AWARD-WINNING Scots actor Brian Cox is to play a key role in Alex Salmond’s upcoming Edinburgh Fringe show.

Cox, who has recently been nominated for an Emmy for his performance in the hit show Succession, will appear in The Ayes Have It! The Ayes Have It! over two nights in August.

The show will see two teams led by Salmond and Tory MP David Davis go head-to-head on a variety of issues, including Scottish independence, in front of a 450-capacity audience in the Assembly Spiegeltent in George Square.

Members of the audience will be able to intervene and a chair will take on the role of the Commons speaker or Holyrood presiding officer to keep a “watchful eye over the proceedings”.

This role will be filled by ex-Commons speaker John Bercow initially before Cox (below) takes over for two nights.

The National: Brian Cox appearing on Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg (Jeff Overs/BBC)

Speaking to The Scotsman, Salmond said: “I’ve known Brian for many years and I’ve always been an admirer of his work as well.

“Now he’s a superstar, of course, but I knew him when he was just a very, very fine actor winning Laurence Olivier Awards. Now he wins Emmys. I just think it’s fantastic.

“I think his characterisation of Logan Roy is one of the great performances of the recent television era. It’s just an extraordinary performance over the series.

“The last character in television who had the impact of Logan Roy was JR Ewing (Dallas), I think. It’s a brilliant performance, absolutely brilliant.”

Following Cox’s role in the show, he will be replaced by STV’s Bernard Ponsonby and then Dame Eleanor Laing, the current principal deputy speaker of the Commons.

Salmond insisted that “Logan Roy is going to impose order in the Spiegeltent” and added: “You take your life in your hands if you intervene with Bercow in the chair and get out of line, but with Cox in the chair – by god.”

The former first minister said the main topics up for discussion will include Scottish independence, Brexit and republicanism.

“The idea is, each night David and I, our teams have a set-to. I’ll be backed up by a bunch of Scottish MSPs and MPs, and David will be backed up by a bunch of Westminster MPs”, Salmond explained.

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Politicians set to take part include SNP MSP Fergus Ewing, ex-Lib Dem leader Sir Vince Cable, Kate Forbes and SNP MSP Michelle Thomson.

There will be one hour of debate with “short, sharp speeches” before the audience decides who wins.

Salmond said he expects the atmosphere to be “boisterous” and that it will “be like the Colosseum”.

“That’s what it’s designed for. It’s designed for debate, obviously, sharp-witted political interchange certainly – but boisterous as well.

“It’s meant to be kind of replicating a parliamentary atmosphere.”

The show will be directed by Tasmina Ahmed-Sheikh and will run from August 4 to 13 at 7.50pm.