JONATHAN Pie will headline the Comedy Stage at the 2018 Wickham Festival.

The internet sensation rocketed to fame playing the role of an off-air television reporter giving his forthright and uncensored views of the latest news and political events.

The character is the creation of Tom Walker who last year drew a huge crowd to the Wickham Festival for a Q&A.

It proved such a success that he is now returning to the picturesque site and bringing the full stage show which recently drew sell-out crowds to venues across the country.

Festival organiser Peter Chegwyn said: “We are thrilled to have Jonathan Pie topping our comedy bill on Friday August 3. It is a real coup for us.

“I guess we might have to put out a parental guidance warning because of the language but it is a late-night set. I know it will be a huge draw for people attending the festival.

“His show is unique. It is absolutely hilarious but also quite thought-provoking. Last year’s on-stage interview with Tom Walker was a great success so we are delighted to have him back, this time in character.”

Organisers are looking to build on the success of last year’s inaugural comedy stage and Pie will be supported by several other top acts including: Gareth Richards, Paul McCaffrey and Tanyalee Davis among others.

Chegwyn added: “Last year was the first time we had tried a late-night comedy tent and it proved hugely popular so this year we are making it even better.

“Once the music finishes, many festival-goers are not quite ready to turn in. They are often looking to wind down and maybe enjoy another drink so this is a good way of providing entertainment without the noise affecting our neighbours.

“It is all included in the admission price which is another reason why tickets are selling so well. The line-up is looking incredibly strong and advance tickets sales are reflecting that. It is looking like a bumper crowd so fans are advised to buy early.”

With chart-toppers Squeeze confirmed as the prime headline act, tickets have been selling fast for the August 2-5 event in the picturesque Hampshire village.

One of Britain’s top bands of the past 40 years, the hugely-popular new wave icons will top the bill on Saturday August 4 supported by John Ilsley of Dire Straits, the Tom Robinson Band and Ferocious Dog among others.

Rock legend Steve Harley will be the main attraction on the opening night, Thursday August 2 along with the South and the Dhol Foundation.

They join Show of Hands and Kate Rusby on Friday August 3 and folk icon Richard Thompson who closes the event on the Sunday night backed by the Undertones, the Blues Band and the Red Hot Chilli Pipers.

Chegwyn added: “We are well up on sales from this time last year with many people booking even before we had announced a single act. They trust we will always have a top quality line-up – and just as importantly the unique atmosphere will never change.

“The festival has a real family-friendly feel with plenty to entertain young children as well as a great range of food, drink and craft stalls plus four days of fantastic music.”

Weekend tickets are currently on sale at £140 with Under 16’s admitted half price and Under 10’s gaining free admission. A weekend camping pass is £30 and parking is free. See for more details.