Yuriko Kotani wins BBC New Comedy Award

Friday 20th November 2015, 5:33pm

  • Yuriko Kotani has won the 2015 BBC New Comedy Award
BBC New Comedy Award. Image shows from L to R: Patrick Kielty, Yuriko Kotani. Copyright: BBC.

A Japanese stand-up comic has won the BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2015.

London-based Yuriko Kotani triumphed in the final of the competition, which was broadcast live this afternoon on Radio 2, and voted for by the programme's audience.

Kotani said simply that she was "Over the moon" to have won.

She will take home £1,000 and development support from the BBC Radio Comedy department; with advice, guidance and the chance to appear in slots across the BBC.

Yuriko was named as "One To Watch" by Time Out in 2015. She went on to become first runner up in So You Think You're Funny. Yuriko's blend of tightly scripted off-beat punchlines and disarming persona has been delighting audiences in comedy clubs across the UK.

Previous winners and runners-up include Nina Conti, Lucy Beaumont, Lee Mack, John Bishop, Shappi Khorsandi, Gary Delaney and Russell Howard.

Broadcast during the popular Steve Wright in the Afternoon show, the final was contested by Athena Kugblenu, Andy Storey, Michael Stranney as alter-ego Daniel Duffy, Ken Cheng, Yuriko Kotani and Russ Peers.

In a live final at London's Comedy Store, 2014 winner Lost Voice Guy presented Kotani with her award. The programme regularly attracts audiences of more than 7 million listeners.

A panel of experts consisted of Emma Kennedy, Rufus Hound and BBC Radio Comedy boss Julia McKenzie. The event was hosted by Patrick Kielty. The finalists had been whittled down through a series of regional heats from more than 750 audition tapes sent to the BBC.

Bob Shennan, Controller of Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: "The talent this year has been fantastic so congratulations to Yuriko, I'm sure we will be hearing a lot more of her in the future. Discovering and nurturing new talent remains a priority for Radio 2 which is why I scheduled the New Comedy Award at the heart of the Radio 2 daytime schedule, where day in day out, hours of distinctive programming are broadcast."

Julia McKenzie, Head of Radio Comedy, said: "Over the years this competition has unearthed some of the best new comedy talent in the country and has acted as a springboard for many household names. We look forward to working with Yuriko across the comedy department, where we are committed to bringing our listeners new and original voices."

Information about entry for the 2016 awards is expected to be published in late Spring or early Summer.

Yuriko's winning performance can be played on the BBC website

Related Guides

Latest news