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The Independent Culture
Compering live comedy is an underrated art. You have to be funny - but not so funny as to detract from the performer you're introducing. Arthur Smith is just about the best in the business when it comes warming up an audience without stealing the thunder of the rest of the bill. He will be displaying these talents tonight at the London Regional Final of the BBC New Comedy Awards.

Cosmic Comedy Club, London W6 (0171-381 2006)

To no one's surprise, Steve Coogan (right) last month picked up a Bafta for his exquisite performance as Alan Partridge, the former TV chat show host trapped in travel-lodge hell. In Coogan's first live show for some years, Partridge is joined on stage by the comedian's other deathless inventions, the endlessly student-hating "bag'o'shite" Mancunian yob, Paul Calf, and his slapper of a sister, Pauline, and the slimy Latino Lothario singer, Tony Ferrino.

North Wales Theatre, Llandudno (01492 872000)