A three-person bill (plus compere) and a host of wise-cracks were definitely needed to get people feeling chipper on a cold, February night.

And did they stand and deliver? Well… Daniel Kitson was much more than a warm-up act – he was, in his own words “great fun from the get-go to the let-go”.

His relaxed style hid an intellect capable of coming up with satisfying symmetries like: “If you’re naughty enough to steal a bike helmet, you’re naughty enough not to wear one, so no need to lock yours to your bike.” Talking of stealing, he kind of stole the show.

Nish Kumar, TV-famous for his prickly political material, was up next. Although he observed that in a church full of British worshippers, he was probably the one who most resembles Jesus.

Unlike Jesus, he was preaching to the converted, as he tore deftly into Brexit and described David Dimbleby as “what you’d get if you injected privilege into a gammon steak”.

Welsh-Mancunian comic Kiri PritchardMcLean then made a bold statement in a mermaid-coloured spangly bodysuit, and twenty minutes of cringey feminine moments and vague self-deprecation later, it was hard to know whether to laugh or cry.

A more timid name than Tim Key you can’t imagine. The reality was “Marmite”, a combo of non-sequiturs and crazy statements – “Kenneth sprinkled his wife’s ashes onto his spaghetti Bolognese” – and rage that you either loved or hated.

Judging from the banging applause, his set appealed to nearly everyone in the cavernous auditorium.