Fiona Duff: Fringe candle burning at both ends

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Every year I go to a lot of shows during the Fringe. Most of those, I have to admit, are comedy shows and afterwards I am more than happy to share my thoughts.

Anyone who asks, and some who don’t, are treated to my personal rating of whatever I have most recently seen – whether it’s downright rubbish or absolutely brilliant.

However, tonight it’s all going one step further as fellow columnist and Queen of the Fringe, Karen Koren, has asked me to be a judge for a heat of So You Think You’re Funny. It’s just a tad worrying that my opinion might actually count, and to some young comedian it could be the break they are looking for.

No doubt there will be some real duds but when a competition has, in the past, unearthed people such as Peter Kay, Dylan Moran and Lee Mack I’m also hoping that one day there will be someone headlining at a huge venue and I can claim to have had some part in their success.

Of course, I’ll be filling my time with lots of other shows over the weekend including Simon Callow, The Thinking Drinkers, music from Worbey & Farrell, pictured above, and Ennio Marchetto.

Over the years what I have learnt about the Fringe is that it’s all about pacing yourself – booking in to see shows for the half-price ticket days, whilst keeping an ear to the ground to hear what the hottest shows are and then buying tickets before they sell out.

There are a few famous names coming to the Capital, so I’ll have to learn how to contain myself when I bump into them at the Assembly club bar.

In between I’ll have to find time to meet up with old friends, try and eat sensibly and try and fit in a couple of early nights. Usually by the end of August I have the sort of bags under my eyes that would incur a charge were I to book a flight with Ryanair. However, I have a terrible feeling that this year might not be any different.