Marcus Brigstocke’s gag over Harrogate Advertiser page 1

Marcus Brigstocke.
Marcus Brigstocke.

By Graham Chalmers

It’s not unsual for stand-up comics to refer to the local newspaper in whichever venue they happen to be appearing in.

But BBC Radio 4 favourite Marcus Brigstocke really went to town on Tuesday night at this year’s Harrogate Comedy Festival.

Performing at Harrogate Theatre, his very first gag was about the front page of last week’s Harrogate Advertiser (Boom time for shops in Harrogate).

“It’s a very nice town. I can tell that from the front page of last week’s Harrogate Advertiser saying how much money you’ve all got and how you’re spending it in all the sh0ps and how well you’re doing compared to everywhere else.”

Thanks for the plug, Marcus.

:ast week’s Harrogate Comedy Festival included shows by the likes of Ross Noble and Ruby Wax plus BBC Hebburn star Jason Cook who prompted this email of praise from reader Simon Bray.

“Jason Cook is probably the funniest man you have never heard of. His show is wonderfully life-affirming, beautifully written and utterly brilliant.

“ His set was fantastic, covering the joy of parenthood; the stresses of writing for TV , how to fire a psychotherapist; and also his true TV stardom as a diminutive wholesome baked Crispbread delivery man in a recent series of adverts.

“His wife says “he makes people laugh for money” and I think he is incredibly good at that.”

The final few days of this year’s festival are packed with comedy goodies such as Mark Watson (Harrogate Theatre, tonight, Friday, October 17) and the Phill Jupitus Improv Quartet (The Crown Hotel, tonight, Friday)

As for this year’s Comedian of the Year contest for rising stars, which has seen half of the Harrogate Advertiser staff take a turn at being one of the judges, we were awaiting results as we went to press.

The final took place on Wednesday night at Harrogate Theatre, with talented African comic MC Africa Zulu emerging the winner.

Other contestants including Knaresborough’s Rob Mulholland, Jake Donaldson, Hawkeye and Windy, Lauren Pattison, Rahul Kohli and Tony Basnett.

Sponsored by Harrogate brewers Daleside, up for grabs was a £350 cash prize and a performance slot on the Hyena Closing Gala this Saturday night at Harrogate Theatre alongside four ‘name’ comics.

Find out who won by logging on to