Monday, 11 February 2008

Comedian, broadcaster and writer Linda Smith so delighted audiences when she performed at the Hebden Bridge Arts Festival, that she’s never been forgotten.

When local people heard of her death, letters of tribute flooded in to the Arts Festival offices.

Now, the Festival has brought off a comedy coup with a performance of Celebrating Linda Smith, a unique show featuring an hilarious selection of stand-up, monologues and sketches from Linda’s career.

For the first time in its history, the Festival will mark the launch of the programme and the start of bookings on May 1 with this regional premiere, sponsored by Mytholmroyd-based publishers Sweet and Maxwell.

Tickets go on sale from March 1 online at or by post (full details of how to buy tickets will be given on the box office answering machine from March 1).

In Celebrating Linda Smith, performers from theatre, music and comedy pay tribute to one of Britain’s best-loved and most witty performers, who died from ovarian cancer in early 2006.

Special guests Barb Jungr, Kate Rutter, Mike McCarthy and Warren Lakin are already confirmed and two more stars will be announced in the next few weeks.

This brand new national touring stage production brings Linda’s comic genius back to life and was crafted from the adaptation of her biography Driving Miss Smith, written by her partner of 23 years, Warren Lakin. Each performance features words and musical contributions from her friends and a host of special guests. 

Aside from a lively narrative, performers will be giving renditions of Linda’s fantastically funny material drawn from her professional stage, radio and TV career. The show features carefully selected cuts of Linda’s comedy in audio and visual clips from shows such as News Quiz, Just a Minute, I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue and Have I Got News for You.

A donation of £1 will be made to Ovarian Cancer Action from every ticket sold.

Next year’s programme of exhibitions, theatre, music, words and street entertainment is also filling up with a host of big names and new productions.

The 2008 Festival will run from Friday, June 27 to Sunday, July 13.

If you’d like to be kept in touch with what’s planned, e-mail or visit

See also Lives Remembered

BBC news