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Jo Brand and Stewart Lee to help celebrate Leicester Comedy Festival's 30th Anniversary

A huge line up of comedy is coming to Leicester, February 8-26, 2023.

Leicester will once again host what is now the biggest and longest-running comedy festival in Europe.

Hundreds of comedy shows will take place during Leicester Comedy Festival this February in venues, pubs, bars and every conceivable nook and cranny of Leicester and Leicestershire.

Celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, Leicester Comedy Festival will introduce new patrons Eshaan Akbar, Jo Brand, Sikisa and Stewart Lee. They all join original patron, Tony Slattery.

Rosie Jones and Michael Rosen are announced as new patrons of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. The UK Kids' Comedy Festival will be celebrating its fifth anniversary, and aims to engage children in creative and social contact with others, while providing shows for all the family to enjoy.

"Comedy makes us see light in the darkness," says incoming patron and comedy legend, Stewart Lee. "And it helps us to understand the mad world we live in through the lens of laughs.

"There's rarely been a time comedy has been needed more, and Leicester Comedy Festival continues to deliver it. From big names that help make it a must see to the kind of new talent so deserving of its support, Leicester Comedy festival's program lands all across the social spectrum.

"I am honoured to be a patron of this vibrant event that has made the name of Leicester echo forever in the caves of comedy history!"

Comedian Rosie Jones said: "It's a great honour to be a patron of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. As a comedian who also writes children's books this could not be more up my street! I love making people laugh, especially kids, so here's to lots more daft events where we can be funny and very, very silly!"

Big Difference, the charity behind the festival, will be seeking to outdo itself yet again, by delivering a memorable and entertaining experience that shines a light on the future generation of comedians.

Working with both young and old communities, and cultivating laughter and comedy in people’s heart, as they celebrate with both staples and rising stars of the industry.

Various special events will be happening throughout the festival:

  • Thanyia Moore hosting The Big Comedy Fundraiser on February 16 at De Montfort Hall – headlining Milton Jones, Nina Gilligan, Emmanuel Sonubi and Scott Bennett

  • Curve Theatre will host Q&As with Seann Walsh on February 19, and Nish Kumar on February 26

  • And Nish Kumar will also headline Comedy Heaven at Curve Theatre on February 26

Some anniversary events will also be held as part of the celebrations:

There will also be plenty of local talent taking part in the festival:

Leicester Comedy Festival will again stream events online, directly from the festivals with their official streaming partner, Next Up.

The featured comedians - performing at the various venues in 2023 - include Chloe Petts, Colin Hoult, Darren Harriott, Adele Cliff, Fern Brady, Gary Delaney, John Kearns, Ignacio Lopez, Richard Herring, Ahir Shah, Sophie Duker, Josh Pugh, Emmanuel Sonubi and Sarah Keyworth.

Comedy has grown up in Leicester and continues to grow. Big Difference will ensure that this brilliant cultural event continues to thrive into the next 30 years.


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