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The king of comedy clubs; Friday Live.

Byline: Alison Stokes

IT'S one of the leading names in comedy and this weekend Jongleurs - opens its first club in Wales.

The first laughs will be heard at Cardiff's Jongleurs club at Cardiff's Millennium Plaza tonight with a line-up which features leading stand-up comedians, including TV and radio regulars Milton Jones and Junior Simpson, and Welsh newcomer Bennett Arron.

The 400-capacity club is the first Jongleurs venture in Wales and every Friday and Saturday will be offering a line-up of comedians - some well-known like Paul Tonkinson, Phil Davey and Donna McPhail, others names to watch.

Tonight's line-up includes Bennett, who won the BBC Wales New Writer's Award and was runner-up in the BBC New Stand-Up Comedy Awards. He already has a famous fan - TV's Graham Norton, who said his writing was "fantastic".

Radio listeners will know Milton Jones, the "king of the surreal one-liners, " from his BBC series The Very World of Milton Jones and Sky 1's sitcom The Strangers.

And Junior Simpson returns to Cardiff, from his success at last summer's Admiral Comedy nights at the Cardiff Festival, A regular headliner at Jongleurs, he has appeared on the TV music quiz Never Mind The Buzzcocks and The Stand Up Show and recently hosted the C5 game show In The Dark With Junior Simpson.

Compere Keith Fields, a winner of the Time Out Entertainer of the Year Award, is known as one of TV's top warm-up men and has worked with Harry Enfield, Clive James and Alexei Sayle.

The tutor at the comedy school run by Jongleurs's sister venue Bar Risa last month, Keith will host the Jongleurs/South Wales Echo talent show at the Queen's Arcade, Cardiff, tomorrow.

The talent show takes place at 2pm tomorrow in the centre of Queen's Arcade, where Echo readers will be making shoppers laugh.

Since opening its first comedy club in Battersea in 1983, Jongleurs has been responsible for giving stars like Harry Enfield, Ben Elton, Jo Brand, Paul Merton, Rory Bremner, Josie Lawrence and Julian Clary early career breaks.

Club manager Craig Burns, who also runs Bar and Club Risa, said: "We've got a great line-up for our opening weekend and there's more in the pipeline.

"The name Jongleurs is well-known throughout the country and it will be great for Cardiff."

Jongleurs opens Fridays and Saturdays at 7pm.

Last entry 8pm. Tickets are pounds 12. To book call 0870 787070. Entry to Club Risa is free.

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THE WEEKEND STARTS HERE With Milton Jones and Bennett Arron, stars of the Jongleurs opening weekend .
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:South Wales Echo (Cardiff, Wales)
Date:Jan 11, 2002
Words:422
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Next Article:fridaydiary; Friday Live takes a look at what's on its way to South Wales. . .


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