Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2022 finalists announced

Friday 17th December 2021, 2:18pm

Leicester Comedy Festival

The finalists for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2022 competition have been announced. The following acts will take part in the final:

Nick Elleray

Hayley Ellis

Louise Leigh

Lucila San Martin

John Meagher

Firuz Ozari

Ashish Suri

Sam Williams

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.

The final, hosted by Sikisa, will take place on Saturday 19th February 2022 as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival.

The festival, which runs from 2nd to 20th February 2022, will also feature a number of other competition finals and showcases...

The UK Pun Championships

The UK Pun Championships

The knockout "celebration of the British pun" competition show, which takes place in a boxing ring, is scheduled for Monday 7th February. Hosted, as before, by Jason Byrne, it'll feature:

Pauline Eyre

Friz Frizzle

Iain MacDonald

Richard Pulsford

Rob Thomas

Chris Norton Walker

Richard Woolford

Jenan Younis

Union JACK Radio's Circuit Breakers

Circuit Breakers

This scheme, launched in 2017, "gives a platform for brand new talent who otherwise wouldn't perform at the festival", with the festival's producers offering them professional support and advice. The comedians selected for 2022 are:

Adam Anwar

Matthew Hayhurst

Kathryn Higgins

Plastic Jeezus

Kate Lovelock

Alice Markey

Joanne Sarginson

Rahul Somia

The showcases, hosted by Eshaan Akbar, will take place on Friday 11th and Saturday 12th February.

The Silver Stand Up Competition

Silver Stand Up competition

This competition is for those over the age of 55. The 2022 final on Thursday 17th February will feature:

Geoff Alderman

Alyn Ashby

Brian Cowles

Nicholas Hill

Kevin Hudson

Paul Jennings


Professor John

Lawrence Laidlow

Paul Merryck

President Obonjo

Chris Phillips


Tel Ternbull

Sha Wylie

Festival director Geoff Rowe says: "I'm delighted that we are able to announce these comedians and continue to support new and emerging comedy talent as part of Leicester Comedy Festival. The three competitions and Circuit Breakers are vital parts of the festival programme and have, over the years, helped us discover the stars of the future. We know Leicester Comedy Festival is a great platform for acts to launch their careers and it's amazing to play our part in supporting these acts."

The 2022 Leicester Comedy Festival will feature over 800 performances. More details can be found at comedy-festival.co.uk

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