My Edinburgh: Paul Daniels, magician

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The Independent Culture

Even though I love coming to Edinburgh at any time, I particularly love coming in August, when the wonderful madness of the Festival combined with the Fringe turns this beautiful city into a cross between Rio and Disney. Debbie and I had only been here for two days when we looked at each other over dinner and at the same time, with big grins on our faces, said: "Isn't this exciting?"

Sure, the temporary dressing rooms are awful and the lecture room turned into a cabaret theatre does not provide the best environment, but none of that matters. The audiences are here to enjoy themselves and they do, big time. The range of shows on offer, this year almost 2,500, can't be equalled anywhere else.

What do I like best? Talking to the groups of young actors who are just starting out. I love their enthusiasm and excitement. I like walking the streets and seeing people in the craziest outfits, running from venue to venue. What do I like least? Not being able to see all of the shows.

So far I have managed to select the most drunk lady I have ever had on stage and to be heckled by a 20-month old child. I love this business.

Best tip? Turn off the main streets and dive down the alleys. You'll find courtyards and even palaces. No wonder JK Rowling imagined Harry Potter here.

Paul Daniels: Hair Today Gone Tomorrow, Assembly George Square (0131 623 3030) to 28 August

Paul Daniels's must-see

Performers I have enjoyed have been the amazing a capella group FORK in 'Pink Noise' and cabaret act Lili La Scala's 'Songs to Make You Smile', both at Assembly George Square, and the eccentric Christine Hamilton in' High Jinks with the Hamiltons' (at Udderbelly's Pasture). I want to see Morgan and West, Ali Cook, Dave Gorman and Sarah Millican (of course).