Ricky Gervais announced for Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Comedian joins a cast of thousands for the largest event in its 65-year history

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The programme for this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been released, boasting 2,542 planned shows and promising a special appearance by comedian Ricky Gervais.

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Planned to take place in 258 venues across the city and featuring an estimated 21,000 performers in total, this year’s Fringe has been described as the biggest in its 65-year history.

In addition to the festival’s traditional blend of comedy, theatre, dance and children’s shows, this year space will also be given over to cabaret.

Gervais is scheduled to appear alongside actor Warwick Davis for a Q&A session about their new observational comedy series, Life’s Too Short.

Other big-name stars who will be in attendance include Al Murray, Russell Kane, Omid Djalili, Phill Jupitus and Stewart Lee, while actor John Malkovich will also direct Julian Sands in a play celebrating Harold Pinter’s work.

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The Festival Fringe will run from Friday 5 to Monday 29 August.