Comedy debate returns

A popular comedy event will return to this year's 40th Queenstown Winter Festival.

The moot for the June 22 debate, featuring top New Zealand comedians Paul Ego and Michele A'Court, broadcasters Jesse Mulligan and Oliver Driver, veteran Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt and up-and-coming politician Jacinda Ardern, is ''Forty is the New Thirty''.

The moderator will again be Jeremy Corbett, who hosts the TV3 current affairs satire show 7 Days.

Festival naming sponsor American Express is bringing back the debate to celebrate its 25-year involvement with the 10-day event.

''There's really no better way to highlight our 25th year of sponsorship than by bringing back one of the all-time festival favourites,'' American Express consumer marketing vice-president Dean Chadwick said.

Festival manager Lisa Buckingham said tickets would go on sale through Ticketek on May 5.

The debate headlines a triple bill of NZ comedy events during the festival.

Comedy Night on June 24 will feature Urzila Carlson, Brendhan Lovegrove, Ego, Dai Henwood and Simon McKinney, also at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

The following night there will be ''Wednesday Lates'' at Vinyl Underground, with Lovegrove and Carlson.

''We have lots to keep people entertained but numbers are limited ... so it's first-in first-served,'' Ms Buckingham said.

Tickets for these two comedy events also go on sale May 5. - Mountain Scene


 - by Philip Chandlera 

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