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Dave Spikey’s festival show

Press release   •   Mar 17, 2014 12:29 GMT

Double British Comedy Award Winner Dave Spikey will be performing at Rochdale Literature & Ideas Festival this autumn.

The much loved stand-up and star of the smash hit Channel 4 comedy ‘Phoenix Nights’ will appear at Middleton Arena on Friday 24 October, headlining the first night of the three day festival.

He’ll be performing his new show ‘Punchlines’, which explores the art of making people laugh and looks at why you don’t always need a punchline for a joke to be hilarious. 

With a career spanning two decades, Dave Spikey has countless television appearances to his name as a stand-up comedian, presenter and actor, and behind the screens as an acclaimed comedy writer.

As well as starring and co-writing in ‘Phoenix Nights’, he co-wrote ‘That Peter Kay Thing’and was team captain on 8 out of 10 Cats (Channel 4).  An avid reader and author, he has presented The TV Book Club (Channel 4) won Celebrity Mastermind (BBC2) and published two best-selling books. His most recent ‘Under the Microscope’ – looks at his life growing up in Lancashire, to his first job and medical career, as well as his early days in the comedy world which eventually made him a household name.

The festival runs from Friday 24 to Sunday 26 October, with a feast of events covering drama, comedy, dance, music, theatre, films, visual arts and children’s shows.  Preview events will also be held across the borough earlier in October.

Already also on the line-up is singer, songwriter and X Factor star Lucy Spraggan.

The festival will include guest speakers, authors, writers and local arts organisations and is aimed at encouraging more people to engage in reading and philosophy. It will include events at venues in Rochdale town centre and boroughwide, aimed at all ages.

More authors, acts, performers and workshops will start to be confirmed in the coming weeks. 

Councillor Peter Williams, Cabinet Member for Customer Services and Economic Development said the festival will offer something for everyone:

“The line-up is growing and I am delighted to already see such well-known names in the programme.  Our headline shows will be complemented by an ambitious and exciting programme of community led events and workshops".

Last year thousands attended the festival, which featured over 40 events.

The festival is due to the generosity of Annie and Frank Maskew, a Rochdale couple who shared a passion for reading and thinking, and originally met in Rochdale Library. They left a sum of money to be used on resources and events related to literature, and philosophy to ensure classic works are available for future generations.

For information about appearing at the festival or getting involved in other ways, email

Tickets for Dave Spikey are available from or collect in person at the arena box office.

The festival is organised by Rochdale Borough Council, funded by the Maskew Bequest. 

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