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Jesting About: 20 North East comics announced for talent showcase and radio series

The six-part series will be recorded at Live Theatre in April and will be broadcast on BBC Radio Newcastle from June

Jason Cook and Chris Ramsey will be getting involved with Jesting About
Jason Cook and Chris Ramsey will be getting involved with Jesting About

A line up of more than 20 North East comedians has been announced for a showcase at Live Theatre in April.

The two-night event will be the culmination of a region wide search for comic talent by the BBC and will provide the material for the next series of Jesting About on Radio Newcastle.

Sammy Dobson, Barry Fox, Lewis Gray, Mark Kennedy, Rahul Kohli, Pipe Riot, Katherine Tanney, Funny Team, Kate Yossarian, Hal Branson, David Callaghan, Alexander Jackson, Julian Lee, Nicola Mantalios, Rowan McCabe, Catherine Scott, John Whale and Nat Wicks and The Imitation Game with Alfie Joey and Cal Halbert will all take part in the recordings at the Quayside venue on April 12 and 13.

Now on its third outing, the comedy project that actively promotes home-grown regional talent will produce a six part series as well as two nights of top drawer live comedy. The broadcasts will start from June.

As has been the form in previous years, Jesting About will document the comedy stylings of a wide range of talents, including stand-up, musical, poetic and sketch comedy.

As well as the acts listed above, the project will also involve such comedy stalwarts as Jason Cook, Ross Noble and Chris Ramsey - even Vic and Bob have donated their skills in specially recorded messages for BBC Newcastle. Hot to trot comedy troupe the Silly Billies and Hot Gulp will also be providing sketches for the shows.

Producer Steve Drayton said: “Taking to the pubs and clubs in search of comedy has been a heartening experience. There are a lot of people trying their hand at comedy, many still in development. We’ve found talent in all kinds of places - not just at comedy clubs.

“For years women have been under-represented in the world of comedy, with Jesting About we’ve discovered six women comedians so hopefully we’re getting some balance along the way.

“The great thing about Jesting About is seeing a performer for the first time and knowing that they’d work well on the radio. There are some brilliant comedians out there, and hopefully giving them a platform on BBC Newcastle will give them a step up the showbiz ladder.”

Tickets for the shows are free, but issued on a first come, first served basis from Live Theatre. Call 0191 232 1232 or visit www.live.org.uk to book.

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