Lee Nelson and Nish Kumar help kick off Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival 2016

Nish Kumar comedian It's a very special night on Friday night, as a superb line-up of comics raises the curtain on the 2016 Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival – and gives you a flavour of what you can expect this year. The DLCF Preview Show takes place at De Montfort Hall on Friday 8 January, and will be hosted by cheeky chappy Lee Nelson. Also on the top-quality bill are a 2015 Fosters Best Comedy award nominee in Nish Kumar, the 2015 Best Newcomer winner Sofie Hagen, Jen Brister, Kai Humphries, George Rigden and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Award Winner Tom Little. The show begins at 7.30pm and tickets range from £15 to £25. As reported by London is Funny in NovemberSara Pascoe comedian, the 2016 Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival, which runs from February 3-21, is shaping up to be a stonker, including such comedy heroes as Johnny Vegas, Katherine Ryan, David O'Doherty, Pappy's, Josie Long, Sara Pascoe (left), Robert Newman, Richard Herring, James Acaster, John Kearns and of course Reeves and Mortimer, who confirmed their Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival appearance last week following Bob Mortimer's ill health late last year. And look out for a London is Funny article coming up soon, tipping you off about the best shows to see from people you may not already know … The festival is now in its 23rd year, and is a far cry from its first outing in 1994, when it consisted of only 50 shows. Since then, it has grown to become the largest comedy-only festival in Europe, with 780 events in 65 venues, taking place over nearly three weeks. Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival is noted for its wide-ranging and inventive programme, which goes far beyond just solo stand-up shows. Returning this year are Comedy in the Dark, the UK Pun Championships, Hotel D'Comedie, the Silver Stand-up Competition (for over 55s) and the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year final. New additions include seminars on comedy's relation to mental health and free speech, a one-man play about festival patron Norman Wisdom, and the Odd Couples comedy game show inspired by Mr & Mrs. There's plenty more besides, too, so take a look at the Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival website www.comedy-festival.co.uk (you can also get tickets by calling 0116 242 3595), and get stuck in! • This article was sponsored by Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival

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