Cheers! Norm Peterson is set to be toast of Fringe

ONE is renowned for his long-running role as a wisecracking boozer in Cheers; the other is loved by fans of Ugly Betty as the scheming, slickly dressed assistant to a villainous magazine boss.

Now George Wendt, pictured, better known as barfly Norm Peterson, and Michael Urie, who plays Marc St James in the cult comedy-drama about New York's fashion scene, are to team up for what promises to be one of the hottest tickets at this year's Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

They will top the bill of Celebrity Autobiography, one of the biggest hits of the Los Angeles and New York comedy scene in recent years.

It is being staged in the Udderbelly, the upside-down purple cow that has become one of the most popular Fringe venues.

The satirical show, famed for its all-star casts, sees big-name comedians and actors poking fun at the celebrity autobiographies of stars such as Mr T, Ivana Trump, Sylvester Stallone, Britney Spears, Madonna and Burt Reynolds by reading selected excerpts from their books.

Celebrity Autobiography, which started life as a one-hour television programme in 2005, will be making its UK debut at the Edinburgh Fringe this year after a hugely successful three-year run in New York, as well as sell-out tours of the United States.

Wendt, 61, began his career with minor roles in the classic series Taxi and M*A*S*H. After Cheers ended in 1993, after 275 episodes in 11 years, he reprised his role as Norm for guest appearances in Frasier and The Simpsons.

Urie as been a leading member of Ugly Betty's cast since the show was launched in 2006.

The rest of the line-up will not be known until nearer the time, although Scots actor Alan Cumming, who is appearing at this year's Fringe, has previously performed in Celebrity Autobiography, along with big-name stars such as Matthew Perry, Brooke Shields and Matthew Broderick.

A spokeswoman for the Fringe show said it would feature "a glittering array of comedians every night".

She went on: "Running for three sold-out years in New York, Celebrity Autobiography has been one of the most critically-acclaimed productions ever in the off-Broadway scene and one of the most buzzed about shows of recent years."

Other acts to perform this year at the Udderbelly, one of several venues run under Underbelly, include Britain's Got Talent finalists Flawless, a dance hit from the TV show last year, and "poet punk" John Cooper Clarke.

One of the stars of The Wire, Clarke Peters, will be starring in a revival of his own hit musical Five Guys Named Moe at a new Underbelly venue, the historic McEwan Hall.

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