FORMER Crackerjack presenter Stu Francis is hosting a one-off charity gig featuring the Happy Mondays.

The comic, who lives in Smithills, will join DJs including former Joy Division and New Order bassist Peter “Hooky” Hook, Hacienda legend Graeme Park and spoken word performer Mike Garry, for the cabaret show.

Shaun and Paul Ryder, from Little Hulton, along with maracas-shaking Bez, and the rest of the band, will take to the stage at the Palace Theatre in Manchester for a one-off never-seen-before set. The event, which takes place on July 25, has been organised for Paul Ryder’s brave 12-year-old son who is in remission for a rare form of tissue cancer.

Money raised from Chico's Kicking Cancer Fundraising Ball, will help fund Chico’s physiotherapy as well as a donation to The Christie hospital in Manchester.

Those who attend the star-studded black tie event, organised by Mickey Martin’s International Cabaret, will be treated to a four course meal and top entertainment throughout the night.

The Crush a Grape star said: “I tell you what, I never realised how many friends I had since being asked to do this. Everybody wants to carry my bag or drop me off.

“Seriously though, yes, I have been asked to host the event, alongside some fantastic names in music like Peter Hook and Graeme Park, and I can’t wait.

“I’m really looking forward to it. Apart from being a fan of the band, it’s going to be a night of pure nostalgia too. It’s a one off gig that you won’t have seen before, and probably won’t again.

“As well as being a part of something so special, the night will be raising money for Paul’s son and the Christie hospital, which are both great causes.”

A spokesman for the event said: “The band wanted Stu as he’s the perfect host for the event.

“Forget about all the other comics — it’s fair to say that Stu has put Bolton on the map.”

Tickets for the event are still available at £75 or £100 for access to the VIP pre-show and after party.

Call 01706 650515 to book.