Birmingham comedian Andy Robinson beat stiff competition to be voted Best Act and Best Compere of 2014 at the Midlands Comedy Awards. The Glee Club was awarded Best Club, while Nottingham’s Fowl Humour was given the prize for Best Open Mic Show. The results were announced on Friday night at an Awards gala held at The Holly Bush venue in Cradley Heath.
More than one thousand votes were cast across six categories in a public vote, after finalists for the Midlands Comedy Awards were chosen by comedy clubs from across the Midlands region.
The Glee Club chain has four venues in the UK, including two Midlands based properties in Birmingham and Nottingham, and last year celebrated its 20th anniversary.
Glee Club owner and founder Mark Tughan commented: “It's a delight and an honour to be named by the public as the best Midlands Comedy Club, especially in our 20th year in the business. In 1994 we wanted to give top live comedy the best possible setting we could and that's still absolutely the case today. 2014 was a huge year for us with Lee Evans, John Bishop, Ross Noble, Sarah Millican and Russell Kane all nipping in to road test their latest material. 2015 is off to a similar start. A big thanks to the public who voted and all of the acts who performed for us in 2014."
Black Country chain CAN Comedy, run by brothers Andy and Paul Nightingale, took the runner-up spot for Best Club in a category that also featured Funhouse Comedy, Mortified and Nottingham Comedy Festival.
Veteran comedian Andy Robinson (pictured, picture by www.jackspiceradams.com), who is a regular face at The Glee Club, pipped relative newcomer and fellow Brummie Masai Graham to the Best Act gong. He also beat another Brummie veteran of the comedy circuit Dave Dinsdale into securing the Best Compere Award.
The prize for Best New Act, for performers who began their careers in the last two years, was shared by Tom Christian and Josh Pugh who received exactly the same number of votes, in what was the most hotly contested category of all.
The Breakthrough Act Award was given to Hannah Silvester, with Leicester-based surrealist Daniel Nicholas coming a close second.
The prize for Best Open Mic Show went to Nottingham’s Fowl Humour, which beat Black Country favourite The Holly Bush into second place.
The final gong of the night was given to Telford-based comedian and comedy club impresario Roger Swift, who was given the Outstanding Contribution Award for the support he has shown to newer acts, as well as the opportunities for development he’s offered to more experienced comedians through his Teknicolour Smoof comedy clubs.
The Midlands Comedy Awards are run by Midlands-based comedian Jay Islaam, and were created to recognise the enormous breadth of comedy talent and venues in the Midlands region.
Islaam commented: “This is the inaugural year for the Midlands Comedy Awards and I would like to thank all the people who have taken part in making them such an exciting event. In particular I would like to show appreciation to the 25 Midlands comedy clubs who helped put together the list of finalists and to the people who voted. I’m delighted that we’ve received more than a thousand votes in our inaugural year. Congratulation to all the deserving finalists, and especially to the winners who deserve recognition for their hard work and achievements.”
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