The Edinburgh Fringe Festival has made the careers of many British comedians, actors and writers, and David Baddiel is almost certainly one of them. He has returned to the Fringe for the first time since 1998 with a major show, and hasn’t disappointed one bit.

The reviews so far have been excellent: “Major Edinburgh Fringe shows can often be disappointing, hoovering up ticket money that should go to needier newcomers,” complain London’s Evening Standard. “The annual hybrid of trade fair and creativity opened this weekend and it is a relief to report that David Baddiel’s first set since 1998 is insightful, illuminating and extremely funny.”

The Telegraph seemed equally impressed, here, giving an insight into the funny-man’s act: “Vitally, however, the mood is far from self-pitying, as Baddiel repeatedly uses priceless tales, of which he is often the butt, to make serious points” they write. “Once voted the “World’s Sixth Sexiest Jew” (behind, as he resignedly points out, Alan Sugar), he wittily addresses the casual prejudice that his ethnicity has generated, also stirring in a sparkling account of apparent mistaken identity involving him, Ben Elton and Andrew Lloyd Webber.”

So it seems to have been a triumphant return for Baddiel after a few years of comedic insecurity (there was the whole Tottenham Hotsper ‘Yids’ campaign that seemed to die at its feet). His return will be just as pleasing to him as it will for his fans.

But while the paid shows continue to draw the crowds despite the current urge for austerity, Free Fringe is providing festival-goers a chance to catch various acts for free, something that has caused some controversy of late, with promoters arguing over the quality of the free shows.

Mr Buckley Hill – the man in charge of Free Fringe - said: “Clearly enough people approve of our model for it to remain viable. The suggestion is we put on shows that are of inferior quality to the paid-for shows. I can’t say this strongly enough: we do not.” He made these comments to The Independent, after Nica Burns, director of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, suggested the free shows offered up a diminished level of quality.

David BaddielBaddiel has enjoyed a triumphant return to the Fringe