ONE of the UK’s best known comedy groups visited Brighton yesterday to seek out new talent.

The Establishment Club, which was launched by comedy greats Peter Cook and Nicholas Luard in the 1960s, was at Jubilee Square, Brighton.

Some of the city’s brightest comic talents had the opportunity to audition for the Establishment Club’s team which brought along its double-decker.

Hopefuls performed their material in a studio set up on the top floor of the bus.

Judges included American comic Scott Capurro, stand-up comedian Craig Campbell, and comedian/actor/writer Steve Furst.

The Establishment Club Road Trip is fronted by actor and perennial maverick Keith Allen and is calling on the sharp wits and brave performers to come along and tape their routine.

The best of the performances will go up on the Establishment Club website.

The Establishment Club Road Trip has been set up to counter the decline of the state of satire in modern Britain. Fronted by Keith Allen, the project is a reboot of the original Establishment Club, founded in Greek Street in Soho by the legendary Peter Cook in 1961.

Keith Allen said: “The comedy circuit is in desperate need of a cattle prod, and to then be slapped about a bit with a fetid badger cadaver, just to make sure it’s fully alert. The Establishment Club is taking to the road to search for exciting new talent to deliver the beating the British comedy scene, kinky bugger that it is, so desperately craves.”

Organisers said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to springboard a promising career. Successful auditions will get a chance to appear on the Establishment club’s new satirical television show.”

James Grant, 38, of Brighton is an experienced comedian and compere and one of those to audition yesterday.

He said he liked to challenge people’s perceptions and doesn’t rely on ‘easy’ material.

Rebekka Turner, 25, of Hove, did impressions for the judging panel.

She said: “I have been performing for almost four years and have appeared at Komedia.”

Judge Scott Capurro said he enjoyed the Brighton performers. He said: “We had a beautiful poem from James, and Rebekka was hilarious.”

He said it was good to see women doing impressions, adding: “I didn’t know what would happen on this road trip – I am relieved.”

The project is on its way to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The old Establishment club was a hotbed of cutting edge comedy, and featured stars as Stephen Fry, Terry Alderton, John Cooper Clarke and Barry Humphries as Edna Everage.