A COMEDY club audience were given a surprise when a top comedian walked on to the stage to test his new material.

Stand-up comedian Russell Kane, best known for his appearances on Britain Unzipped and I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here, appeared at the Hilarity Bites comedy club at The Forum, in Darlington, for an unannounced set on Saturday.

The Essex-based star treated the audience to some of his latest material after his agent contacted Hilarity Bites to see if they would be willing to let him do a low-key appearance alongside fellow comedians Danny Deagan, Gary Delaney and Nathan Katon.

Allison McKay, managing director of The Forum, said: “Russell got a great reception from the audience. When our host for the evening announced his name the audience couldn’t believe it was really him.

“The Hilarity Bites gigs are getting a good reputation on the comedy circuit, because they are often a sell-out and we have a good standard of comedians coming every month, so his agent got in touch about him coming along.

“We had known for a few weeks but didn’t say anything. It was great to see the audience reaction.”

The Hilarity Bites Comedy Club is held on the first Saturday of every month. For more information visit hilaritybites.co.uk