Hollywood film star John Malkovich is among the big names scheduled to turn out during this year’s Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Malkovich will direct actor Julian Sands in the play, A Celebration of Harold Pinter, which pays tribute to the late American writer.

A host of top names in comedy will also return during the month-long festival, with stand-up shows from Murray, Sarah Millican and Ed Byrne, as well as performances from dance troupe Flawless.

The Edinburgh line-up includes 2,542 shows staged by about 21,000 performers, confirming its status as the world’s largest arts festival.

Kath Mainland, Festival Fringe Society chief executive, said: “The 2011 Edinburgh Festival Fringe programme is bigger than ever.”

She said: “What makes it exciting every year, but particularly this year, is the combination of all these wonderful, creative and talented people who choose to bring their work here.

“The Fringe is whatever those people want it to be, and so many of them are still seduced by the idea of it and want to bring their work here from all round the world.

“The Edinburgh Festival Fringe is still the first choice for performers, producers, venues, artists and creators to come and tell their story.”