Comedy vicar does stand-up

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HEARD the one about the vicar telling jokes for charity?

It might sound like a gag, but believe it or not, Reverend Louise Tinniswood is stepping into the spotlight to raise cash for Comic Relief.

Louise, curate at St Saviour’s, Auckley and Holy Trinity and St Oswald’s, Finningley, will be swapping sermons for stand-up when she takes to the stage armed only with a microphone and her dog collar for the six-minute routine alongside professional comics Dave Spikey, best known as Jerry St Clair in Peter Kay’s Phoenix Nights and BBC Radio Sheffield breakfast show host Toby Foster next Tuesday.

She said: “I’ve watched stand-up ever since I was young but going on stage and doing it live is going to be a pretty nerve-wracking experience. I am looking forward to it and showing everyone that vicars are just normal people.”

Louise, 42, was only ordained last year, spending 13 years as a teacher before joining the church – but has already peformed live several times before – and her church services with local vicar Rev Neil Redeyoff have helped to give her a good grounding.

“Our services are quite lighthearted and we are a bit of a double act,” she said. “Stand-up comedy is just like preaching really – you’re standing there trying to get a message across to people.”

Louise will joing seven other budding stand-ups at Sheffield City Hall for the show in front of 400 people after being picked out in a contest at Meadowhall entitled Stand Up If You Dare where members of the public were challenged to crack gags for charity.

She said: “I’m really looking forward to performing at the City Hall where I’ve been to see lots of stand-up comedy in the past. If there are any hecklers, I am hoping they will be kind to us.”