Wes is best

Packer wins new act contest

New stand-up Wes Packer has won the So You Think You’re Funny? talent competition at the Edinburgh Fringe.

He triumphed over more than 200 hopefuls who entered the nationwide search, which is sponsored by TV channels Five and Paramount.

Packer, who is also a drummer, started stand-up a year ago to escape his job as an IT worker in the public sector.

His winning set at the Gilded Balloon included material about the perils of internet dating and why smokers should get priority treatment on the NHS. He wins £2,000 and an appearance at Montreal's >Just for Laughs comedy festival

Runner-up was Hannah Gadsby, from Tasmania, who earned her place in the final by winning the Raw comedy competition at the Melbourne Comedy Festival. She receives £1,000.

Third placed were musical double act Ginger and Black, who win £750 between them.

On being announced as winner by Steve Coogan, who was one of the judges, Parker said: ‘I’ve only been going for a year, so thank you to everyone who’s been nice over that time – promoters and other comics.

‘I’d also like to thank my wife for putting up with me. It can’t be easy being married to a comedian. It can’t be easy married to me.’

Also in the final were Alan Bennett, Andrew Watts, Caroline Clifford, Holly Walsh, Marlon Davis and Raph Shirley. A full review of the night will appear on Chortle tomorrow.

The other judges were Bruce Hills, director of Montreal’s Just For Laughs festival; Five’s comedy commissioning editor Graham Smith; Helen Hawkins, editor of the Sunday Times Culture section; Joe Mahoney from Channel 4; Paramount’s head of programming and development Sarah Mahoney; Susan Provan from the Melbourne Comedy Festiva; and Karen Koren of the Gilded Balloon.

 

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Published: 24 Aug 2006

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