James Burns

James Burns

Announcing our ‘baker’s dozen’ for the final – 13 acts go through


After an intense weekend of performing and judging. An afternoon of quarter final sessions, a Saturday night 'laugh off' in front of a live voting audience and two semi finals, we've selected not 12, but 13 acts to go through to our charity final on Monday 26th September.

The standard was so high our panel of industry judges struggled to decide who to put through.  The decision was therefore made to go for the 'baker's dozen' and put an extra act through.  

"The final promises to be a fantastic roller coaster of entertainment," comments executive producer, Lynne Parker.  "We have the largest age range ever – from 19 to 67- two amazing double acts, music, variety and some of the best stand up we've seen in years.

"We've got acts who are so new that we can hardly believe how talented and brilliant they are to get this far, and others who have been learning their craft for several years, juggling family and life on the road.  It goes to prove that we continue to provide a valuable platform for women to perform comedy when the circuit doesn't always make it easy for them."

"I am indebted to the amazing panel of judges from all sides of the industry: management, production, promotion, corporate life and broadcast for helping with the process of choosing our final line-up.  Special thanks to our marvellous hosts, Sajeela Kershi and Deborah Francis White for making our three shows over the weekend fun for the acts as well as our audiences."

This year's finalists are:

Mel Moon

Gabriella Burnel

Janet Bettesworth

Sarah Callaghan

Sadia Azmat

Bekka Bowling

Emily Lloyd-Saini

Kerry Gilbert

Ladies Live Longer

Vanessa Bland

Katherine Bennett

Checkley & Bush

Lara A. King 

The remaining acts who didn't go through to the final deserve huge amounts of praise and we fully expect to see them again next year. 

Each act will perform 5 minutes of comedy at the charity final in support of Cancer Research UK on Monday 26th September.  Tickets are already on sale HERE so book early if you want to see the best of new female comedy. The final will be hosted by 2006 winner, Suzy Bennett, and feature a performance by Thankless Child, Liz Black and Freya Slipper, last year's winners of the main award.

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