RISING stand-up star Sam Cooke has started a monthly open mic comedy night in Keighley.

Crossflatts man Sam will perform under his stage name SJ Cooke at the inaugural event on Thursday June 27 at the Exchange in Russell Street.

Sam started his comedy career by raising £560 for Cancer Research UK during a special stand-up night for newcomers.

He said: “Since then I have been gigging across the UK and achieved my 50th gig in Sheffield this month.

“At my monthly open mic comedy night at the Exchange I will be performing and hosting various different comedians.

“I am hoping to aim each night at a charity, with the first one for MIND, the second one for Manorlands Hospice and the third one for Simon On The Streets.”

Charity fundraising brought Sam to the world of comedy, when he took part in an eight-week course in writing and performing comedy organised by Cancer Research UK.

He was among 15 budding Michael McIntyres who made their debuts in Harrogate in front of an audience of more than 150 people.

Sam, then 19, picked up the microphone in honour of his grandfather, who died when he was young, and his mother, who has successfully battled breast cancer over the past couple of years.

* Sam’s stand-up comedy night at the Exchange will be on the last Thursday of each month, and the starting line-up is Aaron Carter, Guy Black, Jem Stuart, Jonathan Brook, Keith Wild, Marie Fawcett, Nick Crooks and Paul Abbott.