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THIS IS THE 2019 ARCHIVE SITE - Click here for the latest information

Principal Sponsor


Strategic Partner VisitBath

Festival Sponsors & Partners

Bath Ales Curo Bath BID Specsavers Abbey Hotel No.15 Great Pulteney The Bird SouthGate Bath Aaron Evans Architects

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Proud to be UK's first F-Rated Comedy Festival. more...

Welcome to the official home of the Bath Comedy Festival

Welcome to the home of Bath Comedy - for both the Spring time Bath Comedy Festival and events throughout the year.

The 2019 Festival ran for 20 days and was the most fun-packed to date. You can still view the programme and news items on this web site.

BATH COMEDY FESTIVAL 2020 DATES: Tues 31st March - Sun 19th April

Bath Comedy also produces a year-round programme of events - see our what's on pages for details of what's coming up, and online booking links.

Latest News

Bath Comedy Autumn Season

We are delighted to present a variety of comedy, music, cabaret and food events over Autumn and Winter.

Our favourite 60-seater room upstairs at the Ring O Bells is one of the most intimate comedy venues around. With the pub under new management there's great beers and pub food available downstairs. Come and see the latest refurbishment of this amazing small space!


Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition 2019 - David Eagle wins the Lovehoney Newcomer Award

This year's New Act Competition saw a total of 120 long-listed contenders battle it out over twelve heats and two semi-finals, with 10 finalists reaching the Grand Final, judged by a panel comprising comedy industry heavyweights including Graham Smith, Alan Nixon and Jill Edwards, guest judge and master comedian John Moloney plus Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel. Here are the results:

First place: David Eagle
Second place: Martin Durchov
Joint Third place: Chelsea Birkby

David Eagle receives the coveted Lovehoney Newcomer Award, a cheque from Bath Comedy Festival for £250, plus at least two paid appearances at next year's Festival.

New Act Competition Winners
L to R: Chelsea Birkby, Martin Durchov, David Eagle, Geoff Whiting (Mirth Control), Nick Steel, Elaine Sosna (Lovehoney).
Photo by Lloyd Ellington

The announcement was live-streamed on Twitter - click here to watch the video

All the finalists were given a goody bag containing items from Principal Sponsor Lovehoney and Festival Sponsor Bath Ales:
Lovehoney Newcomer Award finalists
L to R: Chelsea Birkby, Martin Durchov, Nathan Eagle, Michael Cummings, Alex Prescot, Paul Hilleard, David Eagle, Nick Steel, Saban Kasim, Fran Kissling, Will Hall, Jenny Laville, Geoff Whiting, Elaine Sosna
Photo by Lloyd Ellington

Read the British Comedy Guide report here

Lovehoney Best Joke Award 2019

This year's Lovehoney Best Joke Award was presented at the end of the Festival's Closing Gala Show at the Apex Hotel, to Bill Clarke, the man behind local favourite character Bill Smarme, for the best innuendo-laden joke of the Festival.

The joke in question was made off the cuff when talking about the weather, with a cheeky wink in the direction of Festival sponsors online sex toy retailers Lovehoney: "…of course we did get some snow…you know what it's like – one day you've got a full 12 inches, then the next day it's all gone".

Nick Steel said "We are hugely grateful to our sponsors Lovehoney and I'm delighted to award the 2019 Lovehoney Best Joke Award, for best innuendo-laden joke, to Bill Smarme, a.k.a. Mr Bill Clarke."

The award was presented at the end of the Festival's Closing Weekend Gala at the Apex Hotel Bath's Conference Centre venue, on stage with a line-up of some of the stars of the evening which included comedians John Moloney, Fred MacAulay, Alan Francis, Emily Rose Simons and Pete Latham.

Lovehoney Best Joke Award presentation
L-R Richard Longhurst (Lovehoney), John Moloney, Nick Steel, Emily Rose Simons, Fred MacAulay, Alan Francis, Barnaby Power, Bill Clarke
Photo by Louisa Gummer

Bill Clarke a.k.a. Bill Smarme, pictured with the Lovehoney Best Joke Award 2019
Photo by Nick Steel

Bath Plug Award 2019

This year's Bath Plug Award, which acknowledges significant achievement or contribution to comedy, was presented to comedian, broadcaster and "famously grumpy old man" Arthur Smith.

Bath Plug Award presentation
Left: Jem Roberts, Arthur Smith, Nick Steel; Right: Arthur Smith & The Smithereens
Photos by Louisa Gummer and Nick Steel

The presentation took place at one of the festival's most popular core venues, Widcombe Social Club, at the end of a moving performance of Smith's show Syd. Accompanied by The Smithereens, the show tells the story of Arthur's father Syd, a POW and PC, on night duty in 1950s London - an ordinary man who lived through extraordinary times.

To present the medal, co-organiser of the Bath Plug Award, author and historian Jem Roberts, was joined on stage by Festival Director Nick Steel, who said the award was "also a personal thank you for all the years of laughter and support, as a friend and as a patron of the festival."

Previous recipients have been Terry Jones, Peter Richardson, Barry Cryer and Rachel Parris.

To keep up to date with the Festival, check you are on our new e-mailing list below:

Archived News

Bath Life Awards 2019 - Winner

We are delighted to announce another award win for Bath International Comedy Festival in partnership with Visit Bath - the Arts category of the 2019 Bath Life Awards!

Bath Business Awards 2018 - Winner

We are delighted to announce Bath International Comedy Festival in partnership with Visit Bath was awarded the Leisure & Tourism Award at this year's Bath Business Awards. The awards are run by Bath Chronicle and the Leisure & Tourism award was presented by Tarquin McDonald, Chief Executive of Bath Rugby, who sponsored the award, at a ceremony held at the Pavilion hosted by TV star Martin Roberts.

L-R Tarquin McDonald (Bath Rugby), Les Redwood (Visit Bath), Ralph Oswick (Bath Comedy), Martin Roberts (Homes Under The Hammer), Nick Steel (Bath Comedy)

Check the what's on diary for event details and online booking links.

Sign up to the e-mailing list to be among the first to know what's happening. There is an archive of the 2016 festival and year of shows here.

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Read our archived e-newsletters here


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