Andrew Dipper

R4 star opens autumn programme in Barnard Castle

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Fred MacAulay is to appear in the North East later this month to kick off a blockbuster comedy programme in Barnard Castle.

MacAulay has been lined up to appear at The Witham arts centre in the market town on Saturday 26 September.

The Scottish stand-up will be presenting his brand new comedy show, Twenty Fifteen, as Funny Way To Be Comedy Club opens its new stand-up season at the venue.

Back on the road again after 18 years at BBC Radio Scotland and 27 years at the Edinburgh Fringe, the comedian is looking both backwards and forwards at everything from politics to sport, the environment and ‘celebrity’.

MacAulay’s on air witticisms and on screen reputation are the product of years of experience on the live circuit, including a stint as the first ever-Scottish compere at the Comedy Store in London.

He has a string of TV appearances under his sporran, from Mock the Week, QI and Have I Got News For You to a guest-spot on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson in the US.

He has presented many programmes for the BBC, including McCoist and MacAulay, Life According to Fred, Hoots, Simply Fred, Scots on the Box and On The Road with Martell Maxwell, and he lasted 7 out of 11 nights when he sang on Comic Relief Does Fame Academy!

Further charity challenges saw him kayak the Caledonian Canal for Sport Relief in temperatures as low as -18 Celsius and scale Mt Kilimanjaro.

His West Highland Way-hey walk was broadcast on Hogmanay 2012 on STV.

He has also guest-starred on various Radio 4 panel shows such as I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue, Just A Minute, The Unbelievable Truth and is a regular panelist on The News Quiz.

Peter Dixon, of promoters Funny Way To Be, said: “Having seen Fred at the Edinburgh Festival over many years we were delighted to hear that he is now in a position to do an extensive tour of the UK, and was keen to stop off in Barnard Castle.

“His warm engaging smile makes him a firm favourite with audiences and he is quite rightly described as Scotland’s best loved comedian.”

Funny Way To Be’s comedy programme at The Witham also includes shows from BBC Three star Nick Helm (22 October), Jenny Éclair (31 October), Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee James Acaster (28 November) and Stephen K Amos (12 December).

Mr Dixon added: “I think it’s true to say that this is by far our strongest ever season of stand-up shows with some of the biggest and best names in the comedy business heading to Barnard Castle.

“We’ve Scotland’s most loved stand-up Fred MacAulay, a star in the making in Nick Helm, one of our favourite acts in Jenny Eclair, a four time Edinburgh Best Show Nominee in James Acaster, and TV comedian Stephen K. Amos.

“This is most definitely a series of shows where there is something for everyone.”

Tickets for all shows are on sale now from

Prices range from £12 to £17.50.