2012 Edinburgh Fringe

Aisling Bea wins So You Think You're Funny 2012

So You Think You're Funny?. Aisling Bea

Aisling Bea has been crowned the winner of this year's So You Think You're Funny? contest.

The stand-up competition, which is organised by the Gilded Balloon venue as part of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, is a prestigious new act competition known for picking out future stars. Peter Kay, Lee Mack, Miles Jupp and David O'Doherty are amongst the list of previous champions.

London-based Irish comic Aisling Bea was one of the nine acts taking part in this year's final. Each had just eight minutes to impress the judging panel, which this year consisted of Karen Koren (Gilded Balloon), Angela Robertson (Universal), Susan Provan (Melbourne Comedy Festival), Helen Hawkins (Sunday Times), Zoe Rabnett (Just For Laughs) and Ruby Wax.

The judges said "It was a tough decision but a stand out winner emerged". Bea has been performing stand-up comedy for just a short while and is currently better known as an actress, having appeared in E4 sketch show Cardinal Burns, and as Sharon Horgan's sister in BBC Three sitcom Dead Boss. She has also been acting at the Edinburgh festival this year in a comic play called The Intervention.

As a result of her first place, Bea takes home a cash prize and wins a trip to perform at the Just For Laughs Festival in Montreal.

Writing on Twitter, Bea later said: "Got a bit overwhelmed last night but luckily the Gilded Balloon had a fire alarm & so I sat by some bins, had a cry & rang my Mammy."

She also added: "I feel like the ROSE OF TRALEE! Thanks so much to everyone for the lovely well dones. Writing everyone 2 page reply letters" and: "EMOTIONALERT! Thank you to all my amazing pals in comedy up & down the ranks who've laughed, helped me get gigs, get funnier & supported x"

SYTYF?, which is now sponsored by Foster's, has been running for 25 years. Bea notably is only the second woman to win, following on from Rhona Cameron who took the title in 1992.

Jonathan Pelham, who is studying politics at Newcastle University, was the runner up; Glasgow comic Murdo Haggs and Edinburgh-based Zimbabwean Wayne Mazadza came in joint third place. The compere this year was Jason Cook, who will be seen on screen soon in his new BBC Two sitcom series Hebburn.

Below is a picture of all the finalists with Ruby Wax. The snap was taken by Steve Ullathorne who has been displaying some of his stand-up portraits in the Gilded Balloon during the festival:

So You Think You're Funny? finalists 2012

Published: Friday 24th August 2012

Share this page