St Helens Comedy Festival Line-up Announced

THE line-up of next month’s St Helens Comedy Festival has been revealed, with Phoenix Nights star Paddy McGuinness and 8 Out of 10 Cats captain Jason Manford heading two weeks of shows and events.

John Bishop, who will be fresh from his month in Edinburgh, will also be performing, and much-loved comedy band the Lancashire Hotpots will be playing at the town hall.

The Citadel will also play host to an entertaining "Born and Bred" night with featuring local comedians Dave Twentyman, Ray Peacock and friends.

Regular events Bus Stop, Stand Up, and Drink Up, Stand Up will be taking place, as well as amateur workshop and showcase events Stand Out and Funny Business

Best of the Northwest at the Theatre Royal will mark the final night of the festival, with new and renowned comedians take to the stage for one-night only.

Cllr Richard Ferry, executive member for urban regeneration and housing at St Helens Council, said: "Building on the success of our previous comedy festivals, 2008 will be packed with even more big name acts and comedy events."

"This is great for local residents and visitors from across the Northwest to visit St Helens and take in a fun-filled show or enjoy stand-up comedy in their local pub."

The St Helens Comedy Festival is at various venues from September 17-28.

St helens Bistro Owner Fined for Further Hygiene Breaches

A St Helens restaurant owner pleaded guilty to 26 food safety offences.

Jeffrey Wood, of Duke’s Bistro, Duke Street, St Helens, admitted he had not kept his kitchen clean, used foods unfit for public consumption and stored foods where they could be contaminated.

Food hygiene inspections by St Helens council’s environmental health officers revealed Wood, also of Duke Street, stocked foods past their use by date and did not have any food safety management systems in place.

Wood was told to carry out 150 hours’ unpaid work and ordered to pay £250 costs – at a rate of £3 per week – at St Helens magistrates court this week.

Environmental Health officers said they gave Wood advice and guidance on how to improve standards. But they were so concerned they felt they had no choice other than to prosecute.
Wood was also given a prohibition order banning him from managing a food business again.
It is the second time the business has been prosecuted by the council for food hygiene offences.

The restaurant was closed in March.

Eclectica Festival Will be a 10 Hour Music Fest

Britpop stars Shed Seven and festival favourites The Levellers will be the headline acts at Saturday’s free Eclectica Music Festival, in St Helens.

The concert in Victoria Square will start at noon.

It will provide nearly 10 hours of exciting and innovative entertainment, combining established acts and flourishing new talent.

Shed Seven will be delving into their extensive back catalogue, including the classics Going for Gold, Chasing Rainbows and Getting Better.

Eclectica will be a key date in the Levellers’ calendar for 2008, their 20th anniversary, just two days before they get ready to release their latest album, Letters from the Underground.

Support will be provided by Merseyside up-and-comers The Maybes? and Amsterdam.

The latter have already had a very successful 2008, with acclaimed festival performances and live gigs.

St Helens bands appearing include The Cubical, Genghis Grimes, The Hang Project, Red Orchestra, Mama Beani, Silent Thunder and Ariel Chambers.

Liverpool bands The Little Hydes and Beaker Folk of the Bronze Age complete the line-up.

Following the festival, the St Helens Citadel is hosting an official Eclectica party.

Tickets are £10 from the box office (phone 01744 735436) or visit