The nominations have been announced for the inaugural Midlands Comedy Awards. Every major comedy promoter in the Midlands was asked to nominate their favourite comedians and comedy clubs in seven categories for the awards, which are organised by comedian Jay Islaam and Pod Comedy. Islaam received responses from 25 different promoters of live comedy and their opinions have decided the shortlist for 2014.
Nottingham’s Scott Bennett dominates the nominees this year, as he’s featured in three categories (the maximum number for which he qualified). Closely following him are Patrick Draper, also from Nottingham, and Brummie veteran Andy Robinson, who both get a nod in two categories.
Many different parts of the Midlands are well represented. However, given how they lead the region in population and venues, it’s no surprise that Birmingham and The Black Country dominate the shortlists overall.
In the race for Best Comedy Club, the usual suspects of The Glee Club, Funhouse Comedy, and NCF are joined by CAN Comedy, Fat Penguin, Manilla Road, Mortified and Sit Down Stand-up.
Here are the full nominations:
Scott Bennett (pictured, by Lee Wallis)
BEST NEW ACT
BEST COMEDY CLUB
CAN Comedy — (Black Country)
Fat Penguin — (Birmingham)
Funhouse Comedy — (East and West Mids)
Glee Club — (Birmingham and Nottingham)
Manilla Road — (Birmingham)
Mortified — (Tamworth)
NCF — (Nottingham)
Sit Down Stand-up — (Redditch)
BEST OPEN MIC SHOW
Anarchy — (Black Country)
Dando’s — (Staffordshire)
Fowl Humour — (Nottingham)
Holly Bush — (Black Country)
Juice Comedy — (Stafford)
Road House — (Birmingham)
Teknicolour Smoof — (Telford)
There will also be an Outstanding Contribution Award to be confirmed at a later date.
Winners will be decided by public vote. Online voting will open at the beginning of January 2015. Further details here.
Winners will be announced at an Awards Gala on the 16th of January 2015, which will take place at The Holly Bush venue in Cradley Heath, West Midlands.
The Awards are only open to Midlands comedians. What qualifies someone as Midlands is purely residency. So, according to Islaam, “someone like Gary Delaney or Frank Skinner would no longer qualify as they’ve moved away, Whereas, we do have a Scottish act on the shortlists, and he qualifies because he’s been living in the Black Country for a few years. We accept “The Midlands” to be the geographical region recognised as “East Midlands” and “West Midlands” for EU election purposes. So it will include chunks of Lincolnshire and Cambridgeshire."