The Fringe is a bit like a day at the races, 26 days in a row. Thrills, spills, wild fun, impossible glamour, terrible disappointment, tearing up your ticket, getting caught in the rain, drinking till you can't take any more, laughing till you cry – you may even find love if you're lucky.
It's the most addictive legal experience on the planet and I've been a Fringe junkie since 1973. I've come in every possible capacity – punter, actor, radio producer, talent scout, TV executive, documentary presenter, Perrier Award judge, anxious dad.
And now, I've got the set: aged 61, I'm having the time of my life in a one-man show called Liff of QI, the first time I've trodden the boards as a comic since 1976.
Live the Fringe as you would live life itself. In the words of Sir Thomas Beecham – "try everything once except incest and folk dancing" (though don't rule out folk dancing either). Seize the hour, take risks, act spontaneously, accept setbacks cheerfully – eat, drink and be merry for tomorrow we die. And speak to everyone: your waitress may be a neuroscientist, the bearded heap in the pub a Hollywood producer. I say to my kids, "Always go to the party, you never know who you may meet."
In 1977, I went, with no great expectations, to the Oxford Revue and saw Rowan Atkinson for the first time. It changed my life, and his, and that of millions around the world. Carpe Fringem. Be lucky, my son.
John Lloyd: Liff of QI, Underbelly Bristo Square (0844 545 8252) to 24 August, not 13, 4.40pm
John Lloyd's Must-Sees
I haven't seen much yet, but for comedy, catch Baconface (The Stand, 1.20pm) borderline pork-based insanity from the Pacific Northwest – and for tragedy, The State vs John Hayes (C Venues, 9.50pm) a gripping one-woman play (author and actor) set on Death Row in the Deep South.
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