I say, I say, I say – stand-up comedy in aid of BBC Comic Relief came to the Kirkgate Centre in Bradford, yesterday when amateur jokers took to the stage, including a former Yorkshire Woman of the Year.
Former drugs counsellor Yvonne Oliver won that title in 2004 and was among a dozen hopefuls who stepped up to the mic during the spontaneous lunchtime event hosted by radio presenters Larry Budd and Paul Dunphy.
And the Bradford 60-year-old’s racey routine about shoplifting knickers and toilet troubles raised plenty of laughs, plus a few eyebrows.
Other would-be John Bishops included JR Clay, of Sowerby Bridge, Metro transport worker Alison Pilling, of Leeds, and lawyer Kate Booth, of Huddersfield, whose witty observations on the world of pet psychics got strong applause.
The “Stand Up if you dare” challenge is being carried out by BBC local radio stations which are holding 12 regional events in preparation for Red Nose Day on March 15.
Winners of local rounds will go on to a boot-camp training session in Sheffield which will be overseen by comedian Dave Spikey, of Phoenix Nights fame.
Host Paul Dunphy said he was impressed by the courage of those prepared to give it a go on the Kirkgate stage. “It’s been a great turnout. I’m amazed at how many people are willing to make fools of themselves – although it is for a very good cause, “They’re all very, brave!” he said.
Bradford student Faizal Khan said the lunchtime show had brightened his day.
“Some of the jokes were really well delivered and some made me laugh more than others, but they all did very well. I would not be able to talk to strangers like that,” he said.