FANCY a laugh to beat off the recession blues?

St Helens Comedy Festival, which kicks off on Friday(Oct 22) aims to do just that with a chucklefest guaranteed to appeal to all humour fans.

New and established comedy talent takes to the stage at the Theatre Royal and The Citadel Arts Centre - with support from St Helens Council.

The ‘Poet Laureate of Comedy’ John Hegley opens the festival at The Citadel on Friday night with his own brand of humour and comic observation.

A favourite at the Edinburgh Festival, he’s not to be missed.

Then special comedy show ‘Scousers in St.Helens’ featuring Tina Malone (Shameless), Margi Clarke (Coronation Street) and Billy Butler (BBC Radio Merseyside) serves up laughs on Tuesday, October 26 at the Theatre Royal.

Radio City’s Pete Price presents his variety show to the Theatre Royal on Wednesday, October 27 - featuring Neil Fitzmorris of Phoenix Nights fame and Radio City 96.7; Leanne Campbell, 107.6 Juice FM Breakfast Show Presenter, female comedian Lindsay Germain and top Liverpool comic Mickey Finn.

Squeaky-voiced comedy star Joe Pasquale is at the Theatre Royal on Thursday, October 28 with a unique brand of madcap humour and familiar songs delivered in his inimitable style.

‘Buzz Hawkins Does The Bradshaws’ at the Theatre Royal marks the final night of the festival. This hugely popular show will provide a wickedly funny look at the life of the Bradshaw family in their two-up two-down, terraced house in the days of tin baths, frozen jubblies and sugar butties.