Leek Comedy Club

06/09/2012 @ 8:00 pm – 11:30 pm
FXOLOWE arts centre
Staffordshire ST13 6AD
£7 in advance from www.funhousecomedy.co.uk, or Foxlowe arts centre
Comedy Club
01538 386112

NOT Going Out and Miranda are the biggest sitcoms around – and the first night of Leek Comedy Club’s new season sees it pull off a major coup as the man who co-wrote both, Paul Kerensa, headlines.

Starting in stand-up in 2002, when he won ITV’s Take The Mike competition, in just a few short years exiled Cornishman Kerensa has established himself as one of British comedy’s leading young talents, both as a writer and a comedian.

Headlining at the country’s biggest venues, he comes to Leek fresh from the Edinburgh Festival, and is a former finalist in the BBC New Comedy Awards.

As well as his sitcom work, he also writes for radio’s Dead Ringers, News Quiz, The Now Show, and countless others.

“I submitted jokes for the open-door show of its day, Radio 2’s Parsons and Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections,” he explains of his upwards comedy writing trajectory. “That producer moved to The News Quiz and took me with her. One of her successors moved to Lee Mack’s Radio 2 show, and took me with her. Lee moved to TV with the sitcom Not Going Out, and took me with him. Miranda Hart appeared in Not Going Out, then got her own show, and took me with her. So the lesson there – jump on as many coat-tails as possible. Then cling, cling.

“What’s not to love about comedy writing?” he adds, “apart from the loneliness and the sheer fear of facing a blank page with absolutely no ideas. When it goes well, though, it’s great fun, cracking hours, you can often write from home, and you have a job that involves making people laugh. Any day where your work involves making people happier can only be good.

“The only down side? I used to love sitcoms. I grew up adoring Blackadder and Fawlty Towers and Red Dwarf and Joking Apart and Murder Most Horrid and Bonjour La Classe and other obscure shows. Now I don’t so much laugh at sitcoms, as see them as work. Rather than ‘hahaha’, sitcoms illicit from me an ‘oh, that’s a clever use of the pull-back-and-reveal’.”

Fellow headliner Andrew Bird is one of the hottest properties on the circuit having risen to the top in just three years.

“I used to work part-time in a pub in Towcester,” he says, “and used to think of stupid things to say to make the old blokes laugh. I started making notes of them so I wouldn’t forget and next thing I knew I had two massive note pads of this rubbish! So a few people said to me ‘you should do comedy’, but it’s not that easy to do when you’re in Towcester.”

Heading to the bright lights of London instead, Andrew has played at The Comedy Store, Jongleurs, The Comedy Café, and the Avalon Comedy Network. Time Out described him as ‘one of the hottest prospects in stand-up’.

With support from Patrick Draper and Rex Purnell, plus compere Scott Bennett, it promises to be another big night of comedy at the ever-burgeoning club.