Comedy competition launches in Barnoldswick

Emily Williamson (23) from Earby has been instrumental in setting up comedy nights at Rolls-Royce Leisure Club in Barnoldswick. (S)
Emily Williamson (23) from Earby has been instrumental in setting up comedy nights at Rolls-Royce Leisure Club in Barnoldswick. (S)

Top quality comedy is now on the doorstep in Barnoldswick as an inaugural competition to find the finest funnies in the land starts on Friday.

The Bob Inn Comedy Club at Rolls-Royce Leisure Centre is the brainchild of 23-year-old Emily Williamson from Earby.

The evenings have taken off since debuting in December with comedian demand for slots outstripping places by tenfold.

Having developed an interest in comedy while studying drama at Edge Hill University, Emily, a hospitality supervisor at the Skipton Road venue, pursued the task of setting up a comedy night. And she has been taken aback by interest.

Off the back of its startling success, the competition has been launched to find “Barnoldswick’s Comedian of the Year”.

Seven heats featuring four acts will take place once a month until the Grand Finale in October, with the final seven being entirely the choice of the audience.

Emily said: “I love going to comedy nights and wanted to run one. It’s been a case of figuring out what we were going to do.

“I didn’t realise it was going to take off and be so popular. We have four spaces per show and we’ve been receiving between 40 and 50 applications.

“It’s great because it keeps the standard high. Of the evenings we’ve had so far, we’ve even had comedians travelling distances just on the off chance that one of those selected has dropped out.

“The competition starts on March 20th when Tony Burgess from Manchester will be the headline act and the evening will be hosted Lee Bennett.

“The audience have been great so far, always attentive, a good crowd for the comedians to perform to and always a good turnout.”

Headliner Tony Burgess, seen on BBC3’s “Ideal”, has quite a following and Johnny Vegas said of him: “Beneath his seasoned laid back delivery lies a razor wit with some of the sharpest material around.”

With that in mind, the show starts at 8-30pm on Friday until late and is for over-18s only.

Each comedian is given 10 minutes to crack the funnies and entry is free for the audience which includes a complementary supper.