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The Cutting Edge Election Party is at the Comedy Store, London, SW1 (0171-344 4444) on Thur at 11.30pm

Dimbleby or drink-up? The decision is yours. As they did in 1992, the Comedy Store is offering an alternative to spending the evening on your sofa in the company of Jeremy Paxman. The Cutting Edge Election Party, which will showcase Lee Hurst, Boothby Graffoe, John Moloney, Paul Thorne, Steve Gribbin, Phil Davey and Martin Coyote, promises to get the punters laughing - whatever the voting outcome.

Don Ward, executive producer of the evening's laughs, launches his manifesto: "Instead of sitting at home and watching Paxman and Dimbleby - which is a bit [yawns] "cocoa time" - this will be a bundle of fun. We'll make it an election party.

"At 11.30, we'll be reviewing the month's events, and then we'll launch ourselves into election stuff. We'll be taking care of world events while home events are being counted.

"Then a giant screen will come down and when important results come in, like Martin Bell or Alan Clarke, we'll take the mick out of them.

"For those who are in the mood, we'll clear all the chairs and have a dance at the end. There will be either merriment or despondency."

This election campaign has been chock-full of comedians. Why does politics lend itself to comedy? "It's all that bollocks in Parliament, where they seem to be living in the past," scoffs Ward. "All that wearing a hat when asking questions and `I refer you to the answer I made earlier'. The House of Commons is the Number One house of comedy, and we're the Number Two.

"Comedy does sell. The most wonderful gift of all is to make someone laugh. That's why Harry Enfield, Rory Bremner, Jo Brand and Lee Hurst are having a field-day at the moment. They're bringing to light the humorous side of sleaze. Look at this business with Alan Clarke and his coven of women. It's a rich field for comedy; in fact, there's no richer field."


Eddie Murphy, no less, calls John Witherspoon, his co-star in several movies, "an all-time great - always my first choice". British audiences now have a chance to judge for themselves as this highly thought- of American stand-up comes over here on his "I'm Gonna Git You Sucka UK Tour".

Wolverhampton Civic (01902 312 030) Wed; London The Grand (0171-738 9000) Thur; London Hackney Empire (0181-985 2424) Fri