John Fothergill

With his blend of cocky insults and slick banter, John Fothergill has the experience to know how to command an audience. You're always in safe hands when this lively Geordie's on stage, which is undoubtedly why he's so sought-after as a compere.

Safe, though, also applies to his material, which never strays too far from well-worn paths and broad stereotypes. From time to time, he does surprise with a flash of originality - and his quickfire teasing often throws up a witty bon mot that wasn't in his script.

But his strength is in attitude, rather than his writing, as he exudes that air of being in charge that's guaranteed to set the right atmosphere for laughter. And that can often be harder than creating perfect material.