Six of the best

BBC New Comedy finalists named

The six finalists in this year's BBC New Comedy Awards have been named.

They are Aaron Counter, Sarah Millican, Luke Roberts, James Branch, Tom Allen and Edward Aczel.

The final, compered by Dara O'Briain, pictured, will take place at London’s Comedy Store on Monday December 12 and will be broadcast on digital channel BBC7 at 11pm on New Year’s Day.

Previous finalists include Simon Pegg, Julian Barratt, Daniel Kitson and Lee Mack.

The winner will receive £2,000, with two runners-up receiving cheques for £500. All six finalists will also be given the chance to develop work for BBC radio.

Australian Aaron Counter, 25, is an accountant working in London. He has been gigging for a couple of years and has cancelled his Christmas flight back to Australia so he could take part in the final.

Thirty-year-old Sarah Millican, from South Shields in Tyne and Wear, started doing stand-up after she got divorced. She has been a finalist in the Funny Women and So You Think You’re funny contests and, earlier this year, won the Amused Moose comedy competition.

Youngest finalistLuke Roberts is just 20 and studying English at Churchill College, Cambridge. He's been performing for about a year.

James Branch, 35, is a film trailers editor who started gigging earlier this year, after previously doing voiceovers for cartoon DVDs.

Tom Allen, 22, was previously an actor with the National Youth Theatre and earlier this year, he won Five's So You Think You're Funny? award at the Edinburgh Festival.

Oldest finalist Edward Aczel, 38, has only been performing stand-up for ten months. By day, Edward is a project manager for a marketing agency in Buckinghamshire.

The judges for the final include BBC executives Jon Plowman, Caroline Raphael and Paul Schlesinger; and Comedy Store  owner Don Ward.

Last year's winner, Andrew Lawrence, has since made two one-hour specials for Oneclick on Radio 1.


Published: 19 Nov 2005

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