Comedy debate returns to Queenstown Winter Fest

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The popular comedy debate returns to this year’s 40th Queenstown Winter Festival for the first time in five years.

The moot for the June 22 debate – featuring top New Zealand comedians Paul Ego and Michele A’Court, broadcasters Jesse Mulligan and Oliver Driver, veteran Invercargill mayor Tim Shadbolt and up-and-coming politician Jacinda Ardern– is ‘Forty is the New Thirty’.

The moderator will again be Jeremy Corbett who hosts TV3 current affairs satire show 7 Days.

Festival naming sponsor American Express is bringing back the debate to celebrate its 25-year involvement with the 10-day event.

“There’s really no better way to highlight our 25th year of sponsorship than by bringing back one of the all-time festival favourites, “ American Express consumer marketing vice-president Dean Chadwick says.

“We’re looking forward to a hilarious night.”

Festival manager Lisa Buckingham warns that tickets are sure to sell quickly when they go on sale through Ticketek on May 5.

Debate-goers can also upgrade their giggles by buying a ‘Gourmet Gibbston’ package including a cheese platter and Gibbston Valley Wines pinot noir.

The debate at the Events Centre headlines a triple bill of NZ comedy events during the festival.

Comedy Night on June 24 will feature Urzila Carlson, Brendhan Lovegrove, Ego, Dai Henwood and Simon McKinney at the Queenstown Memorial Centre.

All except McKinney appeared at last year’s festival.

The following night there’ll be ‘Wednesday Lates’ at Vinyl Underground with Lovegrove and Carlson.

Buckingham adds: “With a triple bill of comedy we have lots to keep people entertained but numbers are limited to all events so it’s first-in first-served.”

Tickets for these two comedy events also go on sale May 5.