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Darlington's biggest comedy festival marks major milestone


Hilarity BitesHilarity Bites has planted the North East firmly on the comedy map and marked its fifth birthday by hosting the biggest and most successful stand-up festival the region has ever seen.

The Darlington Comedy Festival, hosted by entertainment business Hilarity Bites, brought some of the best acts on the national and international scene to the North East this summer.

In all, around 2,500 people took in the festival, which featured 42 hours of comedy from the likes of Pete Firman, Chris Ramsey, Patrick Monahan and Sarah Millican.

The series of events marked a major milestone for Hilarity Bites owner Neil Jollie, who has spent the last five years developing the comedy scene in Darlington, continually bringing stellar stand-up names to the town.

He said: “I couldn’t have been happier with how the comedy festival went. It was a big gamble to try and bring so many comedians to Darlington and host so many shows in one month, but the feedback from both the acts that performed and the audience members has been absolutely brilliant.

“After the first show, audience members were already asking if the festival would be happening again in 2013, and I’ve already had acts asking if they can come back to perform next year.”

While plans are already being drawn up for next year’s event, the positive impact of this year’s festival continues to be felt, with four local charities receiving a share of the £15,000 raised at the charity gala that kicked off the festival.

Although the festival is now over, Hilarity Bites continues to produce comedy events in Darlington and the surrounding areas on a regular basis.

The group has monthly comedy nights running at The Forum on the first Saturday of each month, and will also be running tour shows at Inside Out, alongside shows throughout the North East, including Bishop Auckland, Malton and Redcar.

For details of upcoming comedy events, including a show from rising comedy star Daniel Sloss in November, please visit: www.hilaritybites.co.uk.

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