Comedy: Paul Merton

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The Independent Culture
Once again this week, the pick of the comedy circuit is to be found in Edinburgh. From tomorrow, the stand-up ranks will be swelled for the first time in 10 years by Paul Merton (above) who has turned his attention from Have I Got News For You and his frequent improvisational outings as a Comedy Store Player to present his new one-man show, And This Is Me. Billed as "confessional, revealing and occasionally pissed- off", it claims to be an honest look at the real Merton, turning the comic spotlight on his near-death experience and "his short but instructive spell in Maudsley Psychiatric Hospital". Catch it at the Festival before he takes it off on a national tour.

Pleasance Two, Edinburgh (0131-556 6550) 23-31 Aug; UK tour Sept-Dec 1998

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