The Chase is on for comedy festival tickets as a host of new acts have been announced.
Hebburn funnyman Jason Cook is bringing some of the biggest names on the comedy circuit to the Customs House for the South Tyneside Comedy Festival.
Among the line-up is Paul Sinha, known as The Sinnerman, one of the Chasers on ITV quiz show The Chase.
He’ll be on stage at the Mill Dam venue, in South Shields, on July 31.
Festival director Jason said: “I’ve known Paul for about 15 years so he was one of my first calls. I’ve worked with him all over the world and never seen him do anything but rip the roof off so it’ll be an absolute treat to have him with us. He loves Geordie crowds and it’ll be a special show.”
Also announced is James Acaster, a regular face on TV shows Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week, and 8 Out Of 10 Cats, and Nish Kumar, the voice behind BBC Radio 4 show Newsjack.
They’ll both perform on August 1.
Jason, who created BBC2 sitcom Hebburn, added: “A lot of festivals will be well jealous we got Acaster. He’s one of the country’s greatest comedians, really takes you into his own world of comedy, he’s quite magical.
“And Nish is an incredible comic, sharp as a tack and hilarious with it. To get him was a real coup, it’s going to be a rare treat to have him in Tyneside.”
The final new addition to the line-up is Joel Dommett, also on August 1.
Jason said: “People will recognise Joel from Sky One’s Bring the Noise where he was a team captain along with Nicole Scherzinger.
“He’s a proper little mischief maker so he’ll fit in perfectly with the people round here. And the girls always love Joel.”
Also appearing at the festival is Jason, South Tyneside comics Chris Ramsey and Carl Hutchinson, Steffen Peddie, Justin Moorhouse, Gary Delaney, Martin Bigpig and The Geordie Rat Pack.
The festival is set to run for 10 days from July 29 to August 7.
Jason said: “I’ve been stunned by the response to be honest, I thought we would put it out and it would just trickle tickets sales until we got closer to the date but we’ve done our first thousand in just a few weeks.”
The festival comes on the back of the success of Cook’s own comedy club based at the Customs House.
He added: “I started the comedy club in October and we’ve sold every single one out often months in advance so a comedy festival was the next logical step.
“It’s about getting people out to see comedy. I could honestly make more money by just putting on a couple of one man shows but I really wanted people to just get out and experience comedy in the way it works best, which is live.
“And I’ve been able to use my contacts to get people off the telly to come and play for us. I’ll be honest, I’ve blagged a lot of them. Mainly by promising them parts in TV shows I haven’t even written yet. But it’ll be worth it.”