04 November , 2013
We're still recovering from an exciting Brighton Comedy Festival that kicked-off with the Opening Gala at the Brighton Dome Concert Hall. I watched my comedy course graduate Angela Barnes follow in the footsteps of graduates Jimmy Carr, Seann Walsh, Simon Evans and Romesh Ranganathan, make her superb debut in a star-studded show. I was back in the Dome's Concert Hall for the closing show "Best of the Fest" but this time backstage supporting my comedy course graduate Adam Race who won Brighton Comedy Festival's "Squawker Award" 2013. Seann Walsh and Angela Barnes were also back for "Best of the Fest." I had a "bit of a moment" watching lovely graduates Seann and Angela backstage supporting our newbie comic Adam (above) warming-up to go on stage in front of an audience of 2,000. He made us proud.
Graduate James Bannon (far left) triumphed at the Edinburgh Festival this year with his sell-out one-man show about his time in the police force as an undercover football hooligan. He wrote his book (left) about it all "Running with the Firm" and shortly after publication it shot up besteller charts in a nice little frenzy of press and media interest.
Angela Barnes popped into my Autumn 2013 stand-up comedy course at Brighton's Komedia to pass on her experience and knowledge and do a Q & A with my current batch of aspiring newbie comedians. It was Saturday Nov 1st and the day of her debut joining the regular team on Channel 4's "Stand Up for the Week." I'm still excited that four of stand-up comedy graduates Romesh Ranganathan, Angela Barnes, Simon Evans and Seann Walsh (pictured above with on far left Josh Widdicombe and centre front Paul Chowdry) are four out of a regular team of six comedians who'll be appearing in the show every week. Romesh also appeared in "Mock the Week" in November. They're all fast becoming television regulars...
November saw the return of BBC Producer Steven George. This time he had me booking the comedians and helping run the show for BBC's Children in Need at the amazing Trinity Theatre. My comedy course graduate David Jordan stepped-in at the last minute and unexpectedly found himself singing live on local radio and making a television debut on BBC South East. He handled it impeccably but that's the kind of thing happens around our Steven George. We had a blast, raised loads of money for those kids in need and I'm making a point of only doing gigs where they give me flowers in the future...
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27 May , 2013
Brighton Festival Fringe kicked-off for me with my "New Act Night" show for my latest fledgling comics from my stand-up comedy course at Brighton's Komedia. They truly lived-up to my favourite quote about our sell-out twice yearly "New Act Night" shows, which have gained such a loyal following: "A fabulous night out full of warmth, discovery (for the audience and the acts!) and more feelgood than a 70's disco." Latest ****
I was sworn to secrecy but I knew that only a few weeks later my fledgling comics would be watching our fast rising graduate, regular Comic Boom MC and their own "New Act Night" show Compere Romesh Ranganathan totally storming BBC 3's "Russell Howard's Good News Extra!" It was a very exciting way to conclude my Spring 2013 stand-up comedy course at Komedia and their Brighton Festival Fringe experience!
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08 May , 2013
It's been a very exciting time for my stand-up comedy course at Komedia Brighton graduates. First Mark Barrowcliffe (below left) made it all the way through to the National Final of the "Laughing Horse New Act of the Year." In the same week Rich Perry (below right) made it into the grand Final to be held at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival of the "Chortle Student New Comedy Award." Delighted for my lovely graduates and madly proud of them both. That was one exciting week!
One of my recent comedy course graduates Dan Fardell (left) had a great May as well. He got a superb review in a Brighton Festival
Fringe show from Steve Bennett at Chortle. "Dan Fardell was probably the most promising writer of the night, with some delicious (and possibly) underappreciated lines about his miserable lot in life, living in Crawley and unloved as a child. There's a strong concentration of punchlines, and his wittily downbeat demeanour is a winner."
And our fast-rising David Jordan (left) appeared in a charity gig at London's Bloomsbury Theatre for the second time and went down stormingly on a bill that featured an array of top comedians, including Mark Thomas and Stewart Lee. David's been working his way up the ranks at Comic Boom and he's about to play Brighton Komedia's big Krater comedy club for the first time. I know his Krater debut will make us all proud. Komedia are delighted with my lovely comedy course graduates and it feels like our remit to encourage and facilitate new local comic talent to emerge is right on track.
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21 April , 2013
It's hard to describe the exciting, mad happy and slightly surreal experience of watching my well-known comedy course graduates being interviewed on television shows. I've watched the gloriously articulate Shappi Khorsandi being interviewed by Jonathan Ross on his show a few times but this time it was the turn of our wonderful "wobbly comedian" Francesca Martinez to beat Jonathan Ross at his own game. If you haven't seen Francesca live or on television yet then this clip probably best explains why this warm-hearted top class funny comedian is also an inspiring and unique individual in the comedy world. You can catch up with Francesca live on tour at the moment in her brilliant show "What the f**k is Normal?"
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11 March , 2013
I was delighted that my wonderful comedy course graduate Francesca Martinez (left) was nominated for "Best Show" in the prestigious Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival Awards. I caught-up with Francesca and her superb solo show "What the **** is Normal?" when her tour brought her to Brighton's Komedia last year, and it truly deserved this "Best Show" nomination.
Francesca was the first, to coin her phrase "wobbly comedian" to join my comedy course, when I was first teaching stand-up, at London's City Lit. I learnt so much from her about how to make my stand-up comedy classes fully accessible for everyone. She's an extraordinary woman and her appearance on "Russell Howards Good News" saw her leading the way again for her fellow "wobbly comedians."
My other comedy workshops graduate nominated in Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival Awards for "Best Show," for his new solo show "Rom Com," was my Comic Boom MC the fantastic Romesh Ranganathan. I have never wanted two comedians to win the same award so much in my life!
BBC Producer Steven George popped back into my life with an urgent request for help with his "Comic Relief" gig at the Trinity Theatre. The last time I spoke to Steven we were filming the BBC One documentary "Stand-Up for Comic Relief." Steven was back and he needed a headline act for his gig but we only had forty-eight hours to find one! Musical comedy double act Horse & Louis stepped into the breach, stormed the gig, and a fantastic five thousand pounds was raised for "Comic Relief." Phew!
Meanwhile, one of my stand-up course graduates Brighton's own Rich Perry (left) had a modest triumph when he won the London heat of Chortle's Student Comedy Awards. He represented Brighton's comedians in the capital city and made us all proud.
And the winner of Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival Awards for "Best Show?" There's just no stopping him at the moment. It was (below) the incredible Romesh Ranganathan.
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