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Phil Henderson wins West End New Act of the Year 2022

Tuesday 15th March 2022, 2:24pm

West End New Act of the Year 2022 final. Image shows from L to R: Sam Coade, Carla Gordon, Phil Henderson. Copyright: Mark Paterson

Stand-up comic Phil Henderson has won the West End New Act of the Year title for 2022.

The competition took place last night (Monday 14th March) at the Phoenix Bar in central London.

Carla Gordon was named runner-up by the judges, with Sam Coade third, as chosen by an audience vote.

The other finalists were Oliver Graham, Natalie Durkin, Joshua Bethania, Nalin Dissanayake, Frances Keyton, Katie McLeod, Alex Beighton, Bez Ely and Marty Gleeson.

The West End New Act Of The Year was created to help the profiles of stand-up comedians who found their development hammered by the ongoing pandemic. This year's competition was open to acts who had under three years experience as of November 2021. The prize package for the finalists includes an Edinburgh Fringe showcase show.

The judges were agent Hannah Layton, comedian Robyn Perkins and producer Matt Arnold.

The organisers say: "The heats and quarter finals have thrown up a wealth of talent and variety. There was no application requirements outside of the performance age, so we're proud to say there's an almost 50 - 50 gender split in acts. This may highlight that the lack of representation in the higher rungs of comedy is a problem of development, rather than willing participants."

Talking about the final, they add: "MC Steve McLean handled the lively crowd expertly while Robin Ince headlined the evening and gave the new acts an insight into what their performing future holds."

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