Moira Knox…Edinburgh’s Mary Whitehouse

Posted: 20 August, 2016 in Nutters, Obituary
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scotsman moira cox Moira Knox, who died on 4th August aged 85, was an Edinburgh councillor who became almost a cult figure at the city’s annual festival, supplying suitably outraged quotes to accompany the latest newspaper report on any Fringe production that might offend public decency with nudity, blasphemy, bad language or even bad manners; she became known as Edinburgh’s Mary Whitehouse .Moira Knox never needed to see a show before pronouncing judgment. She explained a little how she got caught up in newspaper fuelled ‘outrage’:

A girl from the Sun telephoned and told me that they had received lots of calls from irate ratepayers in Edinburgh complaining about the nudity, she said. The girl from the Sun has seen it and she explained exactly what was going on… I do not need to go and see it to know what it looks like.

Her words of opprobrium would often be reprinted on the posters and fliers of visiting companies helping to raise public interest and increase ticket sales. One promoter even launched an award, called the Moira, which was given to the Fringe production that prompted the fiercest criticism

There were suggestions that some performers would contact her directly to alert her to the nature of their shows, while pretending to be offended members of the public.

By the end of the 1990s she had rather twigged that her ‘outrage’ was being exploited. She announced that she was going to retire from her self-appointed mission to clean up the Fringe:

I’ve realised that they want me to castigate them. I’m not falling for that again.

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