John Harding and Brendan Riley will perform at the Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender in Bootle

A resident magician, comedian and illusionist for the Northern Belle, sister train to the Orient Express, is going full steam ahead to return to his home town to star in the 2024 Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender in Bootle. 

John Harding will appear alongside comedian and compere Brendan Riley at a special Family Fun Day on Sunday 26th May 2024. Doors open at 12pm for a 1pm start. 

Tickets are just £5 each (plus booking free), available via the SeeTickets website here

Visitors can enjoy a funtastic afternoon of entertainment for the whole family with Comedy Bingo by Brendan Riley plus one of the best children’s entertainers in the country with Bootle’s own John Harding.

This isn’t just fun for the kids; John and Brendan promise to keep the grown-ups laughing as well. 

This event is part of the Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender which is taking place inside a large heated and seated marquee at the new Salt and Tar events space in Bootle town centre 23rd-26th May 2024 organised by Big Comedy Uk in partnership with Salt and Tar

Read More: Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle is ‘bringing his big guns’ to 2024 Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender

John’s magic, comedy and performance skills have taken him around the world, on TV – and in front of royalty. 

He has inspired and starred in the 10 episode ITV1 close up magic series, ‘Astounding Celebrities’; entertained, on separate occasions, The Prince Of Wales, The Princess Royal and The Duchess Of Wessex; shared stand-up comedy bills with comedians as diverse as Tom O’Connor and Russell Brand; been the illusionist and fire eater for Blackpool Tower.

He said: “I have performed magic in so many different places, and I’m really excited to be coming back to perform in my home town! 

“I grew up in Bootle and it’s going to be great entertaining families here. 

“I love what Sefton Council has done to create the new Sant and Tar events space, it’s really impressive. 

“It’s good to see so much regeneration happening in Bootle now. The Strand had become quite a sad place which Marks and Spencer left. There is lots happening to breathe new life into the area.

“The Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender is a brilliant festival, with events happening to attract everyone. It’s a real community event. 

“The Salt and Tar Social will also be happening across the weekend with a street food court, bars, and a full schedule of live music and family fun entertainment. 

“Salt and Tar is going to be the place to be!

“It’s a brilliant new events space that is going to do wonders to bring lots of life to the area.” 

The 2024 Salt and Tar Comedy Weekender will take place from Thursday 23rd to Sunday 26th May 2024 with tickets from just £5 each for the comedy bonanza.

There is a special twist this year, as a special charity event will kick off the weekend of entertainment. Over the past seven weeks, a group of Sefton residents have been honing their comedy skills at a series of workshops. On opening night, they will have the chance to put their training into action at their first ever stand-up gig. The night, sponsored by Dowhigh, will raise money for local charity Ykids.

Gary Delaney headlines on Friday evening. Delaney, who has appeared on the likes of Live at the Apollo and Mock the Week, is supported by local comedians Katie Tracey and Brennan Reece.

Salt and Tar promises family-friendly fun during the day on Saturday with comedy bingo and the return of Britain’s Got Talent’s Steve Royle. That evening, Bingo Nights UK will bring the party with their ever-popular Disco Bingo.

Family fun returns on the Sunday with John Harding’s Magic Show while Seann Walsh, Hal Cruttenden and Peter Rethinasamy will bring the curtain down in the evening.

Food and drink over the weekend will be provided by Salt and Tar regulars The Bus Yard and Bun & Pickle. While the comedy events are ticketed, the rest of Salt and Tar will remain open from Friday to Sunday at no cost. This includes access to food and drink, as well as live family-friendly entertainment.

Tickets for this year’s Comedy Weekender can be found on

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