You must be jok­ing!


Leicester Mercury - - News - By STAFF RE­PORTER com­edy-fes­ti­ ukpun­cham­pi­ alex@bigdif­fer­ence­com­

LEICES­TER Com­edy Fes­ti­val is invit­ing ap­pli­ca­tions from funny folk to en­ter com­pe­ti­tions at next year’s event.

El­i­gi­ble co­me­di­ans can now ap­ply to en­ter The UK Pun Cham­pi­onships, Sil­ver Stand Up Com­pe­ti­tion and the sec­ond year of the Cir­cuit Break­ers pro­gramme, set up to sup­port new and emerg­ing co­me­di­ans from across the UK.

The UK Pun Cham­pi­onships is open to any pun-based co­me­dian liv­ing in the UK who are able to make the live fi­nal on Pun­day (Mon­day), Fe­bru­ary 11 in Leices­ter.

A sell-out for the past five years, the pun cham­pi­onships, hosted by Ja­son Byrne, cel­e­brates the great Bri­tish pun and is the cul­mi­na­tion of #UKPunDay, which trends na­tion­wide on Twit­ter and at­tracted over 30 mil­lion im­pres­sions on twit­ter in 2017.

The live show at the pres­ti­gious De Mont­fort Hall fol­lows the for­mat of a rap bat­tle and takes place in a box­ing ring sur­rounded by the au­di­ence.

Au­di­ences vote for their favourite pun (by way of whoops and cheers) and the win­ner goes through to the next round.

Af­ter a full evening of pun-based com­edy, two fi­nal­ists then fight it out un­til a win­ner is crowned.

Geoff Rowe, found­ing di­rec­tor of Leices­ter Com­edy Fes­ti­val, said: “We’re re­ally proud of the sup­port we give new and emerg­ing tal­ent and it is re­ally im­por­tant for us to en­sure the fes­ti­val is as wel­com­ing as pos­si­ble to co­me­di­ans from across the UK.

“Our com­pe­ti­tions are a cru­cial part of this and we know new and emerg­ing co­me­di­ans value be­ing part of the big­gest com­edy fes­ti­val in Eu­rope. Each year we are in­un­dated with ap­pli­ca­tions for our com­pe­ti­tions and we look for­ward to hear­ing from acts who want to take part.”

Sil­ver Stand Up Com­pe­ti­tion is a unique com­edy com­pe­ti­tion for co­me­di­ans aged over 55. The fi­nal will take place on Fe­bru­ary 21. A long list of both semi-pro­fes­sional and pro­fes­sional co­me­di­ans per­form in front of a judg­ing panel be­fore fi­nal­ists per­form at the live fi­nal, hosted by Mrs Bar­bara Nice.

Cir­cuit Break­ers is a de­vel­op­ment pro­gramme which ben­e­fits co­me­di­ans just start­ing out and en­able them to per­form at Leices­ter Com­edy Fes­ti­val 2019.

The pro­gramme, which is open to co­me­di­ans from across the UK who don’t have a man­ager or agent nor a full hour-long show, will cul­mi­nate with per­for­mances dur­ing the festi- val, as well as in­dus­try net­work­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties across the week­end and sup­port from fes­ti­val pro­duc­ers.

Head­line acts for Leices­ter Com­edy Fes­ti­val 2019, which takes place from Fe­bru­ary 6-24, in­clude Jo Brand, Johnny Ve­gas, Zoe Lyons, Ja­son Man­ford, Nish Ku­mar, Dave Gor­man, Rus­sell Howard, Hen­ning Wehn, Ja­son Byrne, Paul Sinha, Rich Hall, Shazia Mirza, Hal Crut­ten­den and Gary De­laney.

The main fes­ti­val will also fea­ture the best up-and-com­ing in­ter­na­tional and UK acts in­clud­ing Adam Kay, Adam Rowe, Ahir Shah, Alas­dair Beck­ett-King, Alex Edel­man, An­drew Maxwell, Chris Wash­ing­ton, Dal­iso Chaponda, Dane Bap­tist and Ed Gam­ble. Visit:

Co­me­di­ans want­ing to ap­ply for the Cir­cuit Break­ers pro­gramme can e-mail:

IT’S NICE TO BE NICE: Bar­bara Nice, aka Jan­ice Con­nolly, will again be host­ing the Sil­ver Stand Up Com­pe­ti­tion

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