Devizes International Comedy Festival has undergone a transformation from three nights of hilarity in September to one-off events throughout the year.

The festival – its full name is the Devizes International Comedy and Ukulele Festival – was launched in 2010 by Patney couple Mark and Emma Cann and ran for three nights.

Although star comic Jim Davidson topped the bill, there was great support for other acts, notably the madcap Kev Orkian, Jamie Sutherland and Clive Cooper, performing in the Ceres Hall at the Corn Exchange.

Other comics appeared in the ‘comedy club’ which played nightly in the basement Merchant’s Suite.

Then, in 2011, Mr and Mrs Cann eschewed the established big names of comedy for up-and-coming acts like Simon Evans, Seann Walsh, Jason Patterson and James Sherwood.

But one of last year’s big hits was The Raymond and Mr Timkins Revue, in which the uncle-and-nephew duo performed a high-octane routine to pre-recorded pop music. The pair will return for this year’s event at the Corn Exchange on Thursday, September 27.

Mr Cann said: “Unless you can attract a lot of people from outside the area, it is not a viable option having three nights of entertainment on the trot.

“Last year the market wore the upstairs events but not the comedy club in the basement, so we have shelved that. Also, we thought that spreading the events through the year would be a better option.

“If we can link up with the other festivals in the town someone might get the idea, why doesn’t Devizes have its own comedy festival?

“The festival has established a reputation of booking world-class acts before they know they’re world class, like Seann Walsh last year. We are indebted to Wadworth’s for their support and they have told us they are minded to see the festival continue.”

The other acts taking part on September 27 are Elis James, the rising star of Welsh stand-up comedy, and the much-praised Josh Widdicombe.