WHO is the top northern comic of all time?

The Museum of Comedy in London, founded and curated by the Great Yorkshire Fringe director Martin Witts, is holding a public poll to decide, and the results will be announced at the climax to this summer's Fringe in York.

The online vote is being launched to mark The Great Northern Comedy Trail, created by the the Great Yorkshire Fringe to help voters make up their mind.

Voting has opened. To vote, log on to greatyorkshirefringe.com/whats_on/the_comedy_trail/ to nominate your top three northern laughter makers by the deadline of Saturday, July 30.

York Press:

York-born Frankie Howerd, commemorated with a blue plaque outside the Grand Opera House

Thirty giant information boards, dedicated to the events, performers and iconic venues that have shaped northern comedy throughout the decades, will be placed at strategic points around the Fringe site in Parliament Street, with the trail beginning at the fountain.

This insightful, amusing exhibition, fondly remembering the north’s greatest comedy contributors, will be in York city centre for a limited time only, coinciding with the Fringe run from July 15 to August 1.

"You can learn about the lives of the north’s top comedy performers, plus there will be a chance to look at key events, iconic venues and ruminations on exactly why Southerners are so so soft," says Martin, the Fringe founder, who lives in York.

York Press: Geoffrey Boycott

Never stumped for a barbed quip: Yorkshire cricket analyst Geoffrey Boycott

Could it be stand-up comic, writer, singer, songwriter and actress Victoria Wood, from Prestwich? Stand-up, writer and actor Peter Kay, from Farnworth? Deadpan Mancunian Les Dawson? Ken Dodd, with his tickling stick and chuckle muscles, from Knotty Ash? Or Wigan-born, ukulele-playing George Formby, the highest-paid British entertainer of the 1940s?

You will note that this list, supplied by the Great Yorkshire Fringe, is woefully short of Yorkshiremen, so maybe you might wish to nominate Royston's Charlie Williams? Hull's Norman Collier? Leigh Francis, alias Keith Lemon and Bo Selecta, from Leeds? Or The Chuckle Brothers, Paul and Barry, from Rotherham? Then again, maybe not...

York Press: John Shuttleworth

Sheffield's Graham Fellows in John Shuttleworth mode

...Wait on! How about Morecambe & Wise's Ernie Wise, from Bramley? Graham Fellows, creator of John Shuttleworth and punk send-up Jilted John, from Sheffield? York-born Frankie Howerd? Sheffield wit Michael Palin, from Monty Python's Flying Circus and Ripping Yarns? Leeds humorist Alan Bennett, in his Beyond The Fringe days and beyond?

You could make a left-field case for Fitzwilliam cricketer Geoffrey "Fiery" Boycott, never stumped for a quip on Test Match Special? Or even Middlesbrough-born football manager Brian Clough in myriad interviews and dressing room/training ground exchanges of opinion?York Press: On the Road To Edinburgh - On the Road To Edinburgh - Howard Read (Hide & Speak) with Lucy Beaumont & Tommy Rowson (The Comedy Zone).

Here's Lucy...the Hullarious Lucy Beaumont

And there's more. Leeds comedian and perennial Bradford Alhambra pantomime prankster Billy Pearce? Lanky Sheffield lad Tom Wrigglesworth, with his BBC Radio 4 series Hangs Ups? Rapidly rising Hull actress turned observational comic Lucy Beaumont? The Mighty Boosh's Julian Barrett, from Leeds? York performance poet, comedian, philosopher, songwriter and artist Rory Motion? Or Roy "Chubby" Brown, the king of blue, from Grangetown, Middlesbrough, if you're not easily offended?

Still more? Double act Vic Reeves and Bob Mortimer, from Leeds and Acklam respectively? The Young Ones and Bottom's Ade Edmonson, from Bradford? Pocklington-born Richard Herring, from the Lee & Herring double act and multiple philosophical solo shows? York Theatre Royal pantomime fall guy Martin Barrass, from Hull? Not forgetting Brian Glover, comedian, actor and wrestler, born in Sheffield but forever linked with Barnsley?

York Press: Top Comedian Richard Herring spurns Edinburgh Fringe in favour of Towersey Fringe!

Son of Pocklington and York City fan Richard Herring

“The Museum of Comedy is delighted to support this long overdue celebration of northern comedy, and where better to show it off than during the Great Yorkshire Fringe in the centre of one of the north’s favourite cities," says Martin. "As we celebrate the established acts on this trail, we’ll also be showcasing some of the best up and coming new acts from the north and beyond as the Great Yorkshire Fringe New Comedian competition returns for a second year.”

The 2016 Great Yorkshire Fringe will be "Bigger! Longer! Funnier!" with 150 shows spread over "18 days of fun". Once more, Parliament Street will be the hub, undergoing a transformation into a Lazy Lawn village green a quarter of a mile in length with three performance spaces, the White Rose Rotunda, the Turn Pot and the Tea Pot.

These will be complemented by more laughter locations across York, such as festival new additions The Gillygate Shed at Brian Furey's pub, The Gillygate, in Gillygate, and the Central Methodist Hall. For the full programme and tickets, visit greatyorkshirefringe.com/

York Press: MEMORIAL: Funnyman Les Dawson

The great, late Les Dawson

Les Dawson on the great North/South comedy divide:

“When it comes to humour, people often ask me, what’s the difference between a Northern audience and a Southern audience? Frankly, as far as I’m concerned, there’s no difference: they don’t laugh at me in either place.”