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

LITTLE AND LARGE

The duo's last stage appearance, filmed at Bristol's Slapstick comedy festival in 2019, is being streamed. It was the pair's first stage appearance for decades, and they talk about their career heyday as well as Large's health problems. He died earlier this year, aged 78, after contracting coronavirus.

Click for more suggestions
... including shows from stand-ups Meryl O'Rourke and Johhny White Really-Really.

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