Leader: ‘Few can boast such events on their doorstep’

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THE stars are in town, the red carpet has been rolled out and the festival season is about to get under way.

A summer of madness starts here where we welcome the annual influx of celebs and tourists and prepare for a barrage of jokes about the fact we are still building a tram line.

Whether you are a fan or not, you have to accept the success of the various events are crucial to Edinburgh and its economy.

The 12 main festivals generate £261 million for Scotland – more than the game of golf. Clearly the majority of the benefit is here in the Capital, where the festivals help sustain more than 5000 jobs at a time when other sectors are hit by the economic gloom.

But more than that, the excitement today over the launch of the film festival and the line-up for this year’s book festival being revealed cannot help but remind you just what a great place Edinburgh is to live.

Few other cities can boast such prestigious events on their doorstep, where you could catch a lecture by a former prime minister before heading off to watch one of the country’s top comics round the corner.

The price of tickets is often criticised but the hundreds of free events and the street entertainment in the Royal Mile performance area really means the festival experience is accessible to everyone.

And all this happens, let’s not forget, in one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

Sure, we may not be much good at building a tram line but, as long as the tourists keep arriving in their hundreds of thousands and keep ploughing millions into the economy, then the Fringe comics can keep the jokes coming.

So forget the doom and gloom for a minute and think about why so many people choose to visit Edinburgh in the first place. They have to go home – we can enjoy it all year round.

A brave young man

what happened to keen sportsman Kyle Tod must have been absolutely terrifying.

One day he was playing football with his friends, the next he was lying paralysed in the high dependancy unit at the Western General.

Few of us would even have heard of Guillain-Barre syndrome if it were not for the former Celtic footballer Morten Wieghorst having suffered from it.

But thanks to Kyle’s 25-year-old dedication and determination the effects of the potentially fatal condition will become even better known.

And vital funds will be raised to support those who are struck by this frightening illness.