WICKHAM Festival goers will be having a laugh this summer with the addition of a late night comedy stage.

Organisers have unveiled a stellar line-up topped by Tom Walker, better known as internet sensation Jonathan Pie, the frustrated news reporter known for venting his spleen in unguarded “off-camera” rants.

Walker will be appearing at Wickham Festival for a Q&A session and to talk through why he does what he does, the inspiration behind the character and to talk all things politics.

It is a major coup for the festival. Pie’s online videos have been viewed by millions worldwide and his presence is sure to be a huge draw for his Quay West Stage slot on Saturday August 5.

Organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “We are absolutely delighted to welcome Tom Walker as our major headline act. The response has been phenomenal already.

“As Jonathan Pie, he has a huge following with fans loving his vitriolic but very perceptive rants at those in positions of power. The language might be a little blue but at 11pm, we don’t expect this to be a problem.

“As a Hampshire County Councillor I know only too well that some of his material is very near the knuckle but it is incredibly astute and very, very funny.”

Walker will be joined by a host of other top acts including James Veitch, Zoe Lyons (of Mock the Week fame), David Morgan and Tom Deacon.

A great bill of musical acts, including KT Tunstall, 10CC, Seth Lakeman, Oyster Band, the Levellers and Eliza Carthy, must finish at 11pm to comply with the council curfew, so organisers decided to introduce a comedy stage to give festival-goers some late night fun.

It will run from 11pm to 12.30pm and

Chegwyn added: “The music has to finish at 11pm to comply with the curfew but we know a lot of festival-goers are not yet ready to turn in so we thought a comedy stage would be the perfect compromise, great entertainment with no noise problems.

“We have a fantastic line-up all included in the ticket price to give even better value for money along with a great bill of musical acts including

“Ticket sales have been phenomenal, our best yet and with a lot of first-timers booking. And that figure is sure to rise with the addition of late night comedy on the Quay West Stage.

“Weekend tickets are through the roof with individual nights and camping tickets selling fast so I would urge fans to book soon to avoid missing out.”

The full comedy line-up for the Quay West Stage from 11pm to half past midnight is:

3 Aug - James Alderson - David Morgan - Tom Deacon

4 Aug - James Alderson - Matt Green - Zoe Lyons

5 Aug - James Alderson - James Veitch - Raymond and Mr Timpkins - Tom Walker TBA

Weekend tickets cost £160 with day tickets available at £50 (or £35 on Thursday August 3). Those aged 11-16 get in for half price with Under 10’s admitted free. Full details of the line-up, tickets and camping can be found at www.wickhamfestival.co.uk or on twitter @festivalwickham or email eastfest@talk21.com