Leicester Comedy Festival is publishing a celebratory book of puns, British Comedy Guide can exclusively reveal.
Edited by the festival's director Geoff Rowe, All Puns Blazing: The Best British Knockout Jokes, features gags from Adele Cliff, UK Pun Champion 2020, as well as lines from former title holders Colin Leggo, Lovdev Barpaga, Rob Thomas, Masai Graham and Leo Kearse.
Published by Ebury Spotlight, Penguin Random House's new entertainment imprint whose forthcoming titles includes Alex Horne's Bring Me The Head Of The Taskmaster and Mo Gilligan's memoir That Moment When..., All Puns Blazing will be available to buy from 4th November.
Featuring jokes from many acts to have performed at the UK Pun Championships, which are held during the Leicester Festival each February, other contributors include El Baldiniho, Zahra Barri, Tony Cowards, Henry Dawe, Pauline Eyre, Friz Frizzle, Sean Hegarty, Kevin Hudson, Nigel Lovell, Iain MacDonald, Kat Molinari, Laura Monmoth, Joseph Murphy, Graham Musk, Sean Patrick, Richard Pulsford, Paul Savage, Philip Simon, Andrew Tymms, Stevie Vegas, Chris Norton Walker, Darren Walsh, Richard Woolford and Jenan Younis.
"I was thrilled to be asked to donate some jokes to help support Leicester Comedy Festival" said Cliff (pictured). "It's a wonderful festival that really supports the UK comedy scene each February. I love puns, they're a joyful and silly escape from reality. Having so many pun champions and rising stars all together make this collection a pun of a kind."
The book includes a foreword from Dr Oliver Double of the British Stand-Up Comedy Archive at the University of Kent, while the "knockout" jokes in the title refers to the Pun Championships being a rap battle-style contest that traditionally takes place in a boxing ring.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, this year's Leicester Comedy Festival took place online and the ninth Pun Championship will now happen next year. Eyre, Frizzle, MacDonald, Norton Walker, Pulsford, Thomas, Woolford and Younis will battle for the title.
"I'm absolutely thrilled to be able to bring together so many brilliant, groan-inducing puns in one place, kindly donated by some of our comedian friends" said Rowe. "This book will help support Leicester Comedy Festival so I'm really grateful to all the acts who have allowed us to use their jokes and help us continue to celebrate British comedy."
Claire Collins, editor for Penguin Random House, added: "Geoff and the team at Leicester Comedy Festival have really made a huge success of the annual UK Pun Championships and #UKPunDay with thousands of people taking part in the annual celebration of puns and jokes. We are delighted to be publishing this book in support of the festival."
The book is available to pre-order now. Penguin.co.uk page