STARS of Neighbours, The Thick Of It, Dad’s Army, Hi-De-Hi, Doctor Who and the Sex Pistols have joined the line-up for the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, The Scotsman can reveal.
Other Fringe shows will be inspired by legendary crooner Andy Williams, pop queen Kate Bush, silent screen icon Charlie Chaplin and award-winning TV crime drama Breaking Bad.
The festival has revealed details of more than 2,400 shows ahead of the official programme launch next month.
More tickets than before have gone on sale early in a bid to raise exposure for the event and boost revenues.
Olivia Poulet, who played spin doctor Emma Messenger alongside Peter Capaldi in Armando Iannucci’s hit comedy The Thick Of It, will be appearing at the Assembly Hall in a revival of acclaimed writer Mark Ravenhill’s play Product, a satire on Hollywood.
New Zealand actress Morgana O’Reilly, who joined the cast of Neighbours as Naomi Canning last year, will be appearing in a one-woman play at the Assembly Hall, The Height of the Eiffel Tower, which has won acclaim at the New York Fringe Festival.
Katy Manning, who appeared with Jon Pertwee in Doctor Who in the 1970s will be starring in Keeping Up With The Joans at the Pleasance.
Jeffrey Holland, who starred as Spike Dixon in Hi-De-Hi, will be appearing at the Pleasance in a one-man show about Hollywood comedy legend Stan Laurel, while Dad’s Army star Ian Lavender will be at the Assembly Rooms talking about his time as Private Pike on the classic comedy.
Other Fringe shows will see the late British prime minister Margaret Thatcher depicted as a drag queen, in Queen of Soho in George Square Gardens, and TV star Russell Grant hosting an early evening “showbiz extravaganza” at the Gilded Balloon.
The heady days of the Sex Pistols will be relived by bassist and founder member, Glen Matlock, in George Square Gardens.
The Queen’s Hall has Del Amitri frontman Justin Currie, Mercury Music Prize nominee King Creosote, and veteran English singer-songwriter Richard Thompson in its line-up.
Other highlights at the venue include Scottish singers Karine Polwart, Rachel Sermanni and Dougie MacLean, indie favourites Broken Records and Withered Hand, folk veterans Battlefield Band and Scottish album of the year winner RM Hubbert.
The Spiegeltent line-up, which is moving to St Andrew Square Garden, will feature One Man Breaking Bad, a show devoted to the cult crime drama, and a new version of Proclaimers’ musical Sunshine on Leith.
Comedian Rob Newman will be appearing in a 150-capacity yurt in St Andrew Square, while this year’s Fringe will also see the return of acclaimed Irish singer Camille O’Sullivan, who is at the Assembly Rooms.
Others confirmed acts there include Red Dwarf favourite Robert Lewellyn, Rab C Nesbitt star Elaine C Smith, comedy-magician Jerry Sadowitz, American stand-up Ruby Wax, author AL Kennedy, and Scotland’s national poet, Liz Lochhead.
The Assembly Rooms programme will also feature a tribute to the late Tony Benn, who appeared at the venue months before he passed away.
William Burdett-Coutts, artistic director of Assembly Theatre, whose venues include The Assembly Hall and George Square Garden, said: “In the midst of so many offerings during the festival, we set out to be distinctive by creating a programme that appeals through its excellence.”
Tommy Sheppard, who is responsible for The Stand, St Andrew Square and Assembly Rooms, programmes, said: “Over the last two years we’ve redefined the geography of the world’s largest arts festival by bringing it back to the centre of town.
“Now that process accelerates with a new open-air venue in St Andrew Square just moments away from the Assembly Rooms.”
The full Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme will be revealed on 5 June.