Gilly’s Comedy Gala for Comic Relief Live from the Blackpool Opera House

23 March 2017

BBC Radio Lancashire is staging a fun-filled afternoon of comedy at Blackpool Opera House on Friday March 24th in aid of Comic Relief. Gilly’s Comedy Gala will be hosted by Radio Lancashire afternoon presenter John ‘Gilly’ Gillmore and the event will allow local comedian Sarah Morgan to fulfil her lifelong ambition to perform at the Opera House.

Sarah is an optometrist by day while at night she performs on the North West comedy circuit and beyond. She is a regular guest on Gilly’s radio programme where she offers advice on eye health and talks about her fledgling comedy career. During a recent interview she revealed to Gilly that it has been her lifelong dream to perform at the Blackpool Opera House and so Gilly has made Sarah’s dream a reality.

Gilly and the Radio Lancashire team, with help from the Winter Gardens in Blackpool, have pulled together a jam-packed afternoon’s entertainment in just a few weeks. Gilly’s Comedy Gala will be an afternoon of live music, guests, chat and comedy.  A raft of local legends from the worlds of music, comedy and television will perform including regulars on the Blackpool comedy scene Bob More, Buddy Lee, Carl Schofield and Andy Mudd; vocalist and songwriter Katy Bradley from Preston singer songwriter Quint Starkie who was born in Accrington but now lives in Sweden.

Sarah Morgan, from Wigan, will top the bill for the two hour show.  She will be introduced by one of her comedy heroes Jimmy Cricket who will perform for the audience immediately before introducing Sarah to the Opera House stage for her dream come true moment. Sarah’s act will combine her comedy talent with her love for music and the performance will include her popular parody of well-known operatic song Caro mio ben. Called I Love my Pies the song is a musical tribute to the Wigan delicacy, the pie!

Sarah Morgan describes the moment she found out she would be performing at the Opera House. “I  was lost for words – literally – and it takes a lot for me to be silenced! My head was exploding with the opportunity ahead of me. In May 2016, I went to see Sarah Millican perform there, and during her show I kept thinking how much I wanted to perform on that stage. You have to be careful what you wish for!”

“I am really looking forward to having fun and enjoying the whole experience.  The comedy legend Jimmy Cricket is going to be introducing me – what an honour! Jimmy set me the goal of working towards performing one day soon at the Winter Gardens. Suffice to say – the day I dreamt of has come rather sooner than expected! How wonderful!”

John Gillmore is thrilled to be hosting the event, "When I was offered the Blackpool Opera House for my comedy gala, I thought THEY were joking! Iit's not often that you get the chance to make a dream come true, though keeping everything top secret until we could spring the surprise on Sarah was very tricky! Sarah's reaction, when I revealed all live on air, was amazing. I hope people come along to help give Sarah the experience of a lifetime and be part of what will be a great event for a fantastic cause.”

Anthony Williams, Marketing Manager at Blackpool Winter Gardens, said: “We’re delighted to be working with John Gillmore and the team on what will be a truly fantastic event for a great cause. It’s an added benefit that we’re able to help Sarah make her dream come true, to perform at our iconic venue.”

There will also be a performance from the Ormerod Trust Choir, part of an organisation which helps people on the Fylde Coast who need supported living services, and there will be a few other surprises on the day!

Tickets for Gilly’s Comedy Gala are available from the Blackpool Winter Gardens Box Office or from BBC Radio Lancashire reception.  Tickets are free but BBC Radio Lancashire is asking for a donation to Comic Relief.

The comedy gala will also be broadcast live on BBC Radio Lancashire from 2-4pm on Friday March 24th. Further information and to request tickets visit

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