Hackney finalists named

Smith to host showcase again

The finalists in the Hackney Empire new act competition have been announced.

They are Graham Anthony, Graeme Casey, Nina Conti, Steve Day, Kevin Dewsbury, Big Dave Dynamite, Henrik Elmer, Vicky Frango, Danny James, Patrick Monhan, Avril Taylor, Verity Welch.

The final, hosted by Arthur Smith, is on Saturday.

Winners of the prestigious contest over the past 13 years have included Father Ted's Ardal O'Hanlon, Big Breakfast host Paul Tonkinson and the Fast Show's Simon Day. Alan Davies and Eddie Izzard could only manage runner-up positions.

Smith, who has compered most the finals over the years, said: "There's very often one person who dies horribly."

Published: 27 Feb 2002

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