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 next big thing set to emerge from the annual cultural feast, following the likes of Tim Minchin, Mel & Sue, The League of Gentlemen, Bo Burnham, Steve Coogan, Noel Fielding and Graham Norton, who all started their careers in tiny Edinburgh venues.
They were all at least nominated for the Edinburgh Comedy Award – formerly the Perrier Award – which will also be be back in 2022, three years after it was last presented.
And many previous winners of the prize have already announced they will be returning to the Capital with new shows this year.
So, if you want to see somebody who has already scaled the peak of Edinburgh Fringe comedy, here are the 12 tickets you should be booking on the Fringe website.
1. Ciarán Dowd: King Rodolfo
Ciarán Dowd scooped the Best Newcomer Edinburgh Comeday Award in 2018 for his show in character as Don Rodolfo - a ludicrous swashbuckling hero who isn't afraid to play off the front row. Both he and (the now promoted) Rodolfo are back at the Pleasance Dome this year in 'King Rodolfo' every evening at 9.50pm.
2. Tim Key: Mulberry
Since lifting the Edinburgh Comedy Award back in 2009 with 'The Slutcracker' Tim Key has appeared in numerous films and television shows, perhaps most memorably as Alan Partridge's sidekick Simon. He'll be back this year 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.
3. Sofie Hagen: Fat Jokes
Sofie Hagen will be bringing her 'Fat Jokes', described as "a show bursting with big jokes and fat punchlines" to the Monkey Barrel most afternoons at 4.15pm. She was crowned Best Newcomer at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards in 2015 for her show 'Bubblewrap'.
4. Wil Hodgson: Barbicidal Tendencies
Such is the fearsome reputation of cult comedy legend Wil Hodgson, it's likely that half the audience at his performances of 'Barbicidal Tendencies' will be fellow comics. His long-awaited return will be at Just The Tonic at The Caves from August 22-28 at 2.10pm. He landed the Best Newcomer Award in 2004 for 'The Passion Of The Hodgson'.