Frank Skinner and Elaine C Smith join Glasgow Comedy Festival line-up

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival will feature more than 500 events in 45 venues over 19 days in March.

Frank Skinner, Caroline Rhea and Elaine C Smith are among those on the line-up for a comedy festival in the “funniest city in the world”, organisers have announced.

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival will feature more than 500 events in 45 venues over 19 days in March.

Two Doors Down star Kieran Hodgson is among those who will be appearing, as will Frankie Boyle, Mark Nelson and recent Live At The Apollo star Susie McCabe.

The winner of the festival’s only official award, the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award, will be revealed at the closing comedy gala.

Sir Billy, affectionately know as The Big Yin, will choose the ultimate winner from a shortlist selected by an independent panel of judges.

Speaking as the programme was unveiled at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow on Wednesday, Smith said: “I’m delighted to be back at the King’s Theatre, which feels like my second home after the last few weeks in panto there. But this time I’m returning with my new show, 65.

“I’m delighted to be part of the Glasgow International Comedy Festival, which has become a huge part of Glasgow’s major events calendar.

“This city and its people know how to laugh and to make each other laugh, so I’m delighted to be a part of what promises to be a great time for Glasgow.”

Comedian Kieran Hodgson, who stars in Two Doors Down, will also perform at the festival.

Hodgson will also be performing at The King’s.

He said: “Glasgow has been kind enough to let me make a home here, and I can’t wait to repay the hospitality by making an absolute bampot of myself in one of its most prestigious venues.

“Big In Scotland is a love letter to this great city, and finally answers the question of what it means to be Scottish when you are in no way Scottish. Plus there’s a nice jacket I get to wear.”

Skinner said he is “very excited” to bring his show, 30 Years Of Dirt, to the city, while McCabe said she is “absolutely delighted” to be back.

Rhea, known for her role as Aunt Hilda in the series Sabrina The Teenage Witch, will bring her show I identify As A Witch to Oran Mor, and she said she is “thrilled” to return to Scotland.

The festival, celebrating its 21st birthday this year, will feature everything from traditional stand-up, live podcasts, musicals, character comedy, storytelling, clowning, improv and theatre to comedy wrestling.

The festival features solo shows from the likes of TikTok stars James Gardner and Zara Gladman, known for her “west end mum” persona, as well as Some Laugh Live’s biggest live show yet and Glasgow’s first Fesshole live.

New for 2024 is a free introduction to comedy course for women and marginalised genders, led by Viv Gee, with the aim of ensuring comedy in Glasgow is open to everyone.

The winner of the festival’s only official award, the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award, will be revealed at the closing comedy gala.

Festival director Krista MacDonald said: “We’re excited to reveal Glasgow International Comedy Festival’s biggest programme yet, with 500 shows taking over the city this spring, bringing the very best of Scottish, UK and international comedy to the city’s doorsteps.

“The festival firmly believes that Glasgow is the funniest city in the world and we’re thrilled to showcase that with a brilliant mix of headline names and rising stars performing across our venues in March.

“Comedy is such an integral part of Glasgow’s DNA – from conversations with strangers on a night out to some of the world’s greatest comedians, comedy plays a vital role in our city’s cultural identity.

“Glasgow International Comedy Festival allows us to celebrate and shine a light on that whilst nurturing the next generation of talent and enjoying sets from beloved comedians. We’re looking forward to welcoming fans to iconic venues in the city’s east end, west end, and everywhere in between. We’ll see you at a show.”

The festival runs from March 13 to 31 and more information is available at www.glasgowcomedyfestival.com.

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