University of Leicester sponsors Leicester Comedy Festival Business Partners’ Club

Geoff Rowe BEM (left), Director of Leicester Comedy Festival with Martyn Riddleston (right), Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester.

The University of Leicester is proud to sponsor Leicester Comedy Festival Business Partners’ Club for the next 12 months.

The University’s support for the Business Partners’ Club – to coincide with its own Centenary celebrations – was announced on Wednesday at the ‘Pick of The Fest’ Comedy Show, held at The Y Theatre in the city centre.

Members of the Business Partners’ Club enjoyed an evening of live comedy hosted by Thanyia Moore and featuring Daman Bamrah and Aaron Simmonds, to preview what The Guardian has described as ‘one of the best comedy festivals in the world’.

Martyn Riddleston, Chief Operating Officer at the University of Leicester, was joined by guests from across the University at the event. He said: “We all know Leicester Comedy Festival as a major pillar of the international comedy calendar – but what’s equally impressive is the series of enriching and impactful events and projects delivered by the festival team throughout the year.

“That’s why, as we celebrate our Centenary and give thanks to the people who have contributed to the University in our first 100 years, we are proud to support this work through sponsorship of the Business Partners’ Club.

“Given this provides us with extra opportunities to mix with some of the region’s best and brightest, we are delighted to show our support for Big Difference’s mission.”

The Business Partners’ Club features representatives from some of the biggest employers in the region, as well as key innovators and specialists in a number of fields. Events throughout the year provide members with unprecedented networking opportunities as well as an opportunity to support delivery of the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Leicester Comedy Festival, The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival and a year-round programme of arts and cultural projects and events are organised by Leicester-based charity Big Difference.

The charity was set up in 1994 to produce the annual comedy festival. Since then it has made a significant contribution to the regional economy (more than £45 million since 1994), as well as making a big impact on local communities.

Geoff Rowe BEM, co-founder and director of Leicester Comedy Festival, said: “I’m thrilled that we now have the support of University of Leicester, working alongside them to support and grow our Business Partners Club. Since 1994 the festivals we produce have only been possible because of the support of so many local, regional and national organisations.

“We really value these partnerships and are proud that we can now welcome the University into our community, especially during their Centenary celebrations.”

The University of Leicester is also proud to serve as an Associate Partner for the Stand Up Challenge 2021. The fundraising event for Big Difference, which sees seven participants take up the challenge to write and perform their first five minutes of stand-up comedy, raises funds to support the projects, programmes and festivals delivered by the charity, including the annual Leicester Comedy Festival and The UK Kids’ Comedy Festival.

Leicester Comedy Festival 2022 will return from February 2 to 20. For more information, visit