Meet the Amused Moose Laugh Off Finalists

The final for The Amused Moose Laugh Off, the respected talent search for emerging stars, is due to take place this Sunday at the Edinburgh Festival. With previous finalists having included Jimmy Carr, Greg Davies, Jack Whitehall, Sarah Millican, Simon Amstell, Rhod Gilbert, Nina Conti, Alex Horne, Kevin Bridges, Andi Osho, Alex Zane, Mark Watson, Lee Nelson and Rob Beckett, it's fair to guess we'll be seeing much more from those performing in the 2015 final in the future.

Amused Moose finalists 2015.

So, time to find out a little bit more about these nine talented new comedians...


Daniel Audritt

Daniel Audritt.

Where are you from?

I'm originally from Swindon but I now live in South-West London.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

I had my first gig about a year and a half ago at an Open Mic Night in Stockwell called 'Comedy Virgins'. I was terrified. I don't think I made eye contact with a single audience member when I was on stage - or before - or after. I had a list of semi-autobiographical gags which I was attempting to string together to form some semblance of a 'routine'. I remember the first laugh hitting me and thinking 'I could get used to this'. I think if I'd had a bad experience in a less friendly room then I'd still be a frustrated writer - I still am in many ways, but now I have an outlet.

How has your act changed since then?

Since my first gig I don't think my style has changed dramatically. I still try to string together as many gags as possible, whilst still trying to offer enough of myself that audiences know who they are laughing at. I think I've become a much stronger joke writer and far more fearless at presenting parts of my own personality to a group of strangers. I've definitely tried to become more long form and less like a one-liner guy, but that's still very much a work in progress.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I wish I had a more interesting life and could say that I work as a doctor and that my hobby was going to the gym, but in reality my whole life is somewhat limited to comedy in some shape or form. I work in TV and fortunately most of my recent contracts have been on comedy shows. I'm also quite an obsessive writer and filmmaker too, so I spend most of my free time working on something, whether it's a script, a sketch, a new film or short story. In short, I haven't thought of a plan B if this comedy thing doesn't pan out.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

I'd like to think that I'd be graceful in victory and enjoy a quite drink with some friends and then carry on as normal. In reality, I'm sure I'd think I was God's gift to comedy for about an hour before getting too drunk for my own good (about a pint and a half) and then falling asleep in one of the judges's laps. When I woke up I'd be back normal though.


Tamar Broadbent

Tamar Broadbent.

Where are you from?

I was born in South Africa, raised in Surrey and my name is from either Wales or Israel. So it's all a bit confusing.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first gig was at a Funny Women night about 2 1/2 years ago. It was totally amazing. My Mum came along, the audience loved it, and I was pretty sure I had made it. And then on my second gig, no one laughed. So I sat in Wetherspoons and cried into my pie, bemoaning the end of a once-glorious comedy career.

How has your act changed since then?

I'm still me, but now it takes a bit more to make me go to Wetherspoons. I'm still singing my songs, but now I have more songs. And I've sung them in front of a few more people. Everything got a bit bigger and better, except my keyboard, which got smaller. So less people shout at me during peak time on the tube.

What keeps you busy when you're not performing?

I write comic plays. I write musicals. I write poems for Greetings Cards. I recently directed a musical project at LAMDA. I've had a few of those 'job' things. I'm not sure how I feel about them.

In my spare time I like picnics and adrenaline sport. But mostly I seem to like making cups of tea, forgetting I've made cups of tea, and then being annoyed about all the cups of tea I have to throw away.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

Pie. Wetherspoons. Happy, happy tears.

Tamar is also performing in Tamar Broadbent: Brave New Girl


Colin Chadwick

Colin Chadwick.

Where are you from?

I'm from Kilkenny, in the Southeast of Ireland.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first gig was in 2012 and I thought it went okay but afterwards people were far too nice to me, to the extent that it started to feel like pity. After that, like most comedians I was hooked on that feeling of people pitying me.

How has your act changed since then?

Well people have stopped being overly nice to me, that feels like progress and I no longer sound like I'm just reading tweets off my phone... I hope.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

A lot of the day jobs I've had are the kind of jobs Scooby Doo villains have. Since starting comedy I've worked in churches as various types of tour guide and caretaker. Outside of work I spend all of my time trying to be funny or trying to be quiet, which ever is most appropriate.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

Really rubbing it in George Lewis's face. I'll be waving the trophy is his face, really laying it on thick.

Colin is also performing in Brody and Chadwick's Great Blimp Deception


Luke Courtier

Luke Courtier.

Where are you from?

London

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

It was at Hackney Attic on a scratch night a year ago and I thought 'oh I should do more of this.'

How has your act changed since then?

I think it's got a bit louder and quicker. The singing side is maybe a little more ambitious than it was...

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I have a squash club of about six guys that doesn't really ever play. It's a bit like Becket. Mostly I wait.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

I've booked a sleeper train back to London that night. So I'll tell everyone on that. Then I'll make them listen to my set.

Luke is also performing in Jamon Iberico and Other Short Stories


Mo Gilligan

Mo Gilligan.

Where are you from?

