SELBY Arts Centre will play host to its biggest ever comedy line-up over the spring months.

"We'll be presenting BBC TV regular and soon-to-be-huge Phil Wang, Brian Cox’s Infinite Monkey Cage co-host Robin Ince, Edinburgh Comedy Award nominee Sophie Willan, This Is Going To Hurt best-seller author Adam Kay and the star of Ken Loach’s I, Daniel Blake, Dave Johns, as well as Radio 4 regulars Simon Evans and Lucy Porter," says Selby Town Council arts officer Chris Jones. "The likes of Phil Wang, Sophie Willan and Adam Kay will be all over our TV screens in the next few years.

"Kay's book hilariously chronicled his years as a junior doctor; the television rights were subject to a 12 way bidding war, and his first live performances on tour are hotly anticipated."

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Adam Kay

Kay's This Is Going To Hurt (Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor) show has an appointment at Selby on March 29 when he will recall working 97-hour weeks. "Welcome to life and death decisions. Welcome to a constant tsunami of bodily fluids. Welcome to earning less than the hospital parking meter. Wave goodbye to your friends and relationships…Welcome to the life of a junior doctor," he says as he shares entries from his diaries in an evening of stand-up, dazzling wordplay and spoof songs.

Hotly tipped newcomer Sophie Willan presents Branded on February 17. After a lifetime of being branded by others, the brutally honest Boltonian takes to the stage to explain exactly why. Expect a raucous, unapologetic, gloriously unpredictable show from a northern powerhouse, who will host her debut BBC Radio 4 series this year.

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Sophie Willan

On February 22, Robin Ince serves up a clash of two cultures in his first new stand-up show in three years, Pragmatic Insanity, as he takes a joyous romp through his favourite artists and some of the strangest scientific ideas. From the work of Stanley Spencer to Niels Bohr, these 90 minutes fizz with ideas about creativity in science and art, as well as asking why we believe we see what we see and why we believe what we believe.

Have I Got News For You and Would I Lie to You? panellist Phil Wang brings his 2017 Edinburgh Fringe show, Kinabula, to Selby on March 8. This laid-back Eurasian stand-up comic, with his cerebral charm and dorky swagger, is a son of the British Empire, but in a world suddenly intent on building walls and bolstering borders, he asks: "What is a Commonwealth man to do?".

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Phil Wang

In these combative times, when it is easy to be irritated, offended or downright enraged by other people, how do we know which causes are worth fighting for? Game stand-up Lucy Porter draws on her experiences to help you decide in her Choose Your Battles show on April 14.

Simon Evans: Genius may not be the most modest name ever for a show, but let him explain ahead of his May 11 visit. "Ever since I was a small boy, all I really wanted was to be recognised by the world as a man of genius. I have, until now, remained thwarted. The world seems increasingly indifferent to true genius of any kind, let alone mine," he says.

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Simon Evans, above

"Endlessly distracted by the trivial, we allow the classical tools of grammar, logic and rhetoric to lie unregarded in the shed of consciousness, rusting to a picturesque hue that would actually look really great on Instagram. But which filter?" Find out in May, and should you be interested in more Evans endeavours, he will be starring in his fourth series of Simon Evans Goes To Market on BBC Radio 4 in the spring.

In Dave Johns: I, Fillum Star on May 26, Johns asks: "What happens to a comedian when he’s plucked from obscurity by master film maker Ken Loach and cast in the title role of one of the most acclaimed and talked about British films in recent years?".

I, Daniel Blake became a beacon for social realism and, for Dave Johns, a rollercoaster ride of red-carpet surrealism. From Cannes to the BAFTAs, chatting to Woody Allen in a lift and accepting awards alongside Hollywood’s greatest, he was there, wide-eyed, through it all. Now, he is back doing what he loves best, making people laugh, in this case in a poignant, uplifting show detailing the improbable rise to glitzy Hollywood stardom of a 60-year-old working-class comic from Byker.

York Press: STAR QUALITY:Dave Johns

Dave Johns

Elsewhere, in addition to the music programme highlighted in last Thursday's What's On, the season takes in theatre from the exciting young company Smoke and Oakum Theatre, who present Cornermen, a tale of boxing’s overlooked workhorses, on February 3, while Reform Theatre perform Jim Cartwright's pub life two-hander Two on June 2.

On June 30, Ray Castleton’s powerful play, On Behalf Of The People, reveals how millions in mining communities were affected by the end of the Second World War, coal nationalisation and the social changes that impacted on their lives, loves, hopes and dreams.

Julian Norton, star of Channel 5’s fly-on-the-wall documentary The Yorkshire Vet, brings a sack full of stories from his life as a vet in James Herriott’s former Thirsk practice for a one-off "Evening With" show on March 2.

For full details of all forthcoming shows and bookings, visit or ring 01757 708449.