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London laughs with Basket Mouth, Gandoki, Seyilaw others

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Laughs, romance and a very special appeal will be going hand in hand at the Nigerian Comedy Show Valentine's Specials, taking place in Manchester and London today. The show will feature top comedians like Basket Mouth, Gandoki, Buchi, Elenu and Seyilaw, plus UK support by Chimeze and music by Congo's number one selling artist Mimitah.

The event will be giving a platform to the VIP Appeal, a new campaign by the National Blood Service to encourage Black African, Black Caribbean and South Asian communities to give blood and help meet the need for rare blood types within ethnic minority communities.

Statistics for blood donation show a situation in need of much improvement; currently only 1% of active blood donors are from combined Black African and Black Caribbean communities. And because of this, particular types of rare blood groups found only in Black communities are in great demand. Sufferers of Sickle Cell Anaemia, for instance, prevalent within the African and African Caribbean communities, need regular blood transfusions. There's also a great need for blood for day-to-day use, including childbirth at hospitals that serve Black communities.

With the VIP Appeal, the public get a chance to become a 'Very Important Person' and make a difference in their local community by registering to give blood. One can do this at the show today or online at www.blood.co.uk/vip.

Nigerian Comedy Show is the only monthly Nigerian comedy event aimed at Nigerians in the UK. It features both Nigerian-based and UK-based comedians and is hosted by the company's founder, David Balogun, a former Mr. Nigeria. Balogun's aim is to establish a social and networking environment where young Nigerian professionals, from doctors to fashion insiders, can come to after a hard day's work to laugh and relieve stress through comedy.

Past shows have been held on the HMS President Boat on London's Embankment and at Porchester Hall in Bayswater; comedians have included Basket Mouth, Okey Bakassi, Gandoki, I Go Die, Tee A, Tunde Ednut, Simply Andy, Adot Comedian, Wale Gates, Lateef Love-Joy, Baba Willy, Heady Kadi and Paul Chaudry.

TOSIN AJIRIRE