I'm from London.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first gig was at a football club (Dulwich Hamlet) at their club house where they'd put on comedy nights once a month. I had a middle 10 spot and I ended up doing 20 minutes. It was a really nice gig all my friends came out to support me (most coming to see if I'd die on stage) for a first gig it went a lot better than I expected and someone also offered to buy me a drink after I came off stage. So for a first gig I'd say it went quite well.

How has your act changed since then?

I have worked on my timing and I can express myself a lot better on stage now that I'm a bit older. I have also been able to get feedback and watch myself to know where my strength are and what I'm good at.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I used to play football every weekend with a team. It's nice because for that moment I'm focused on football and nothing else. It's also given me the change to go to South Africa and do football coaching with kids for a charity.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

Having some drinks with friends & buying the first few rounds.

Mo is also performing in Mo Gilligan and Kae Kurd Present: Ticking All the Boxes


Jay Hampson

Jay Hampson.

Where are you from?

Manchester.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first gig was at a night called Show Me The Funny, a typical new act/new material night in Manchester City Centre. A few friends had come to support me which was probably the worst idea I've ever had because the nerves almost made me vomit. I spent most of the night before my set unable to form a sentence or make eye contact with other people, luckily the set went well.

How has your act changed since then?

I hope I'm funnier, I think I am. I'm definitely more natural and comfortable on stage

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I work for a charity called Forever Manchester and we help community projects across Manchester to make where they live even better. I deliver training sessions and a load of other stuff so being comfortable on stage helps with that. I'm a parent of a 4 year-old so spend a lot of time keeping her alive and acting as her personal entertainment coordinator. When I'm not working, parenting or gigging, I'm with my girlfriend who is a very patient understanding woman.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

I'm going to hire a white horse, cellotape moose horns to its head and ride it shirtless through the streets of Edinburgh... Either that or go drinking.


George Lewis

George Lewis.

Where are you from?

Stockport. Your readers will probably know it for its famous Hat Museum.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

It was under a pub in London. I was on after a 'blue' comedian. It seemed to go pretty well. But, in hindsight, they were probably just clapping because the racism had stopped.

How has your act changed since then?

I've become a lot less shit. I think.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I write adverts. And I'm writing a sitcom on the side. I also spend a lot of time in the bath.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

Same way I celebrate everything: Jagerbombs. On my own. In the bath.


James Loveridge

James Loveridge.

Where are you from?

Hi. I'm from Upminster in Essex.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first gig was in a pub basement in London at a club called The Lion's Den, I was terrified and it took about 4/5 pints just to stop my hands from shaking. The gig itself went well enough that I wanted to book in another immediately and I've been gigging ever since. One of my lasting memories of that night is there was another guy who was also doing his first gig and he was even drunker than me, his gig went pretty well; he came off stage, high fived me and told me he was going to drive home. I've never seen him since and to this day and part of me wonders if he ever made it home.

How has your act changed since then?

Not massively, I've always been a story telling comic. I would like to think it's much more polished now and I no longer don't drink before a gig but ultimately my act has always been myself but with a little less shame.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

I still have a day job working on YouTube for production companies so that, as well as stand-up, means my free time is pretty limited. When I'm free I mostly try to spend time with my girlfriend, my friends and my family. My other passion is rugby, I still love playing although I now have a tendency to crack jokes more on the pitch and it's fair to say angry rugby players can make for a tough crowd.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

By getting drunk! That evening I'll be hosting Spank! at the Underbelly so if I won I'd still be doing that but I'd expect to be fairly drunk and very happy. Possibly naked.

James is also performing in James Loveridge: Funny Because It's True


Sophie Willan

Sophie Willan.

Where are you from?

I come from the Hollywood of the North... Bolton.

Could you tell us a little about your first ever gig?

My first stand-up gig was with Laughing Cows in Glossop. I didn't really know what stand-up was, I thought you could do pretty much anything so I performed a mish-mash of stand-up, storytelling and comedy rapping! Went surprisingly well!

How has your act changed since then?

Well I've dropped the comedy rapping... It's a niche. And I talk more candidly now, sharing my opinions and personal background more, which I didn't have the confidence or skill to do when I first started. I'm hoping to keep developing this and get better at it.

What keep you busy when you're not performing?

As a Foster Care recipient myself, I'm particularly passionate about working creatively within Housing and Care. I have recently founded a book project, developing a collection of short fictional stories and poems written by care leavers for fostered children. We will work with a professional children's writer and illustrator to share our stories and create a moving and uplifting book that hopefully resonates with children in care. So far, I have secured the start up cash and five partner organisations. I'm also a Panel Member for Swiis Foster Care, contributing to the decision making process determining the approval of potential and current Foster Carers.

How will you be celebrating if you win the Amused Moose Laugh Off on 9th August?

I'll be absolutely over the moon if I win! I think I'll be heading to the pub with the moose head on!


'Amused Moose Comedy's Laugh Off Final', hosted by Tony Law, is at 3:40pm at theSpace Symposium Hall on 9 August. Listing

The great photos of the contestants were created by Steve Ullathorne

Edit: George Lewis was named the winner. Story