Comedians Jimmy Carr and Bill Bailey are the first big stars to sign up to take part in a major fund-raising event for East Oxford hospice charity Helen and Douglas House.

The two comics have confirmed they will be part of the line-up for the fourth annual night of comedy and music -Childish Things 4 - in aid of the charity, which will be held at the New Theatre, in George Street, Oxford, on Sunday, April 20.

Organiser Kate Day said: "It's absolutely fantastic to have a Helen and Douglas House event right in the middle of Oxford, at the heart of the community, that is fun and appealing to a wide range of people.

"Last year, having sold out the show, there was a real buzz. It's a night of surprises and on the strength of that the tickets have been flying out of the box office before anyone even confirmed.

"We opened ticket sales on the night last year and people promptly went and started buying them and well over half have been sold already."

Last year's event, which featured Stephen Fry, Alan Davies, Rory McGrath and Harry Enfield, raised more than £40,000 for the charity, which provides care for children and young adults with life-shortening and terminal illnesses.

It will be the second year Jimmy Carr has been involved.

Miss Day said: "Jimmy very sweetly asked could he possibly be in it again after last year, and consequently booked his tour dates making sure he kept April 20 free for us, which is amazing."

Joining the big names will be mime artist David Armand, performing for the third year running, Oxford a capella group Out of the Blue, comedy sketch artists The Hollow Men and Douglas House guest and guitarist Ally Craig Miss Day added: "We've got other names up our sleeves, which we're working on at the moment, and other surprises."

All the performers give their services free, the New Theatre waives its charge and many of the staff work for nothing on the day.

Miss Day said: "We're very lucky and hugely grateful to them.

"Judging from the number of people who've already bought tickets who were there last year, people had a good night and we will do our best to provide them with an equally good if not better night out this year."

Ticket prices start at £20, and it is anticipated the 1,800-seat theatre will sell out for the event.

Tickets can be bought from Ticketmaster, by calling 0844 8471585, or directly from the New Theatre box office in George Street.

Updates to the line-up will be announced on the website