Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

George Rigden opens his set by talking about his teenage years as an autograph hunter, making great mileage out of the fact that the autographs he presents to the audience include those from either obscure or disgraced celebrities such as Rolf Harris and Kevin Spacey. This also results in a simple but effective running gag where Rigden has to explain who these celebrities are to a young audience member.

However, it is Rigden’s friendship with Uri Geller that forms the centre of the show. His description of how the world-famous spoon-bending Israeli psychic befriended a lonely asthmatic 14 year old autograph hunter is strangely moving. Rigden clearly values their friendship even if he gives scathing reviews of the various self-authored books that Geller sent him.

Underneath the dark jokes, it’s obvious that Rigden’s friendship with Geller helped him through difficult times. In particular, his description of meeting Geller at an Exeter City match gives that impression, providing a detailed account of his nerves leading up to his first face-to-face encounter with the man himself.

However, the comedian goes on to mention that Geller’s abrupt ending of the relationship following the release of the Martin Bashir documentary Living With Michael Jackson left him confused. Despite the connections between Geller and the documentary, he dispels any suggestion that Geller’s interest in him was in any way similar to the recently revealed sexual relations that Michael Jackson had with young boys.

The show’s ending proves bittersweet, as he realises that a relationship that he believed to be genuine and meaningful ultimately wasn’t. Spooning with Uri closes with Rigden giving out a free Geller-signed spoon to a lucky audience member only to reveal that he still owns the original. It effectively sums up the overall tone of the show, with Rigden both in awe of yet realistically derisive of the man he once had a unique bond with.