Edinburgh Fringe unveils record number of shows

Chart-topper Dizzee Rascal, Britain's Got Talent dance act Flawless and Oscar-winning actress Emma Thompson are among the big names featuring in this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe, organisers have revealed.

The world's largest arts festival boasts its biggest-ever programme with a record 2,453 shows, a 17 per cent increase on last year.

An estimated 21,148 performers will take to the stages in this year's run of the annual event, which is now in its 64th year.

Announcing the programme yesterday, chief executive Kath Mainland said: "Edinburgh in August will be bursting with the most talented artists from every area of the arts world.

"Nowhere else can you see such a variety of world-class talent and range of shows that are guaranteed to engage, enthral, excite and delight."