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Oswaldtwistle comic makes waves for charity

Melanie McDonagh, 41, made comedy history as the first ever female comedian to take to the stage at Bernard Manning's World Famous Embassy Club, in Harpurhey, in 2010.

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Melanie McDonagh

A comedienne who made history as the first female performer at Bernard Manning's comedy club will take the plunge to raise money for charity.

Melanie McDonagh, 41, made comedy history as the first ever female comedian to take to the stage at Bernard Manning's World Famous Embassy Club, in Harpurhey, in 2010.

Melanie, who lives at Apple Tree Way, Oswladtwistle, weighed 20 stone when she first performed at the club.

Since then the comic has lost nine stone through swimming and - having slimmed down to a size 12 – is hoping to make a grand entrance back onto the comedy circuit to raise funds for Christie's Against Cancer.

She will also take part in the Great Swim 2014, at Salford Quays, to raise money for the charity.

Melanie, who like Manning was born in Ancoats, said the charity is close to her heart having lost both parents to cancer.

She said: “I lost my Dad aged 56 and My Mam aged 57 to Cancer, so I would like if possible raise as much money as possible for cancer charities.

“I am also taking part in a one mile swim for the charity. Being an old fashioned girl from Ancoats, I thought I could wear a normal swimming costume and cover myself with a hefty dollop of lard, and a bit of red lipstick, just like Esther Williams used to do.”

Melanie, who works as an actress, casting agent and performing arts tutor, is hoping to have a special swim suit donated for the swim.

She graduated from Salford University with a BA in Performing Arts, alongside the household names of Bolton funnyman Peter Kay and Salford's Jason Manford.

She said: “I was the first female comedienne to make comedy history at Bernard Manning's Embassy Club. No female comics were allowed to grace the stage. Only singers like Cilla Black. The Sunday Express christened me Bernadette Manning.

“After a bit of a break I'm now going back into performing and I'm hoping to raise money for Christie's Against Cancer at the same time.”

Melanie will perform at the Comedy Store, in Manchester, on Sunday December 1.

To sponsor Melanie or for more information call: 0790 983 1409.