Jonathan Pie creator to headline new comedy stage at Wickham Festival

Tom Walker as newscaster Jonathan Pie
Tom Walker as newscaster Jonathan Pie
Mike Palmer as Skellig and James Walden as Michael

REVIEW: Skellig at The Spring Arts Centre, Havant

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IN the last 18 months his videos have been inescapable on social media, with many not even realising that Jonathan Pie is actually a fictional creation.

As the angry and highly vocal newscaster known for venting his spleen in unguarded ‘off-camera’ rants, Tom Walker has racked up millions of views for his character’s clips online.

And now Wickham Festival has announced that Tom will be headlining the event’s new late night comedy stage 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 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 on the Quay West stage, which will run from 11pm to 12.30am, including James Veitch, Zoe Lyons (of Mock the Week fame), David Morgan and Tom Deacon.

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 KT Tunstall, 10CC, Seth Lakeman, Oyster Band, the Levellers and Eliza Carthy.

‘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 festival runs from August 3-6, weekend tickets cost £160 with day tickets available at £50 (or £35 on Thursday). Those aged 11-16 get in for half price with Under 10s admitted free.

For more information go to wickhamfestival.co.uk.