LATITUDE PREVIEW: Guide to comedy at this year’s festival

Latitude's comedy tent seems to grow in size each year simply because it often proves so popular that heaving crowds can't get inside. This year it has again been expanded and there will still need to be big screens outside.

Just as well, as this year's line-up is once again who's who of stand-up talent. There's barely a top touring comic who won't be picking up the mic at some point during the weekend.

The big names include Mark Watson and Russell Kane (both Fri), David O'Doherty, Lee Nelson and Andrew Maxwell (all Sat) and Jack Dee making a return to stand-up and no doubt reviving his Mr Misery-Guts persona (Sun). All need no introduction and they're all sure to draw the crowds.

Ones definitely not to miss are Tim Minchin (Fri), who thanks to his multi-award-winning Matilda musical and Proms performances has seen the popularity of his musical comedy soar, and Josie Long (Sat) who is also on a roll having beefed up her whimsy with a newfound streak of politics.

At times the line-up seems to have been booked by Radio 4. So Brian Cox and Robin Ince will be bringing their award winning science/comedy Radio 4 show The Infinite Monkey Cage (Sat) joined on stage by a panel of guests including Al Murray for an irreverent look at the world according to science. And Marcus Brigstocke will again ne hosting his popular The Early Edition (Sun) with co-host Andre Vincent.

Other award-winning stand-ups at the mic will be Shappi Khorsandi (Fri), Phil Nichol (Fri), Phill Jupitus (both Sat), Reginald D Huunter, Rich Hall and Greg Davies (all Sun). Slightly less well known to TV viewers are Holly Walsh (Fri), Tom Deacon and Terry Alderton (both Sat).

But these are all names from the circuit and one of the joys of a festival is discovering someone you'd never heard of before but who you'll be raving about afterwards. So make sure you look further down the bill where there are plenty of upcoming comics. People like Josh Widdicombe, Doc Brown, Kerry Godliman, Abandoman, Chris Cox and Tony Law.

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As usual, after the comedy on Saturday finishes the Comedy Arena will be taken over by Guilty Pleasures for some retro-nostalgia dancefloor action.

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