Anna Thomas wins BBC New Comedy Award 2021

Saturday 6th November 2021, 11:54am

BBC New Comedy Awards. Anna Thomas. Credit: Phil McIntyre Entertainment

Anna Thomas was selected as the winner of the BBC New Comedy Award 2021.

The stand-up, who grew up in Barry Port in Wales, performed a set at the final which included a number of brief songs played on a ukulele and material on topics including bras and baby changing tables.

The final was filmed at Newcastle's Tyne Theatre and Opera House on Wednesday 3rd November, and broadcast on BBC One last night (Friday 5th). On being named the winner, Thomas looked shocked and then burst into tears.

In a BBC interview after the show, she revealed she thought she'd misheard her name being read out as the winner. "I didn't think I'd have won it. It was such a strong line up and going last, I saw how well everyone did. And I was like, 'You know it's just nice to be out, isn't it'."

She added: "It was such a lush experience from the get go, meeting so many different comedians from all across the UK - like, I wouldn't really get a chance usually to, because I don't drive and stuff. I've definitely been inspired. Who knows what's next, but I'm blooming excited for it."

She revealed listening to comedy podcasts inspired her to attend a comedy course: "I'm a massive comedy fan but I never considered doing it myself. But I was listening and I thought: these are real people, they weren't born with a microphone in their hands - they decided, 'Oh I want to do stand up comedy' and they pursued it."

She says much of her material comes from her family. "Lots is coming from my mam, she's rich in material - the daft stuff she comes out with. Recently, we've had a robin knocking on our window. Turns out robins, when they see their reflection, go into a primal state and they attack themselves in the reflection. So my mam's been trying to get it to stop, so she's been drawing all over the windows in highlighter because apparently that stops the reflection. Just imagine that constantly."

More than 1,000 comics applied to take part in the 2021 contest, with 30 selected to take part in regional heats. Thomas wins £1000 and a commission for a 30 minute BBC radio pilot.

The final, which was hosted by Guz Khan, is available to watch on BBC iPlayer. It also featured Celya AB, Molly McGuinness, Lily Phillips, Liam Farrelly and William Thompson.

The judges choosing the winner were Mawaan Rizwan, Sophie Duker and Lauren Pattison.

The final also saw 17 year-old Bobby Duquenoy Taylor named the BBC's Young Comedian Of The Year. He said: "I'd like to say thank you to the BBC, this really honestly means a lot, a lot to me, a lot."

Meanwhile Holly Hall, who recently won the BCG Pro Video Contest, picked up the Digital Comedian prize. She joked: "It means so much to me to finally be recognised for my digital talents. Thanks for nothing, OnlyFans!"

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