Keith Skipper to join Norfolk newspaper stalwarts on stage for show in aid of EDP We Care appeal

Seasoned newsgatherers on the local beat - including two from North Norfolk - are ready to reveal a few tricks of their trade to raise laughs and boost funds for the EDP We Care Appeal.

A special show has been devised to prove how these gentlemen of the press, well versed in serious matters, can fill seats as well as columns.

Happy Headliners! at Norwich Playhouse on Sunday, July 31, offers them a perfect chance to relax, regale, reflect, ruminate and generally run on.

One of the panellists, EDP editor Peter Waters, said: 'It promises to be a unique experience – a gathering of newspaper folk more interested in punchlines than deadlines. And we can get away with as many bad jokes as we like simply because they're being aired for such a good cause.'

He will be joined on stage by two of his most experienced district men, Richard Batson (Cromer) and Ian Clarke (Dereham), along with EDP Sunday columnist Keith Skipper who came up with the idea to press old friends and colleagues into charitable service with a smile.

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Keith, also from Cromer, masterminded a series of 'Aristosquits' concerts in the Grand Saloon of Wolterton Hall a few years back to raise handsome sums for the We Care Appeal. 'The great and the good of our county did their party pieces. Now the grim and the bad behind the headlines can have a go,' he quipped.

Appeal chairman Paddy Seligman said she was looking forward to 'moments of sheer madness' at the Playhouse. 'Being an unpaid carer may not mean a lot of fun, but this intriguing event is bound to raise lots of laughs and vital funds for people we're trying to help. EDP readers have backed us so generously over the years. I hope many of them will now treat themselves and their friends to a great evening out.'

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The appeal has banked �1m, which it uses to make grants to help the county's 110,000 carers with equipment and respite breaks.

The show, packed with zany panel games and invitations to share favourite memories and yarns, will be 'refereed' by BBC Radio Norfolk managing editor David Clayton, a veteran in the chairman's role.

'These newspaper chaps are renowned for embellishing tales of derring-do, so I'll have to be on my toes to keep order. The excellent We Care Appeal continues to come up with highly inventive fundraising shows and I'm delighted to share the stage with some of Archant's best.

'Radio Norfolk will record the Happy Headliners in action and offer it to the county at a later date,' he warned.

Richard Batson said he joined the EDP in 1975 when Rod Stewart, a recent visitor to Norfolk, topped the hit parade with Sailing. 'I've been sailing around Norfolk ever since, having worked at King's Lynn, Dereham, Swaffham, Diss and Yarmouth before finally weighing anchor in Cromer in 1992.

'It's been fun reporting on events that matter to communities in all quarters of the county, from courts, councils, crimes and carnivals to pier shows and politics. I look forward to giving an insight into the world of the local hack in this panel game – but I don't know whether to grow my hair to be Paul Merton or have it shaved off to be Ian Hislop.

'Anyway, come along because we certainly will have news for you.'

Happy Headliners! At Norwich Playhouse on Sunday, July 31 starts at 8pm. All tickets �10 from the box office, 01603 598598. All proceeds to the EDP We Care Appeal.

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