Njambi McGrath crowned 'top of the bill' | Kenyan-born comic scoops NATY comedy title

Njambi McGrath crowned 'top of the bill'

Kenyan-born comic scoops NATY comedy title

Kenyan-born comedian Njambi McGrath has won this year’s NATY (new act of the year) competition.

Eamon Goodfellow was second and Mad Ron – the intimidating alter-ego of Steve Lee, was third.

McGrath has been performing on the UK comedy circuit for almost nine years and performed her first of five solo Edinburgh shows in 2014. She is writing a memoir, Through the Leopard's Gaze, which will be published in early 2020.

Also in the final – which prides itself on seeking more cabaret and variety acts alongside straight stand-up –  were Jenny B Side, Josh Jones, Matt Hutchinson, Nicole Harris,  Trev Tokabi, Audrey Heartburn, Kuan-wen, Nicholas de Santo, Chris Allen, Patrick Healy and El Baldino.

The talent hunt this year returned to the Hackney Empire, where it  was established in 1987.

It was set up by organisers Roland and Claire Muldoon when they ran the East London venue as an alternative theatre and comedy space. But it has been held in various venues since 2010 amid a dispute with subsequent owners of the theatre, which has now been resolved.

The first contest was won by Linda Smith, with other early winners – or ‘top of the bill’ as the competition now likes to style them –  including Stewart Lee, Ronni Ancona and Ardal O’Hanlon.

Published: 3 Feb 2019

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