Firuz Ozari wins Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year 2022

Sunday 20th February 2022, 11:08am

Firuz Ozari
  • Bristol-based stand-up comedian Firuz Ozari has won Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year 2022
  • John Meagher was the runner-up

Up-and-coming stand-up comedian Firuz Ozari has won the Leicester Mercury Comedian Of The Year 2022 competition.

The live final, hosted by Sikisa, took place last night (Sunday 19th February) at The Y venue as part of Leicester Comedy Festival.

Firuz Ozari

Ozari's biography notes: "One of Bristol's favourite up-and-coming comedians, the sharp, witty and occasionally bizarre Firuz Ozari who has been described as 'Tajikistan's best export (after vegetable oil)'."

His prize package includes £1000. Speaking after winning, he said: "I think the crowd were absolutely amazing. Everybody did fantastically well and so it's not been easy to differentiate myself from everybody else. The crowd was on fire - I've never performed to a crowd this friendly, I've never had a gig this good. It's all amazing!"

John Meagher was announced as the runner-up. The other comics taking part were Hayley Ellis, Sam Williams, Nick Elleray, Lucila San Martin, Louise Leigh and Ashish Suri.

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 judging panel comprised of Charlotte Lang (Glastonbury Festival), Owen Hughes (Union JACK Radio), Lee Martin (Gag Reflex), Rachael Healy (The Guardian) and Altaf Sarwar (Desi Central).

Leicester Comedy Festival founding director Geoff Rowe comments: "The Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year competition is one of the longest-standing comedy competitions in the UK and it's always a real highlight of the Leicester Comedy Festival. It's fantastic to be able to support and put a spotlight on new and emerging talent, particularly after the disruption the pandemic has caused to the arts and entertainment industry over the past couple of years."

Below is a video featuring highlights from the final. The full show can be heard on Union Jack Radio on Monday 21st February from 7pm.

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