Jo Brand and Stewart Lee announced as new patrons of Leicester Comedy Festival as 2023 festival launched

Leicester Comedy Festival has today launched its 30th anniversary event, with a huge line-up of comedians set to perform at venues around the city from February 8 to 26, 2023. As part of the launch, the festival has announced that Eshaan Akbar, Jo Brand, Sikisa and Stewart Lee are joining Tony Slattery as new patrons of the event.

In addition, Rosie Jones and Michael Rosen are announced as new patrons of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. The UK’s only comedy festival for kids will celebrate its fifth year in 2023.

Talking about becoming a patron of Leicester Comedy Festival, Stewart Lee said: “Comedy makes us see light in the darkness. And it helps us to understand the mad world we live in through the lens of laughs.

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“There’s rarely been a time comedy has been needed more, and Leicester Comedy Festival continues to deliver it. From big names that help make it a must see to the kind of new talent so deserving of its support, Leicester Comedy festival’s program lands all across the social spectrum.

“I am honoured to be a patron of this vibrant event that has made the name of Leicester echo for ever in the caves of comedy history!”

On becoming a patron of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival, Rosie Jones said: “It’s a great honour to be a patron of The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival. As a comedian who also writes children’s books this could not be more up my street!

“I love making people laugh, especially kids, so here’s to lots more daft events where we can be funny and very, very silly!”

Big Difference, the charity behind the festival, will next year welcome hundreds of comedians with shows taking place in venues, pubs, bars and every conceivable nook and cranny of Leicester and Leicestershire. Seann Walsh is set to host the Gala Preview Show on January 6 at De Montfort Hall and Thanyia Moore will host The Big Comedy Fundraiser on February 16 at De Montfort Hall – headlining Milton Jones, Nina Gilligan, Emmanuel Sonubi and Scott Bennett .

In addition, Curve Theatre will host Q&As with Seann Walsh on February 19, and Nish Kumar on February 26. Nish Kumar will also headline Comedy Heaven at Curve Theatre on February 26.

As part of the celebrations, anniversary events will also be held, such as 30 acts for £30 at Hansom Hall on February 18, the 30th anniversary exhibition at Hansom The Old Library Café and Galleries, and a 30th anniversary celebration at the Sue Townsend Theatre on February 25, featuring a Q&A between Arthur Smith and Geoff Rowe , the founder of Leicester Comedy Festival.

In February 2023, Leicester Comedy Festival will again stream events online, directly from the festivals with their official streaming partner Next Up . Comedians performing at the various venues in 2023 include Chloe Petts, Colin Hoult, Darren Harriott, Adele Cliff, Fern Brady, Gary Delaney, John Kearns, Ignacio Lopez, Richard Herring, Ahir Shah and Sophie Duker, Josh Pugh, Emmanuel Sonubi and Sarah Keyworth.

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