The Edinburgh Fringe is the best arts festival in the world. Performers from all over the globe stage over 2,000 shows every day for a month. But my favourite thing to do is to eat four pickled eggs in a row and some chips on a bench on The Royal Mile. Not when the fourth one has gone off though, like last year.
The Assembly Rooms on George Street has reopened after a £9.3m refurbishment and experienced Fringe hands are delighted to welcome the old lady back.
For most of Theatreland, it's business as usual as the Olympics kick off. Sweeney Todd at the Adelphi has gone dark for the duration, but the majority of stages, used to a summer slump, have not noticed the dreaded Games effect.
It's not quite Homer's Odyssey but last year, inspired by the epic tale, the writer Iain Sinclair and video artist Andrew Kötting pedalled a plastic swan pedalo 160 miles from Sussex to Stratford.
With starring roles in Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner ("You must have seen it, why else would you be here?") and in the Royal Court's production of Chicken Soup With Barley under his belt, Tom Rosenthal, 23, is a young man experiencing a purple patch.
The comedian Michael McIntyre has told how a career-capping night of triumph descended into "nastiness" that left him feeling wretched at an awards event in January.
The perma-tans and naked fumblings on view in 'Geordie Shore' make 'Big Brother' look high brow
Daniel Kitson, a comic virtually unknown to mainstream television audiences, today received the ultimate accolade when he was declared the funniest man in the business by his contemporaries.
Comic Relief may be over, but the relationship between charity and comedy continues apace. In the last two weeks there have been three major charity galas, including this event that celebrated 60 years of the movement founded by humanitarian Victor Gollancz.
My parents were... My dad was my headmaster and my mother also taught me at school. I did a whole show about whether it psychologically scarred me, but when I look back, I think all the bad things about me were already in existence. I was in a fortunate position where I had a very solid family – my parents have been together since they were 13. It's almost hard to live up to that!
After-school comedy clubs are a breeding ground for new talent and an all-round confidence booster, teachers say. But can humour be learned?
The ubiquitous Kevin Eldon popped up in some of the most influential television comedies of the Nineties and beyond – Jam, Black Books, Spaced, Brass Eye, Nighty Night and Green Wing. Not all of his Fringe audience today will know of his previous live work, or indeed be used to seeing him as the star of a show. But whatever the level of background knowledge, most, if not all, of us left his show with the feeling that we had witnessed some "titting about" of the highest order.
The hottest tickets at the Edinburgh Fringe are, oddly, for ventriloquists' shows. Jonathan Brown has a go
Further proof, were it needed, that comedians cannot resist returning to the bosom of live comedy is comic actor Kevin Eldon. Given his revered status among comedy fans, Eldon taking a one-man show to the Edinburgh Fringe for the first time is among the festival's most intriguing propositions. This dazzlingly versatile actor has been stealing scenes in UK comedy shows for more than 15 years – including I'm Alan Partridge, Brass Eye, under-acknowledged sketch show Big Train, Spaced, Nighty Night, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, Jam and Fist of Fun.
What's worse for a rapper keen to keep his cool in middle-age: an arrest for a serious crime, like carrying a loaded weapon, or one for a minor misdemeanour, like not wearing a seat belt? Ice-T, the 52-year-old "original gangster" (who now plays a policeman on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) was arrested in New York on Tuesday. According to T's tweets, "Some punk bitch rookie cop named Fisher #10026 Made the arrest of his bullshit career today. Arresting the Notorious Ice T for no seatbelt... He said 'I know who you are and I don't [care]!'" Unconcerned by any potential accusations of having gone soft, T later tweeted, "I'm really only thinking 'bout my dog. I'm glad he's ok." T's six-month-old bulldog, Spartacus, needed surgery after getting his knee stuck in a shopping trolley (so says Spartacus in his own Twitter feed, @CuteSpartacus). T was released soon after his arrest, but the story nonetheless made national news, which, he tweets on, "raises the question... How petty is our news today? What about the War and the Gulf?" What indeed?