Hull Comedy Festival returns for its tenth year and is set to be even more hilarious than ever, combining the magic of emerging comics with some of TVs biggest names. We caught up with Creative Director Gary Jennison to find out more.

What sort of thing can people expect from this year's line-up?

There's something for everyone. We have character comedy, panel shows, quizzes, stand-ups, sketch shows, improvisation, family-friendly stuff, musical comedy and variety performance. If you don't laugh at any of this, then it's quite worrying really, isn't it?

Are there any names that we would recognise?

Of course, we have plenty of names you have seen on the telly, including Katherine Ryan, Ken Dodd, Greg Davies, Ellie Taylor and Joel Dommett.

It's quite a unique festival, in the sense that whilst some well-known comics always perform, we're not all about the TV names. We want to offer a really good mix of talent, bringing national, award-winning performances to the city and showcasing our local and regional comedians too.

We also have a number of award-winning shows, including The Kagools, who have just won an Amuse Moose, as well as Anna Morris, Live Naked Idiots and Jack Gleadow.

If someone wanted to experience up-and-coming comedy, which shows would you recommend?

You can see some local talent at The Hullarious Free Fringe, The Best of 'Ull and One Hull of a Night.

Definitely go and see The Hullarious Free Fringe. We wanted to bring an Edinburgh-style vibe to small venues across the city.

We're trying to get people to come and take a risk. Sometimes, if you've not heard of the comics name, you might not want to fully commit and come along. Many people only want to see familiar faces who they know they find funny, which is great and that's why we provide this option. However, we want to make it as accessible and as affordable as possible, so that more people try something new.

We want to knock down barriers and for people to experience comedy and have a laugh. We don't get paid, we do this because we love it. Our main focus for this year is to get people to try something new, get into the city and be entertained.

And of course, you'll be performing during the programme too?

Yes, Jed and I will be performing a few times over the programme. We've got two kids' shows and we'll be at some of the local talent nights too.

Lastly, why should people come along to Hull Comedy Festival?

We like having a laugh in Hull, don't we? We have quite a heritage of being down-to-earth and taking the mick out of ourselves. It's important to have a laugh, it's a good human function. There's a lot going on in the world and sometimes it's just nice to have a giggle.

Many people often dismiss comedy as an artform, but it is a live performance. That's why I love it. All you need to do is get a bus and come down, take a chance and try something new.

Find out more about Hull Comedy Festival.

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