Nessie.
Reality: If estimations were accurate there would be a 1,500 year-old beast living in a well-explored body of water that has never been found (despite bringing in an estimated one million tourists each year).
Estimation: A fifth of the world’s redheads are Scottish.
Reality: If a fifth of the world’s redheads were Scottish, there would be an extra 28 million Scots living today (more than five times the existing population).
Estimation: Scots swear 100 times a day.
Reality: Scots have actually made up more non-swear words than anyone to avoid swearing, like bampot, numpty and pillock. And 13 per cent of Scots say they never use bad language.
Estimation: Scottish men wear kilts every day of the year.
Reality: Scots only wear kilts on special occasions, and 64 per cent of Scottish men say they never wear a kilt.
Estimation: Scottish people give small tips.
Reality: Scots are incredibly generous, and almost half (49 per cent) regularly give to charity – more than any other part of the UK.
6. IQ Level
Estimation: Scottish people have a lower than average IQ
Reality: Historically the Scots have been responsible for some of the most important discoveries and inventions of our time – including the television, telephones and steam engines.
Estimation: Scots drink whisky everyday
Reality: Despite inventing it, half of the adult population (50 per cent) say they never drink whisky.
Estimation: Scots eat haggis at least once a week
Reality: One in five (21 per cent) never eat haggis while 14 per cent say they only eat it on special occasions.
Estimation: Scotland lose more football matches than they win
Reality: The national football team has a win rate of nearly 50 per cent (much higher than their loss rate), and two-thirds of English Premier League titles have been managed by Scotsmen.
10. William Wallace
Estimation: William Wallace was seven feet tall
Reality: Although the average height at the time was just over five feet, William Wallace was thought to be 6ft 7 inches based on the belief that he would have needed to be this height to effectively use his 5ft 4 inches sword.
The Estimated Guide to Scotland is available to view or download for free on smartenergygb.org.
Watch Daniel Sloss debunk the inaccurate estimations of Scotland here http://y2u.be/SEc50uhAdG8.