BBC New Comedy Finalists 2001

Entrants to the BBC New Comedy Award had to fill in a questionnaire. Here's a brief look at some of the answers given those competing in the finalat the Edinburgh Fringe:


Markus Birdman
30, West London, sculptor's assistant

How did you start? By accident
Worst gig so far: The Tyeus, Newcastle, about 12 months ago
Worst heckle: Fuck off you c**t
Comedy heroes: Peter Sellers, Frankie Howerd
What's been your most embarrassing experience? Mind your own business


Alan Carr
24, Manchester, accounts manager

How did you start? Entered City Life Comedian Of The Year
Worst heckle: Someone from Combat 18
How do you amuse yourself in your spare time: Tapestry and badger baiting
What was your childhood nickname: Goofy Poof
What's been your most embarrassing experience? Not having any shoes around and putting my mum's high-heeled boots to go to the ice cream van


Keith Carter
38, Liverpool

How did you start? At the beginning, and worked from there
Best gig so far: The last one
Worst gig so far: The next one
Worst heckle: The sound of indifference
Comedy heroes: Don't follow leaders
What's the most interesting thing you've ever done: Are you trying to depress me? Yeah, so? My life isn't great. Leave me alone.
What' is your most treasured possession? Other people's money


Jarred Christmas
21, East London, charity fundraiser.

How did you start?: Girl troubles and an empty stage
Worst gig so far: Small pub in backwater town in New Zealand, the stage was an old door on beer crates, performing to four old men and a dog
Worst heckle: A woman threw a pint glass at me
Comedy hero: A guy called Brendon Loveglove, comedian from New Zealand.
What's been your most embarrassing experience? I did actually shit myself whilst out walking the dog, I came home and my parents had visitors and the dog kept sniffing my bum. I was 15 and had a stomach bug. Honest!


Des Clarke
20, Glasgow, student

How did you start? Always been interested in comedy & did an open spot one night in Glasgow
Best gig so far: So You Think You're Funny? final. For the occasion as well as the performance.
Worst gig so far: First gig. Five people in the audience. Died. Not a one-off I'm afraid.
Worst heckle: Someone just said "What?" after I'd been on for a few minutes.
Comedy heroes: Billy Connolly, Steve Coogan, Eddie Izzard, Saint & Greavsie
What's been your most embarrassing experience? A bird crapping on me three times in one day at school


Rob Deering
28, north London, comedian

How did you start? It was the culmination of ten years of drama, cabaret and falling over
Worst gig so far: A private party over Christmas - good fun, but very rowdy. During my set I got bitten on the bum.
Worst heckle: I love a good sturdy heckle, but drunken mumbling never helps, so anything incomprehensible.
What's the most interesting thing you've ever done? A walking tour of the City of London. Doesn't sound that thrilling does it? I was on Fifteen To One once.
What was your childhood nickname: Bobo
What's been your most embarrassing experience? Absent mindedly going one item of clothing too far when getting down to undies for 'Music and Movement' at infant school.


Michael Downey
35, Carrickmacross, Co. Monaghan, van driver

How did you start? Got drunk
What experience have you had so far: About a dozen gigs
Worst heckle: "Get out of bed and get a job" from my dad
Comedy heroes: Eddie Izzard, Norman Wisdom
What's been your most embarrassing experience? Using a hand basin in a public toilet thinking it was a urinal (I was drunk at the time)


Russell Howard
20, Berkeley, Gloucs, unemployed

How did you start? Felt compelled to do it
Worst heckle: In most cases you can spin heckles round to your advantage.
Comedy heroes: Billy Connolly, The Messiah
What's your most treasured possession? A porcelain owl
What's your most treasured memory? My brother pooing himself in the Cheddar Gorge when he was seven


Justin Moorhouse
31, Manchester, actor

How did you start? Raw nights at the Frog & Bucket
Best gig so far: My first
Worst gig so far: My last
Worst heckle: Silence
Comedy heroes: Les Dawson, my granddad
What's been your most embarrassing experience? Having my hair streaked


Published: 6 Sep 2006

Live comedy picks

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