Leyland funnyman takes the reins at Preston comedy club as it gears up for exciting new chapter in the city

An award-winning Leyland comic has landed "one of the hardest jobs" in the industry, but can't wait to get started.

By Catherine Musgrove
Thursday, 27th January 2022, 2:32 pm

James Meehan, who has performed at the Edinbugh Fringe Festival, written 13 Edinburgh shows in six years and has won the Edinburgh panel prize, has been appointed as regular compare at Preston' s ROFL Comedy Club in the old Fives building in Guildhall Street.

James, 36, a former Leyland St Mary's pupil, will be tasked with warming up the audience and introducing them to top name performers on Friday and Saturday nights.

He said: "It's been stop - start because of lockdown, but now we're back, with me as the regular host, and there will be a full line up of international acts.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

Read More

Read More
Could Lancashire's tallest skyscraper be too big for Preston city centre?

"In the past few weeks we've had the likes of Jo Caulfield Dom Woodward and Jonny Awesome. These are big names who have done things like Live at the Apollo.

"We have some of the best comics in the country playing here, and it's really good value for money. But I'm not sure a lot of people know we're here.

"So that's part of my job too - making sure everyone has a great time, because if they do, then I'm 100 per cent convinced that they'll go away and tell more people how good it is."

Comedian James Meehan

The club was opened by former boxer Lee Jones, who set up the ROFL comedy club after beating cancer. He has other venues in Derby, Sheffield and Ashton under Lyme.

The Preston venue has been hit by various Covid-restrictions, including Lancashire moving into Tier 3 as they prepared to open in late 2020, and then by the 'pingdemic' in summer. But now everyone is raring to go and looking forward to a packed room every weekend.

>>>Click here to read why the club had to close for a month.

James added"If the likes of Manchester, Blackpool and Liverpool can have comedy clubs, then Preston definitely can too. It's crazy a city like ours hasn't had one for so long.

Inside the ROFL Comedy Club

"I'm really excited to start this new chapter."

Comedy nights had been held in Preston's 53 Degrees venue and the Frog and Bucket shows ran from the Guild Hall, but both venues have been closed for some years.

The club in the Fives building can seat around 100 people, and offers food and a bar.

James said: "It's a beautiful room at the top of Fives. It's not massive, but it's not small either. For comedy to work well, you want to have people shoulder to shoulder, and that's what you get here."

James Meehan

James, who discovered a passion for comedy as a student at Salford University, will be playing the gig himself this weekend, before taking over the compare job.

He says comparing is very different to a stand-up routine, involving more audience participation, questions, aimed at putting people at ease before the main acts hit the stage.

He said: "I think with me being local it can help, as I can talk about things people in the room will be able to relate to."