If part 1 of this diary gave you the impression we're dealing with a comedy dominated event, this final episode shows there's plenty more from across the art world to get your teeth into.

Tuesday 14th
Today's Daily Star Scotland gives an idea of just how strange the Edinburgh Fringe can be.

The paper reports that a German man from the Circus of Horrors, stunned shoppers on Princes' Street as he set a new world record that involved pulling a four ton van for 107 metres. This was no ordinary world strongest man type challenge, for the vehicle was attached to the German by way of meat hooks through holes in the skin of his back.

Meanwhile over on the Royal Mile, a Scottish student's attempts to gain a bit of extra publicity for his failing show took a turn for the worst. The 18-year-old decided the perfect stunt would be to set fire to his own trousers, an act that has left him scarred for life as the lower part of his body was turned into a raging fireball.

In other important world news, two page three girls have been on a jet ski in the Caribbean, world boxing champion Ricky Hatton was spotted buying pants in Topman, and Fun House legend Pat Sharp has recently been seen sharing a Curly Wurly with somebody in Regents Park. You just don't get information of this high caliber from the Financial Times or the Telegraph!

All of the above was gathered by reading the in house copy of the Scottish Daily Star in the bar of the Theatre Royal, as a signed photo of Bross proudly stared down at me: not what I expected to find in a place that gave the impression of being somewhat more grand. Next door is Edinburgh City Football Club, the venue for 'Festival of Football', another of the free comedy shows that are becoming such a major part of the schedule.

Here Ipswich Town fan Tony Coward ran through an hour of material on, as the name would suggest, the subject of football. At times he seemed a little nervous and wasn't the most confident of stand ups I've ever seen, however he interacted with his small audience well which created a feeling that he was part of the group, rather than simply talking at us, making up for any shortcomings in his stage presence.

The gags weren't stunning, but there were several strong twists along the way, including a section he could make more of, based on stupid music teams run out to. Everton and 'Z Cars' came in for some stick, with Coward pointing out the irony of a bunch of Scousers running out to the theme tune to a cop show. With a bit of work this could become a very interesting stand up act.

Tuesday gives you an idea of just how varied the Edinburgh Fringe is. Earlier that day we went to what must be the art highlight of the festival, an exhibition of work by Andy Warhol. Think of this as like going to see a band play as it was essentially a greatest hits collection, with a few old favourites and crowd pleasers, mixed in with lesser known pictures. His iconic images of Campbell Soup, Elvis, Marylin Monroe and the dollar sign were all present, along with a room containing loads of helium filled, pillow-shaped balloons that were made to look like tin foil. If you've never delved into the work of this legendary pop artist, click here for the Warhol foundation and get loads of pictures on this unaffiliated site.In addition go here for an R13 review of the 'Factory Girl' film.

That night featured two diverse musical shows. First up was veteran bluesman Seasick Steve at the Liquid Rooms as part of T on the Fringe, full review here. There was something strangely comforting about being on more familiar ground by way of a regular venue, packed like so many others I've been to over the years. Steve shook the hand of as many in the front row as he could reach, and proceeded to show just why his star has risen at such a senior age.

Having dodged a bagpipe band marching out of the tattoo and wedged ourselves into one of the many rammed pubs to kill time, it was on to a post midnight tribute to the Rat Pack, that's Frank Sinatra, Deen Martin, Sammy Davis Jr et al for those who don't know.

The event was held in a room that's day job is a uni lecture theatre, plenty of the backing band looked to be so young that they haven't reached that stage in education yet.

Vocally this was far from a perfect impersonation night, however the songs were delivered with enough energy to make it an enjoyable experience. 'My Way' stood out, but then it probably is the best known. Amusingly their Frank Sinatra did look more like Tottenham and England defender Michael Dawson.

The spoken bits in between each song were a bit fake though, I'm not sure Sammy Davis Jr would have said "Frank called me up the other day and told me about this gig going on here in Edinburgh and I just had to be here". Another of the actors did say that it was great to be "in England", which is the sort of dumb thing American's say when they visit the likes of Edinburgh and Cardiff, but I'd like to think the Rat Pack would have been more switched on about their surroundings than present-day pop stars.

Wednesday 15th
It's often said that you learn something new everyday, and for me today's lesson was that, asking who Ian Rankin is when walking round the Edinburgh Book Festival is the kind of thing that gets you frowned upon and relegated to philistine status. There goes my career as a broadsheet literary critic up in smoke before it ever had chance to get off the ground.

