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

NICK HELM: ALL KILLER SOME FILLER

This is the show that celebrated the launch of Nick Helm's album in 2016, and has previously been unseen by anyone who was not in the O2 Forum Kentish Town that night.

With typical hyperbole, the show is described thusly: 'Under-rehearsed, under-prepared and under pressure, Nick and his band somehow managed to pull together the greatest show in the last 27 years of living memory. That show went down as a thing of legend, often spoken about by weary travellers around campfires, but thought to have been lost to the sands of time forever.'

Click for more suggestions

... including Al Murray headlining a Just For Tonic gig and the launch of Free Festival's virtual comedy programming.

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