A record number of acts have been announced for this year's Edinburgh Fringe festival, which gets underway on August 5th.

As well as the over 2,000 different theatre, comedy and music shows announced, a number of stars have agreed to appear.

Extras and The Office star Ricky Gervais will be performing a show at Edinburgh castle and the Happy Mondays are set to perform.

Edinburgh Fringe festival is now in its 61st year and a number of new venues have been added to the usual array of clubs and theatres.

Paul Gudgin, director of the Fringe, said: "With over 2000 shows in the programme this year for the first time, I am pleased to see an increased interest from organisations all over the country, keen to help nurture and support Fringe artists with this diverse range of new accolades."

New awards will also be on offer at the festival, including the Edinburgh International festival which gives a fringe show winner the chance to perform at the 2008 Edinburgh festival.

Among the theatre offerings this year is Teenage Kicks, which will examine the life of John Peel and Venus as a Boy which explores the power of sexuality.

A Tony Blair musical has also made it in not once, but twice with Tony! The Blair Musical and Tony Blair: The Musical.

Other productions taking a look at issues in the world today include Asbo: The Musical and Chav: It's a Musical, Innit.

Linda Fabiani, the culture minister for the Scottish parliament, said: "The Edinburgh Festival Fringe continues to get bigger and better every year with over 2,000 diverse shows on offer this year.

"As well as being a showcase for some of the best creative talent from Scotland and around the world, the Fringe, along with the other festivals, bring tremendous economic benefits to the Scottish economy and tourist industry."

07/06/2007 15:37:48