Eastern promise

Hackney finalists named

The finalists in the Hackney Empire New Act Of The Year competition have been announced.

They include Channel 4's Popworld presenter Simon Amstell, Leicester comedian of the year winner Rhod Gilbert and character act Lloydy The Illegal Street Trader.

Twelve finalists will compete for the title at the East London venue's Bullion Room Theatre on Saturday. Arthur Smith (pictured) will again compere the gig.

More than 100 entrants took part in the heats, and the other finalists are Ross Wagman, Robin Cousins, Nina The Cleaner, Matt Kirshen, Ivor George, Del Strain, Buddy, Bruv Da Geezer and Brandi Borr.

Winners of the prestigious contest over the past 14 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.

Published: 18 Mar 2003

Today's comedy-on demand picks

HAPPY HOUR Q&A WITH IAIN STIRLING

In the latest in the series of interviews to aid the Leicester Comedy Festival, its director Geoff Rowe talks to the stand-up and Love Island voiceover guy about his career in comedy.

Click for more suggestions
... including a comedy writer's workshop with Joel Morris and Neil Webster and a documentary about black comedy in America.

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