Janine Harouni takes the BBC Radio 4 Comedy Award | American crowned winner in live final © BBC

Janine Harouni takes the BBC Radio 4 Comedy Award

American crowned winner in live final

Janine Harouni has won this year's BBC Radio 4 comedy award.

The New Yorker took the award in the final, which was broadcast live from the Edinburgh Fringe, scooping £1,000, a 15-minute script commission and a much-mocked perspex trophy.

She has been performing stand-up for three years and has previously won both the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2018 and The 99 Club Female Comedy Bursary 2019. She has also been featured on Comedy Central, Comic Relief, BBC Three and BBC Radio 4.

Judges were comedians Simon Evans, Zoe Lyons, Nina Conti and Radio 4's commissioning editor for comedy Sioned William.

William said of Harouni: 'From the beginning she shone with a real confidence.... she owned the stage in a complete way.'

Evans joked: 'In a post-Brexit world we need to renew ties with the States so this is a step in the right direction.'

Lyons added that everyone on the stage had 'amazing talent' and could look forward to a career in comedy.

Previous winners and finalists include Sarah Millican, Lee Mack and Peter Kay.

The other finalists tomight were:

Donald Alexander: Best Newcomer at the Scottish Comedy Awards, this lanky, angular oddball comedy is a mixture of his stretched physicality, his surreal stories and one liners. He was recently seen on BBC Two Scotland's The Comedy Underground.

Hannah Platt: Hailing from the north west, Platt has a frank and acerbic approach to stand-up, never shying away from sensitive topics with brutal honesty and quick wit

Josh Jones: Purely by word of mouth recommendations between bookers, Josh Jones has gone from undetected to pro within a year. Manchester based Josh’s cheeky persona and high energy makes him instantly likeable on stage, making the entire audience his new best friends

Mo Omar: Welsh-Somali comedian, Mo Omar has performed up and down the country and even performed internationally for the British Forces. He also writes sketches for BBC Sesh under his own name and under the pen name Andy McNab.

A full review of the competition – officially called the BBC Introducing Radio 4 Comedy Award – will appear on Chortle tomorrow. And you can hear the show here.

Published: 15 Aug 2019

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