Roger Monkhouse, surely the most articulate performer on the comedy circuit, was outrageously funny in the Screaming Blue Murder Comedy Club on Friday.

The shaven-headed Monkhouse, no relation to the late, great Bob but equally sharp and witty, wowed the audience with his shy grin and cutting remarks.

He charmed and mocked us in turn while cleverly delivering both rehearsed and off-the-cuff putdowns.

His shrewd observations repeatedly struck a chord as he got stuck in to terrorists, Vladimir Putin, northerners, Scots and relationships, claiming that marriage is like a cage fight to the death.

Mark Felgate, a comedy ventriloquist without a dummy, saucy Karen Bayley and compere Martin Coyote also performed with confidence and showed good timing, but would have benefited from some better material.

Felgate could have achieved greater success with his oral trickery if he had engaged more with members of the audience and given the illusion that they were coming out with inane remarks in weird voices.

He also proved a gifted guitarist-singer but most of his ditties lacked killer punchlines.

Brummie Bayley, the first female winner of the Comedy Store King Gong, used “sexual desire” to get most of her laughs.