Meet the 2021 Chortle Student Comedy Award winner | Joe Kent-Walters scoops the title © Sophie Jouvenaar

Meet the 2021 Chortle Student Comedy Award winner

Joe Kent-Walters scoops the title

Joe Kent-Walters has been crowned winner of the Chortle Student Comedy Award 2021.

The 23-year-old, from Huddersfield, impressed judges at London’s Bloomsbury Theatre with a high-energy character act in the guise of pretentious oddball actor Eduardo Soliloquy.

He wins a trip to perform around Australia, Covid-willing, or a cash alternative if that remains impossible. The prize comes thanks to the generosity of the Comedy Lounge in Perth, and other venues.

Speaking about his victory, Kent-Walters said: ‘I'm absolutely chuffed to bits! I honestly thought my act was too oddball to ever win any competitions and the quality of the final was so high. I can't believe it! Feels like a bit of a win for the weirdos.’

He recently completed a theatre and performance degree at Leeds and is planning to study at French clown school Ecole Philippe Gaulier next year.

Runner-up was Sam Williams, 24, from Maidenhead, who is doing an MA in creative writing in Bristol, having graduated from a  drama and film course at the University of Sussex. He wins £250.

All the finalists had originally taken part in live heats in universities across the UK early 2020, although many have since graduated as the final had delayed by a year by the pandemic.

Chortle editor Steve Bennett said: ‘Given what’s happened between the heats and now, I thought we might have to make some allowances - but this was honestly up there with the best finals we’ve had. And considering the alumni who have come through this competition, that’s saying something.

‘Several of the acts could have won in another year, and almost all would already hold their own on a professional night. I look forward to following their stellar comedy careers.’

The others who made the 2021 final and their original course are:

  • Omar Badawy, 23, originally from Cambridge; masters in digital media at London Metropolitan University 
  • Andy Bucks, 28; doctorate in astrophysics at Cambridge University
  • Charlotte Cropper, 21, originally from Mansfield; performance and media at the University of Salford 
  • Hamish Duff, 21, originally from Stirling; history at St Andrews
  • Isaac Kean, 26, originally from Colchester; PhD in history and philosophy of science at Cambridge University
  • Grace Sanders, 21, from Hull; psychology at the university of York
  • Scott Redmond, 23, originally from Hawick; medicine at the University of Dundee
  • George Tothill, 22, from Southend; law at University College London
  • Sharon Wanjohi, 23, from Dagenham; English at the University of Southampton.

Previous winners  over the past 17 years  winners have included Joe Lycett, Jamali Maddix and Phil Wang, along with finalists such as Simon BirdIain StirlingEd GambleChris Ramsey Tom Rosenthal  and Laura Lexx.

Published: 21 Sep 2021

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