Brian Ferguson: The weird and wonderful jobs of the festival

The King Penguin was made an honorary guardsman

The King Penguin was made an honorary guardsman

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BRIAN FERGUSON

With more than 1,000 ­comedy shows jostling for attention in the Fringe ­programme, having a unique selling point can be all-important.

The award comes from the King of Norway

The award comes from the King of Norway

Doug and Teresa Wyckoff reckon they are the only husband-and-wife comedy double act at the festival.

The American couple started developing their He and She Show, which is running at the Jurys Inn Hotel, before their wedding three years ago.

And for their honeymoon the pair – who say they “share the struggles of coexisting” on stage – embarked on a three-and-a-half-month US tour, performing 120 shows in 41 states.

The Wyckoffs will further underline their commitment to each other by renewing their vows outside St Giles’ Cathedral on Sunday morning – with fellow performers taking on various “official duties”.

l Of all the weird and wonderful festival jobs I’ve had over the years none can compare to the sight of a penguin inspecting the Norwegian King’s Guard at Edinburgh Zoo.

A king penguin has been an honorary guardsman and official mascot since 1972 when an official adoption was instigated by the then King Olav to honour the links between the zoo and Norway, which first presented it with a king penguin in 1914. Whenever the King’s Guard is performing at the Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo, its members turn out at the zoo to confer a new honour on “Nils Olav”.

The third such penguin to take on official duties was knighted during the last official visit eight years ago, but royal watchers can start gearing up for Monday morning, when an “extraordinary new promotion and title” will be unveiled for the penguin.

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