COLT comedians are being offered a first step to stardom at a new competition in the Inverclyde Musical Festival.

Budding stand-ups from local schools are being invited to tell a funny story or a joke.

Rotarian and author Allan Morrison, known for his humourous books, came up with the idea.

He said: "We have the Edinburgh Festival and the Fringe which is very popular and where many famous comedians started out.

"We are bringing the Fringe to Greenock by offering local schoolchildren their first step to stardom at Inverclyde Music Festival.

"When they are famous, they can come back and say they owe it all to Inverclyde Music Festival.

"There is a lot of recitation, we've had ones in the past where students have been asked to make up a story, so now we're formally introducing humour."

Allan is convener of the community/vocational services committee at Greenock Rotary who are sponsoring the new category and providing a trophy.

Fellow Rotarian Finlay Sim is also on the committee of Inverclyde Music Festival Association and welcomes the new light-hearted section.

The section is called Tell A Joke - Primary 5-7.

The joke story should last no more than a minute and there should be no audience participation.

There will be an adjudicator and each comedian will be given a mark and the winner will receive a trophy.

There are also moves afoot to re-introduce Modern Dance Classes to the programme in a nod to the success of TV programme Strictly Come Dancing.

The syllabus has already been distributed to schools, and teachers and parents can apply on behalf of the children via a written entry form or online.

To take part or for more information visit

The deadline for entries is Saturday October 12.