Howard flies by seat-of-the pants for charity stand-up comedy,

Howard flies by seat-of-the pants for charity stand-up comedy


Howard Ebison, East Midlands Airport’s Commercial Director, has been confirmed as one of the contestants for the Leicester Stand Up Challenge 2017.


As part of its fundraising activities, Leicester based charity Big Difference Company, who produce the annual Leicester Comedy Festival, launch an annual search for business men and women who are prepared to give stand-up a go. Howard is joining other brave business folk to take to the stage and raise money for the charity.

All the participants receive training and support from a professional comedian to write and rehearse material.

The Stand Up Challenge, for which participants are sponsored, is supported by Leicester Castle Business School at De Montfort University. The event takes place on Wednesday 25th October 2017 at The Y Theatre in Leicester.

 All money raised from the Challenge supports the work of the Big Difference Company, which improves the health and wellbeing of communities across the UK. Recent projects include a healthy exercise initiative for people suffering from arthritis. The charity also produces the annual Leicester Comedy Festival which is celebrating its 25th anniversary in February 2018.

Howard, a former BBC1 Apprentice candidate, is responsible for growing the passenger and cargo services at the airport, identifying new routes and attracting logistics operators to use the airport for transporting cargo across the world. East Midlands Airport has just enjoyed its busiest summer season since 2008 and the amount of cargo it handles is forecast to hit record levels this year.

This is Howard's first experience of performing live stand-up comedy on stage, which he describes as “his worst nightmare.” He says: “In my role I have to speak at conferences and events, so addressing a group of people is not alien to me. But in a work context people tend not to heckle or walk out if I’m boring them. Keeping an audience amused for the duration of an entire routine sounds a formidable challenge and one that I am relishing but, equally, terrified of. I hope that people laugh with me, and not at me!”

Geoff Rowe, CEO of Big Difference Company, said: “We are thrilled at the response we have already had for the 2017 Stand Up Challenge. Several people have signed up and agreed to raise money for our charity and support the Leicester Comedy Festival. The project is a unique way of local business men & women to support our work and have a huge amount of fun at the same time. I’m genuinely in awe of those who take up the Challenge and walk on stage on the night but we know from previous years that all the participants get a huge amount of support from each other as well as the audience on the night. It’s fantastic that the 2017 Challenge is being supported by Leicester Castle Business School and we hope the final show will be a highlight of the Leicester Business Festival.”

Tickets to watch the Stand Up Challenge are on sale and available by contacting

You can support Howard by donating here

Watch Howard appeal for your support.