Comics in heat...

J2O regional finalists announced

More than 50 new comics have been chosen to progress to the next round in the J20 Last Laugh comedy search.

The 400 entrants have been whittled down over a series of bar-room heats, and now the winners will each go on to regional finals in Jongleurs venues, before a high-profile final.

Heats were open to anyone, attracting people from all works of life, including Pizza Express oven jockey, insurance salesman, auctioneer ­ and one who claimed to be a stuntman. Ages of the regioanl finalists, the last of whom was chosen last night, range from 19 to 68.

The ultimate winner will receive £1,000 plus the chance to play in New York.

Jasper Carrott attended one of the Birmingham heats and said: "I think the standard of talent is very high. Whoever wins this competition is going to have to be very, very good."

And he described the heat as "a wonderful abattoir - if you're going to die on stage this is the place to do it".

Click here for the full list of regional finalists.

Published: 30 Mar 2004

Today's comedy-on demand picks


Emma Sidi has taken great care to replicate the authentic feel of 1980s Spanish-language telenovelas in this spot-on parody, set in contemporary small-town England and which she describes as 'a bit Acorn Antiques, bit Garth Marenghi'.

At her mother's untimely funeral, Becky Hello (a typical British millennial as imagined by Mexican writers who have never been to the UK) discovers she has inherited a fortune. But it isn't long before nefarious family members begin to circle, and Becky must keep her wits about her if she is to avoid the same fate as her mother.

Click for more suggestions

... including a series of six films of Ross Noble on tour and Beef House, Tim Heidecker and Eric Wareheim's absurd take on the 1990s sitcom.

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