As well as all the music, comedy and theatre which is part of the Fringe, Edinburgh is world-famous for the different strands to the festival. Films that will make it to the London Film Festival in October are shone, key figures from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and more will address the Television Festival, and authors are interviewed in front of the public and give readings of their latest work at the Book Festival. Emma Pollock (ex Delgados) and Roddie Woomble (Idlewild) made a sold-out appearance at the latter in a poetry capacity this year.

Having been rumbled for my serious lack of knowledge when it came to famous Scottish writers, luckily I could redeem myself later in the afternoon with a subject I'm on far safer ground with: the debut run for a stage production of the working life of John Peel going under the somewhat predictable title of 'Teenage Kicks'. Click here for a full review of the play, appropriately performed in a below ground level sweat pit of a venue.

Thursday 16th
By now you should be getting an idea of just how enormous the Edinburgh Festival is. The press are all over this city like a rash for the duration of August, and media coverage extends to a daily show in front of a live audience on Radio Scotland, hosted by Fred MacAulay and the Sue half of Mel and Sue.

On this morning's programme the guests included a bunch of blokes in suits who performed Franz Ferdinand and Scissor Sisters tracks using only their voices as instruments. Certainly an impressive skill but you'd think an hour's worth of it at one of their own shows might start to get boring.

There were also a collection of comedians, most excitingly, Jim Bowen, yes, the actual king of darts on TV Jim Bowen!

Sadly his show began the night before I left so I can't tell you what the Bull's Eye host is like on stage these days, but he definitely stood out on this occasion.

My prior commitment was in the same building as Jim Bowen's show, the extremely grand, shiny new looking Exchange venue. Jimmy Carr was one of the biggest names to appear at this year's Fringe, known outside the stand up world for TV shows such as 'Distraction' and 'Your Face or Mine?' plus time spent as the host of the Sunday morning show on X FM London.

Another lesson I've learnt this week is, if you're going to heckle, make it funnier than the person your abusing. Not that I'm writing with personal experience in hand, but there are enough gobby nutjobs about to prove that statement allowing me to leave Scotland with pride well and truly in one piece.

Twice this week stand ups have told of cracking heckles. Joe Bor (from the Christian, Muslin, Jew and Geordie show) talked about a man standing at the back of a pub during an especially bad comedian's gig, who sighed loudly and remarked "there used to be a pool table in here".

Jimmy Carr, who had his fair share of clowns to deal with tonight, talked about a time early in his career, when a man shouted from the back:

"My mother died of cancer the other week!"

"But I haven't been talking about cancer, or your mum," replied Carr.

"I know, but it was a lot funnier than this!"

Luckily Jimmy Carr has gone up in the world since then, to the point where this was a run of performances which sold out long in advance of the festival beginning, and rightly so. While others do characters, some tell stories or base their act around a theme, Jimmy Carr was on stage for an hour and a half, with most of the time filled by simple, short, joke telling style comedy. Back to the basic approach and already a well-established star with it.

Some Further Info
...And that's it! until the 3 - 25 of August 2008 when the Fringe will return!

Fringe 2007 featured 31,000 performances of 2,050 shows in 250 venues. An estimated 18,626 performers took to the stage at the Fringe in 2007

Theatre made up 31% of the programme, followed closely by Comedy with 30.5%. Music, including the largest ever T on the Fringe is next with 17%, Children's entertainment has 5.5%, Musicals & Opera totals 5%, dance &
Physical Theatre weighs in at 4.5%, Exhibitions is 3.5% and finally Events 3%. 304 shows at the Fringe were absolutely free.

I began this diary by saying that my first time here was 1996, and the Fringe has ballooned massively in that one decade. The Fringe sells 108% more tickets than it did ten years ago (734,508 in 1996, 1,531,606 in 2006). The Fringe has a 75% market share of all attendance at Edinburgh's year-round festivals and annually generates around 75 million for the Edinburgh and Scottish economy.

Further to this, the stats announced for 2007 showed another big increase, with 1,697,293 tickets sold. The increase reflects a 10.8% increase on 2006.

Figures gained from Edfringe.com which is a fine starting point if R13's coverage of the 2007 event has tempted you to head to the Scottish capital in 2008.