A SHARK Ate My Penis, Gary Lineker Misgendered My Dachshund, Teardrops On My Dildo. The fact that only one of these isn’t the title of a show at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe is proof, if it were needed, of the trashier dimension to the vast cultural free-for-all that is Scotland’s capital city in August.

As you wander the streets of Edinburgh you might be wondering when someone is going to start plastering the word “shite” after the title on posters for the show called Gyles Brandreth Can’t Stop Talking. The latest Fringe offering from the loquacious former Tory MP and royal bum-kisser reminds me of the time a PR person emailed me offering press tickets for the festival show Lunch With The Hamiltons.

Would I, the publicist wanted to know, like to join the proven “corrupt liar” and disgraced former Tory politician Neil Hamilton and his equally odious wife Christine for a lunchtime chat show? I replied, succinctly, “put me down for none.”

All of which is my way of saying, dear festival-goer, be careful out there. There’s a lot of garbage to navigate your way through as you search for the gems of the Fringe.

In general, I tend to avoid shows with trashy titles that seem designed merely to grab one’s attention. Having said that, A Shark Ate My Penis (a musical comedy that is, in part, about a trans boy who tells people that a large fish made off with his genitals) looks as if it could actually be a quite substantial show about the modern history of transsexuality.

Which just goes to show there’s at least one exception to every rule. As to Gary Lineker Misgendered My Dachshund, that’s not actually the title of a show at this year’s Fringe. But, who knows, it might be next year.