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From veterans of the stand-up circuit to the best emerging talent, we take a look at the highlights of this year’s Harrogate Comedy Festival.

R emember that saying that when it comes to jokes, the old ones are the best? Well, at this year’s Harrogate Comedy Festival there will be a chance to see whether it applies equally to stand-ups too.  Veterans of comedy, Jimmy Tarbuck and Des O’Connor, who took to the stage together at the London Palladium for the first time in 2015, are reuniting to bring their show to Yorkshire for one last hurrah.

Their show is an unashamed wallow in nostalgia back to a time when there were only four channels on a TV and you could buy a round of drinks and still have change from a fiver. However, if that’s not your thing, fear not.  The pair are just two of 59 comedians heading to Harrogate during the 20-day festival in October, which this year will also see performances from the likes of John Bishop, James Acaster, Ruby Wax and Jimmy Carr.

Now in its 11th year, the festival has always championed rising talent and this autumn Harrogate’s own Maisie Adams will be rubbing shoulders with the veterans. As usual there will also be a Kids Comedy Club and a search to find the big names of the future in the Comedian of the Year Competition, whose previous winners include the Britain’s Got Talent finalist Mickey P Kerr. 

Paul Sinha, who some know best for his appearances on The Chase, is also likely to be a big draw. Earlier this year, the 49 year old announced that he had been diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease, but while the diagnosis forced him to cancel a planned run at the Edinburgh Fringe, he will hopefully be back doing what he does best in Harrogate.

Festival programmer Phil Lowe says: “After bringing the biggest names in stand-up and the best in rising talent to Harrogate for over a decade, Harrogate Comedy Festival is an important event for the town. We now have a standard of excellence to not just uphold but further exceed each year, and we don’t take that responsibility lightly. We are on the lookout for great comedy all year round and we’ll continue to bring the very best to Harrogate going forward”

Harrogate Comedy Festival runs from October 2nd to 22nd and for the full programme visit

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