Page last updated at 11:18 GMT, Monday, 5 January 2009

College stand-up comedy classes

Peter Kay
Peter Kay is one of the north west's most famous stand-up comedians

A course teaching people how to become stand-up comedians is being run at a college in Manchester.

The course, set up and and run by comedian Ashley Boroda, is a guide to stand-up with lessons in writing material and microphone technique.

Students start the course on 20 January and runs for 12 weeks at Manchester College in Openshaw.

The course, which started in 2006, is part of the "cultural" regeneration of East Manchester.

Sean McGonigle, director of regeneration for New East Manchester, said: "The stand-up comedy courses are part of our cultural regeneration programme and its great to see that as well as being really enjoyable and helping people boost their confidence."

It is also not important to...have a famous parent or even possess model looks. You just need to be funny
Ashley Boroda, comedian

People who took part in the previous two courses have gone on to perform comedy routines in the UK and abroad.

Rachel Fairburn, of Harpurhey, was a finalist in two north west comedy competitions last year, after taking part in the course.

She said: "I'd seen a lot of stand-up and always fancied having a go but didn't know where to start," said Rachel. "Once I started the course, I looked forward to each session and really enjoyed it.

Ms Fairburn works full-time as a librarian and by night doing stand comedy.

"I've got gigs coming up in the North East and Midlands and also some work in London," she added.

Mr Boroda, comedy promoter and course tutor, said: "Stand-up comedy is one of the areas of life where you can get on by talent alone.

"You don't need to have qualifications or have gone to a fancy school or a top university.

"It is also not important to have contacts in the industry, have a famous parent or even possess model looks. You just need to be funny."

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