The finalists for the Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year 2021 competition have been announced.
This new act stand-up competition is unusual in that comedians are not able to directly apply to take part - acts are nominated by promoters from across the UK. It has taken place since 1995 and is noted for highlighting future stand-up stars. Previous finalists of the competition include Johnny Vegas, Jason Manford, Jimmy Carr, Rhod Gilbert, Russell Kane, Seann Walsh, Josh Widdicombe, Jack Whitehall, Suzi Ruffell and Romesh Ranganathan.
This year's nominees are:
The final normally takes place in February, but this year's competition was delayed due to the Covid national lockdown. It will now go ahead on Saturday 5th June 2021 at its traditional home, The Y Theatre in Leicester. Tickets are now on sale for the socially distanced show, which will be hosted by Eshaan Akbar, from www.comedy-festival.co.uk
Geoff Rowe, founding director of Leicester Comedy Festival, says: "The competition is always one of the key highlights of Leicester Comedy Festival and we were gutted when it became clear we couldn't produce it back in February. We wanted to make sure we continued the event, so we didn't miss a year. It feels great to be back, confirming line ups and producing a live show after all this time. Traditionally the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year sells out in record time and we look forward to welcoming a socially distanced audience back to The Y for the competition."
The nominating promoters this year were Jessica Toomey (Frog & Bucket), Toby Foster (Last Laugh Comedy), Jill Edwards (Jill Edwards Comedy Workshops), Barry Ferns (Angel Comedy) and Ed Strong (Chuckle Busters).
The judging panel this year will include Pax Lowey (comedy programmer at the Southbank Centre), Corrie McGuire (Corrie McGuire Management), Bruce Dessau (Beyond The Joke) & Ian Walker (Union Jack Radio).