HULL comic Jack Gleadow comes full circle at the 2019 Great Yorkshire Fringe, returning to the scene of his New Comedian of the Year triumph two summers ago.

The cap and braces comedian went on to win the Amused Moose National New Comic and Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year competitions too, and now he presents his autobiographical debut solo show, Mr Saturday Night, for one Friday night only, July 21 at 8.30pm, in The Teapot tent on Parliament Street.

Glastonbury shows behind him, Gleadow will be off to the Edinburgh Fringe for the summer. “York is my last show before taking it to the Pleasance Courtyard, from July 31: 25 shows, only one day off, 5.45pm start, so I can go to bed afterwards!” says Jack.

“It’s my first solo show, which feels good, as it’s something I’ve been working up to since I started out in 2013, though I didn’t do comedy ‘properly’ until two years ago, after having two years off.”

Jack headed west to the University of Salford to study TV and radio writing, at the heart of Media City. “The reason I moved to Manchester was to take comedy more seriously and to learn about writing for TV, scriptwriting for sitcom,” he says. “Knowing how to do that has helped me in learning how to structure a solo show.”

Jack has called on the skills of Goole comic Ian Smith too. “He’s been doing comedy for about ten years, taking shows to Edinburgh; he knows how an Edinburgh show will work, so over the past 18 months we’ve been whittling the material down to an hour-long show,” he says. “Often it’s trial and error: bits you like but the audience doesn’t; bits you’re not sure are funny, but the audience goes with it.”

Explaining the show’s title, Jack says: “It’s all about my love of Saturday night TV entertainers, as there isn’t anything like that anymore. It’s a changing climate: now comedy is issue based, politically based, and there doesn’t seem to be that glint-in-the-eye comedy anymore.

“So I’m taking it back to what comedy was, but I like to say my comedy is ‘old school with a modern twist. The show is my life story; how I got into comedy and entertainment. I used to be a magician as a lad, and I talk about how to become a Saturday night entertainer. That’s my aspiration: to be involved in that world, bringing back some of old Saturday night magic to TV.”

Jack looks back fondly on his Great Yorkshire Fringe triumph. “Winning the New Comedian award gave me the boost I needed. It was only about six months earlier that I’d started doing comedy again, developing this new act that I continued at other competitions, but the Great Yorkshire Fringe gave me the confidence to do it,” he says.

“It’s nice to be going full circle now, coming back to York. When you’re on home ground, it’s a bit special.”

A home-city show at Hull Truck Theatre awaits in November, and you can sense Jack is very much a Yorkshire comedian. Whereupon I tell him of a Lancashire friend who is adamant there are no funny Yorkshiremen.

“That’s quite a massive claim to make, isn’t it,” he says, deadpan. “Yorkshire’s a big area. Saying people in one Yorkshire village aren’t funny might be fair enough, but a whole county?”

Charles Hutchinson

Jack Gleadow: Mr Saturday Night, The Teapot, Parliament Street, York, Great Yorkshire Fringe, July 21, 8.30pm. Box office: 01904 500600 or at

New Comedian of the Year Contest, July 18 to 26; final at Grand Opera House, York, July 27, 5pm