Comic superstar Jimmy Carr for Harrogate Comedy Festival

Comedian Jimmy Carr.
Comedian Jimmy Carr.

By Graham Chalmers

Harrogate has come a long way in comedy since the quiet days of 10 years or so ago when laughs were few and the stars rarely came to town.

Running from October 5-17, the seventh annual Harrogate Comedy Festival is full of top names, most notably comedy superstar Jimmy Carr.

Organised as always by Harrogate Theatre, which is also the lead venue in this fortnight-long festival, this year’s feast of comedy includes acts of the calibre of Josh Widdicombe, Nina Conti, Jeremy Hardy, Rob Beckett, Chris Ramsey, Tim Brooke-Taylor, Beardyman and more.

But the big highlight is sure to be Jimmy Carr’s appearance at the Royal Hall on Tuesday, October 13.

The famous stand-up and TV presenter of shows like 8 Out of 10 Cats is bringing his brand new show Funny Business.

Emma McDowell, Harrogate Comedy Festival programmer at Harrogate Theatre, said: “It’s certainly one of our best line-ups yet. We hope to welcome lots of familiar faces and many new ones to the theatre over the duration of the Harrogate Comedy Festival.”

As always, the Harrogate Advertiser will be joining in the fun by offering its services in the judging of the annual HCF Comedian of the Year Competition which turns the spotlight on new talent.

Now that Harrogate’s status as ‘comedy capital of the north’ is virtually secure, Harrogate Theatre’ says its aim is to break out of its home base - to make the fun spread across town.

Emma McDowell said: “We are working in partnership with Redhouse Originals Gallery and we are in talks with Major Tom’s Social bar about doing something together.”

All in all, this year’s HCF should help transform Harrogate’s traditional image.

Emma said: “Our aim this year is to create a cool festival vibe at the theatre and to offer a well-rounded ‘comedy experience’ that goes beyond the realms of just stand-up.”