Comedian Tom Binns as hospital radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury

NHS workers and care home staff are being invited to a very special evening as part of this year’s Southport Comedy Festival

They are welcome to enjoy a free night out as a way of thanking them for their incredible work and sacrifice during the Covid-19 pandemic, thanks to event sponsors Anthony James Estate Agents and Festival Directors Brendan Riley and Val Brady. 

The Stand Up For The NHS Comedy Night sponsored by Anthony James Estate Agents will take place at Victoria Park, home of Southport Flower Show, on Monday, 12th October. 

Star of BBC One’s Hospital People, multi award-winning character comedian, Tom Binns, will headline the NHS Comedy Night, exclusively for NHS workers and care home staff.

The Festival, which runs between the 8th and 18th of October, features stars such as Jason Manford, Reginald D Hunter, Tom Stade, Andy Parsons, Ed Byrne, Jo Caulfield, Russell Kane, Rich Hall and others, performing in a specially constructed marquee provided by Elite Marquees.  

Anthony James Estate Agents Director Mark Cunningham said: “We are delighted to be supporting Southport Comedy Festival in its 10th year! 

“In 2010 in the middle of a recession we were approached by event directors Brendan and Val to support a much-needed festival which had been dropped by the local council due to austerity measures.

“We felt it was essential that the community had a focus to share a laugh and a joke with a fantastic line-up.

“Ten years on, my wife Lyn and I feel that the public need this even more now than before.

“This year has been a real challenge for everyone. Mental health has been a real issue for many in society and the local community champions have come to the front of the challenge and stood shoulder to shoulder and supported those on the front line delivering essential services and medical care.


“Stand up for the NHS was an idea that I discussed with Brendan, who immediately saw the tremendous benefit in giving everyone an opportunity to say thank you for the work they do, in particular to the frontline staff who have been dealing with Covid-19 up close and personal in the NHS Covid wards, A&E departments and not forgetting care homes, nursing homes and all hospital staff.

“In the Second World War, theatres remained open to allow society to have a moment to laugh. “Our war with Covid also needs light relief and the Southport Comedy Festival is just the tonic, just what the doctor ordered to get society back on track in a safe and Covid secure environment.

“The tremendous support from Sefton Council, Southport Flower Show, Stand Up For Southport and other superb community champion businesses who all share our wish to simply say thank you.

“We are proud to be supporting the NHS and doing our bit for the guys and gals in blue!

“Thank you NHS!”

Ivan Brackenbury

Ivan Brackenbury



Southport Comedy Festival Directors Brendan Riley and Val Brady said: “With the support of Anthony James Estate Agents the Festival is delighted to be able to put this night on as a way of saying a massive thank you for the last few months.

“Laughter is the best medicine! We have a fantastic comedy line-up on the night for our heroes in our NHS and care homes.”   

Southport Comedy Festival favourite Tom Binns returns with his most famous alter ego Hospital Radio DJ Ivan Brackenbury.

The show will also feature current Britain’s Got Talent finalist Steve Royle, Scouse raconteur Jamie Sutherland and comedian and Festival Director Brendan Riley, who will host the show.   

Tickets are free for NHS workers and care home staff, plus one guest. Audience members will be required to show their NHS pass or proof of working at a care home on the night. 

Due to social distancing measures in place there is limited capacity, so you must book your tickets in advance.

In order to allow safe distancing within the venue, organisers can only offer tickets in multiples of two up to a maximum of six tickets per booking. An NHS Pass or Care Home Name badge will be required for each pair of tickets claimed. Tickets must only be claimed for members of your household or support bubble.

By booking tickets you agree to abide by the event’s Covid-19 controls.

Full details are available at

Tickets for the Stand Up For The NHS show will be available to book from this Friday (18th September) at 10am from the festival website

To book tickets at any of the Southport Comedy Festival gigs, please visit:

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