The Edinburgh Festival Fringe was one of the many artistic casualties of the global pandemic, meaning the streets of the Capital have remained free of the usual August hubbub since the last full edition was held back in 2019.
The return of the event, scheduled to take place from August 5-29, will be welcomed by all those who missed the annual cultural feast, as well as business owners who rely on the huge number of visitors that flock to the city.
Comedy fans are already scouring the programme for the must-see standup sets and for fans of Taskmaster – the show that challenges comedians to a series of hilarious challenges – there are no shortage of familiar faces in the programme.
The majority of Taskmaster contestants started out with Edinburgh shows, including presenters ‘little’ Alex Horne’ and the Taskmaster himself – Greg Davies.
Here are the 11 shows featuring comedians from the programme that you can book tickets for now on the Fringe website.
1. Tim Key: Mulberry
Tim Key was one of the brains behind Taskmaster and is still credited as a 'task consultant'. He also came fourth in the very first series, won by Josh Widdicombe. He'll be back in Edinbirgh this August with 'Mulberry', another genius hour of poetry and bewilderment spread between shows at the Pleasance Dome at 8.30pm and the Pleasance Courtyard at 10pm.
2. Nish Kumar: Your Power, Your Control
Former Mash Report frontman Nish Kumar came last by a country mile in series 5, when Bob Mortimer triumphed in an otherwise tight contest. His latest funny and erudite hour of political comedy 'Your Power, Your Control' is at Assembly George Square from August 22-28 from 9pm.
3. Mark Watson: This Can't Be It
Mark Watson was another comedian involved in the concept of Taskmaster even before it became a television programme. He also claimed joint second place in series 5, again beaten by Bob Mortimer. This year he's bringing 'This Can't Be It', which started as a work in progress at last year's Fringe, which takes his own life expectancy as a jumping off point for self-flagellating laughs. It's on most evenings at the Pleasance Courtyard at 9pm.
4. Tim Vine: Breeeep!
King of the puns, Tim Vine came a creditable second to Taskmaster machine Lisa Tarbuck in series 6. Probably offering more laughs per minute than any other comedian, he will be bringing 'Breeeep!' to the Pleasance Courtyard for a full run each night at 6pm.