Harrogate Comedy Festival star Stewart Francis.
Harrogate Comedy Festival star Stewart Francis.

Everyone already knows Harrogate is the comedy capital of the north, the big question is, who is in the line-up this year for Harrogate Comedy Festival?

Organisers Harrogate Theatre have unveiled its latest feast with 50 comedians coming to town over 14 days across four venues this October.

The spectacular range of talent and big najmes includes Jon Richardson, Jack Dee, Stewart Francis, Sandi Toksvig, Julian Clary, Pappy’s, Paul Foot, and Josie Long.

Apparently, the hot comedy trend for young men in T-shirts noticing things doesn’t seem to be waning and the theatre can boast some of the finest T-shirt wearers on the circuit at the festival: from cheery Geordie Chris Ramsey, about to make it big in forthcoming BBC2 sitcom Hebburn, to cocky young Scottish buck Daniel Sloss, who was only a bit older than a bairn when he first took the stage.

Not that the festival is ageist, it also has older blokes in T-shirts with still sharp brains and wit (Danny Bhoy, Rob Rouse, Jon Richardson, Marcus Brigstocke, Carl Donnelly).

From big names off the TV to hot sketch (there Pappy’s, Wit Tank and Jigsaw) and circuit stars (Tony Law, Henning Wehn and Seann Walsh), Harrogate Comedy Festival boasts a joker to suit every palate and at least two to confound eyes as well as ears (The Boy With Tape On His Face and Piff The Magic Dragon).

On the other hand, if you like the warm, cuddly humour, old-school gagmeister Jimmy Tarbuck will probably tickle your fancy.

Alternatively, you might be up for something a little ‘political’ such as Mark Thomas, Josie Long, Francesca Martinez or Imran Yusuf.

If you prefer your comedy somewhere between leftfield and downright bonkers, grab your tickets for Paul Foot, The Dog-Eared Collective or Slap & Giggle.

There’s even a little cabaret with the poptastic Frisky & Mannish, and talented Harrogate diva Damsel Sophie’s latest show Hot. And for those with little ‘uns, Comedy Club 4 Kids provides spot-on entertainment for all ages who like laughing without swearing.

One of the distinctive points of the festival is that it’s not all about sitting and watching. As well as the Harrogate Comedy Festival Comedian Of The Year competition (send entries to comedianoftheyear@harrogatetheatre.co.uk by October 1), with a £350 cash prize and a performance slot on the Hyena Closing Gala line-up, there’s a chance to unleash your inner funny in our Stand-Up Comedy Workshop, a one-day opportunity to build the performance mettle and self-confidence needed to crack jokes onstage. And you can test your comedy knowledge at the Comedy Quiz at Jakes hosted by intelligent funnyman Paul Sinha.

Keep up-to-date with exclusive Comedy Festival offers through www.facebook.com/harrogatetheatre or on Twitter @HGtheatre using the hashtag #HCF12.

Tickets for Harrogate Comedy Festival are available now at www.harrogatetheatre.co.uk or on 01423 502 116.