George Formby inspires new Wigan comedy night

A new comedy night is set to launch in Wigan, celebrating stand-up talent from across the region.

Wednesday, 19th June 2019, 1:36 pm
Adam Anwar and John Unsworth: Photo taken by Matthew Downey

Tomorrow, 10 comedians from across the North West, and one from Northern Ireland, will join together to celebrate the first event of its kind at Formby’s pub in Hindley.

The event is a collaboration between Fairly-Retro Fair organiser John Unsworth and founder of Lofthouse Comedy Productions Adam Anwar.

The two 30-year-old organisers, alongside 31-year-old Matthew Downey, decided to bring the event to Wigan after realising that the pub was the “perfect” venue for a borough comedy venture.

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Adam Anwar, Nathan Wiseman from Formby's and John Unsworth: Photo taken by Matthew Downey

John said: “Formby’s pub named after George Formby himself so it is a perfect place to start this venture in Wigan.

“It’s been 115 years since George Formby was born and we wanted to turn this event into a celebration of him and comedy in Hindley, which is where he once lived.

“It will be a great starting block for comedians in the borough and neighbouring towns.

“It’s something we are planning to turn into a regular thing.”

Organisers Matthew Downey, Adam Anwar and John Unsworth

The first event, on June 20, will see 10 comedians each introduced by Adam himself, who will be acting as master of ceremonies.

“It’s not like an open mic night,” added John.

“Each person is booked on and they will get their own slot.

“We have quite a diverse group of people for the first night, some have been on the local circuit for quite a while and some have only been doing it a year and have made a name for themselves.”

John is urging any aspiring comics to get in touch with Comedy Lofthouse to find out more about performing at future events.

Tomorrow evening’s event begins at 8pm. Admission is free.

Born in Westminster Street, Wigan, in 1904 George Formby followed his namesake father into show business, after first working as a jockey.

His cheeky songs accompanied on a banjolele and his crowd-pleasing movies catapulted him to international stardom to such an extent that in the late 1930s he was earning more than

Hollywood stars Errol Flynn, Douglas Fairbanks Jnr and Clark Gable combined!

Anyone interested in performing at future events, which are set to take place on the last Thursday of every month, should contact