News: Competitive Comedians – Leicester Comedy Festival Wants You!

Leicester Comedy Festival has opened the application process for comedians wanting to enter competitions being produced at the 2019 Festival.  Eligible comedians can now apply to enter The UK Pun Championships, Silver Stand Up Competition and the second year of the Circuit Breakers development programme set up to support new and emerging comedians from across the UK.  Full details about how to enter can be found by visiting

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 (er, Monday) 11th February in Leicester.  A total sell out for the past 5 years, The UK 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 & cheers) and the winner goes through to the next round.  After a full evening of pun based comedy, 2 finalists then fight it out until a winner is crowned.  Further details are available from

Silver Stand Up Competition is a unique comedy competition for comedians aged over 55.  The final will take place on 21st February 2019 at Leicester Comedy Festival and eligible acts can now apply to take part.  A longlist of both semi-professional & professional comedians is announced and they perform in front of a judging panel who short list the finalists before performing at the live final, hosted by Mrs Barbara Nice.  Past winners include Shelley Bridgman, Marc Lucero & Fred Ferenczi.

Circuit Breakers is a development programme which benefits comedians who are 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 currently have a manager or agent nor a full hour long show, will culminate withperformances during the festival as well as industry networking opportunities across the weekend and support from Festival producers. The Circuit Breakers programme has been funded by members of the public who donated money via a crowdfunding campaign.  Comedians wanting to apply can email[email protected] 

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.”

Headline acts for Leicester Comedy Festival 2019, which takes place from 6-24 February 2019, 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 & coming international and UK acts including Adam Kay, Adam Rowe, Ahir Shah, Alasdair Beckett-King, Alex Edelman, Andrew Maxwell, Chris Washington, Daliso Chaponda, Dane Baptiste, Darren Harriott, Ed Gamble, Henry Paker, Jack Gleadow, Jen Brister, Joanna Neary, Lauren Pattison, Lloyd Griffith, Lloyd Langford, Lost Voice Guy, Pat Cahill, Rob Kemp, Rosie Jones, Tom Lucy & Harriet Kemsley.

The full programme is now available online by visiting


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