Johnny Vegas and Milton Jones head to Leicester for comedy festival
Leicester is set for a fortnight of belly laughs as funnymen Milton Jones, Alistair McGowan and Johnny Vegas take to the stage for Dave’s 2013 Comedy Festival.
The festival boasts 520 shows over 17 days and will take over the city, with events hosted at spots including Leicester Guildhall, De Montfort University, Curve and Apex Works.
The comedy extravaganza, dubbed one of the best in the world by The Guardian, will kick off tonight with performances from Milton Jones at De Montfort University, Mitch Benn at The Musician and star of The Rob Brydon show Tom Deacon at The Belmont Hotel.
Milton Jones, now a familiar face after appearances on Mock the Week and Live at the Apollo, will kick off his sold-old show at 7.30pm.
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Other festival highlights include Johnny Vegas and the cast of An Ideal Night Out on February 11, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and 8 Out of 10 Cats regular Chris Ramsey on February 19 and impressionist star Alistair McGowan on February 12.
Alan Davies will headline De Montfort Hall on February 14, while rapper-turned-comedian Doc Brown, who has appeared on Russell Howard's Good News, The Inbetweeners and Miranda, will take to the stage at Firebug on February 15.
Young talent Ahir Shah will tomorrow perform at The Exchange Bar.
Josh, who has shot to fame since his first gig in January 2008, was crowned Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2010, and funnyman Tom won the title the following year.
Comedians will compete for the title again this year, and the winner will be announced on February 23.
The coveted title, which has in the past been awarded to Jonny Vegas, Jason Manford, Rhod Gilbert and Seann Walsh, boasts a £1,000 prize.
The award is given to upcoming acts – contestants cannot be playing headline spots and must be “new” to comedy. They can’t have performed a full hour show at Edinburgh Festival Fringe or other international festival.
Each act performs for seven minutes on the night and a judging panel of comedy industry representatives make the final decision.
Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival is Britain’s longest-running comedy festival, set up in 1994. From humble beginnings the festival has grown into a high-profile event, attracting names including Bill Bailey, Jimmy Carr, Russell Brand, Frankie Boyle and Alan Davies.
Ross Noble, Jo Brand, The Mighty Boosh and Dara O Briain have also performed at the festival, as have Simon Pegg and Harry Hill.
Sarah Millican and Russell Howard were among the famous faces to appear last year, when some 410 shows were hosted. This year, the festival boasts 520 shows.
The festival also incorporates comedy film; poetry and spoken word; comic theatre; photographic and art exhibitions and children's shows.
To find out more about the festival, click here.