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Friday, June 4, 1999 Published at 11:43 GMT 12:43 UK


Degree in stand-up comedy

Comedy students will learn how to make people smile

"The theory and practice of stand-up comedy" is to be taught as part of a university degree course.

The University of Kent has appointed stand-up comedian, Oliver Double, to teach comedy classes as a year-long course unit within a drama and theatre degree.

Students taking the stand-up course will learn in the classroom about comedy before testing out their skills in pubs and clubs.

The humour lessons will be part of a degree course that stretches from stand-up to Shakespeare and radio production to modern European drama.

"We're delighted to be able to offer a course in stand-up. Oliver Double has written a book on the subject, and his course, part of our third year teaching and practice option, is already fully booked," said the university's head of drama, Chris Baugh.

The appointment of the comedian, who already holds a doctorate in stand-up comedy, has been funded by extra money given to the university as a reward for excellence in teaching by the Higher Education Funding Council for England.

This will not be the first time that academic respectability has been given to stand-up comedy. Last year, the University of Salford staged a final exam in a pub for students taking a course in stand-up comedy.

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