Danny Baker hits the road | The comedy week ahead © Steve Ullathorne

Danny Baker hits the road

The comedy week ahead

The comedy week ahead.

Sunday January 29

LIVE IN LONDON: The NATYs, the most eclectic of all the new act competition thanks to its roots in the 'new variety' ethos of the old Hackney Empire management, has its final at the Leicester Square Theatre this afternoon. Yes, afternoon. Arthur Smith comperes proceedings from 2.30pm and 2016 winner Bilal Zafar performs a set while the phalanx of industry judges come to a decision.

ONLINE: Comedians Ed Night, Rosie Holt, Lulu Popplewell, Pierre Novellie, Mr Spooky and Maddie Campion are to live-stream a seance on Facebook Live, and will be available here from 8pm.

Monday January 30

TV: Crackanory returns to Dave, with four episodes stripped over the next four nights, and the same again next week. The opening story - just one for the whole half-hour this time around - features Dara O Briain telling Tony Way's story of an ancient Roman slave. Meet all the storytellers here.

LIVE IN LONDON: The Miller Pub, in the back streets of Borough near London Bridge, steps up its game this week. A year-round comedy venue, normally for improv, it's running a separate comedy festival from tonight, kicking off with Sara Pascoe, Dane Baptiste and Chris Martin. Full listings.

LIVE IN LONDON: Energising and engaging Suzi Ruffell took a step up in her stand-up with her last Edinburgh show Common, about her working-class roots. Now it's at the decidedly middle-class Soho Theatre for three nights.

LIVE IN GLASGOW: Nish Kumar's sure he knows what's wrong with the world, and is arrogant enough to holler it at you in his powerfully polemic - not to mention funny - political show Actions Speak Louder Than Words Unless You Shout the Words Real Loud, at the Oran Mor tonight, Edinburgh Stand tomorrow and the Lemon Tree in Aberdeen on Wednesday. Review.

Wednesday February 1

LIVE IN LEEDS: He's best known as a peerless broadcaster, but Danny Baker insists: 'The stage has always been my first love.' Though not to the extent of having done a tour before, obviously. He kicks off his debut Cradle To The Stage stand-up tour at the City Varieties tonight - and expect anecdotes galore. His full tourings schedule is here.

LIVE IN BRIGHTON: Not bad for a pub gig. Simon Evans headlines at the Caroline of Brunswick with a line-up that includes dry and smart Tom Rosenthal, off of Friday Night Dinner, sardonic Jen Brister, intriguing oddball Brian Gittins, and eccentric character act Joanna Neary. It's in aid of Blatchington Court Trust, which helps young people with visual impairments.

Thursday February 2

LIVE IN OXFORD: Brexit and Trump have come as a hefty blow if you share Josie Long's optimistic leftist politics. In her latest show, Something Better, she cheerleads for the positives in protest, with the premise that hope is something you must actively pursue, not a placid mental state. Her nationwide tour kicks off at the Old Fire Station tonight, and the rest of the dates are here.

LIVE IN COLCHESTER: Iain Stirling - known more for his commentary on Love Island than his stand-up, unfortunately - also starts his tour today. Onwards! sizes up his life as a twentysomething man. What does he amount to? Dates

Friday February 3

TV: Tracey Ullman's Show returns for a second series, and now in primetime following the post-news slot of last year's run. Returning characters include Dame Judi Dench, Nicola Sturgeon and Angela Merkel, and this opening episode features a guest appearance from Ben Miller as Rupert Murdoch. BBC One, 9.30pm

LIVE IN BRISTOL: Spirited Susan Calman kicks off the tour of The Calman Before the Storm at the Tobacco Factory today, all about her favourite subject: herself. She's not pushing the envelope so much, but the result is certainly funny. Review and dates

LIVE IN LEEDS: Leeds is actually rather blessed for comedy this week, as our second recommendation for the city is arch-self-deprecator Mark Watson, who plays Headrow House tonight, backed by Bobby Mair and MC Garrett Millerick. The same line-up visits Gorilla in Manchester tomorrow.

LIVE IN LONDON: James Acaster, one of every right-thinking person's favourite comics, plays the 99 Club at Ruby Blue alongside an on-form Zoe Lyons and louche charmer Tom Stade. The sister club at the Strand Palace Hotel has Ivo Graham in place of Canadian Stade.

Saturday February 4

LIVE IN BRIGHTON: Colin Hoult brings his intriguingly bonkers theatrical alter-ego Anna Mann to the Komedia, for his/her off-the-wall show that was one of the talks of Edinburgh last Fringe.

Our final tour kicking off this week, is Stuart Goldsmith's Compared To What, in which the Comedians' Comedian podcast host mulls the middle-aged mores of becoming a father and moving to from the city to the countryside, building to a punchy payoff. Dates

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Published: 29 Jan 2017

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