Comedian Paul Merton to star at Stan Laurel birthday festival in Ulverston

The Westmorland Gazette: Paul Merton Paul Merton

ONE of Britain’s most popular comedians is set to headline a brand new festival celebrating the birthday of a legendary funnyman from Furness.

Paul Merton, a regular on the BBC show Have I Got News For You, will deliver an entirely improvised performance at Another Fine Fest in Ulverston, a day of music and theatre which coincides with the late, great Stan Laurel’s birthday.

The Whose Line Is It Anyway star will take to the stage at The Roxy Cinema on Brogden Street with his ‘impro chums’ to put on a show based solely around audience interaction.

It will be the only ticketed event of the otherwise free festival, scheduled to take place on Saturday, June 14.

Organisers Dave Crossley, a local event manager, Mark Greenhow, owner of the Laurel and Hardy Museum, and Jakki Moore, who manages Beggar’s Theatre in Millom, are hoping the festival will become an annual event.

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Mr Greenhow, 37, has been heavily involved with the comedic double act all his life, even attending a Laurel and Hardy convention in Philadelphia as a child.

He said: “I’ve always wanted a celebration for Stan’s birthday.

“This is going to be a party with something for everyone, from music to theatre. “It’s financed completely by fundraising but whatever happens we’ll have the biggest party we can.

“We want to do it every year from now on and keep getting better.

“Stan’s legacy for the town is phenomenal and Paul Merton was the top of my list of performers.”

Another Fine Fest will be financed entirely by fund raising on the crowdfunding website indiegogo.com.

Organisers have set a target of £2,500 in order to increase the number of performers and venues. For more information and to donate visit www.indiegogo. com/projects/another-fine-fest.

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