Gilded Balloon Reveals So You Think You're Funny? Finalists

Gilded Balloon Reveals So You Think You're Funny? Finalists

Gilded Balloon has announced the ten talented new comedians who have made it through to this year’s Grand Final of So You Think You’re Funny? – the UK’s longest running competition to find the best new comedy performers (this will be its 33rd year) - This year’s Grand Final will be hosted by Mark Watson in front of a sold out live audience in The Wine Bare at Gilded Balloon’s Teviot building in Edinburgh. In recognition of the difficult year that it has been financially for all performers – especially those just starting out in the business – the team at Gilded Balloon will paying for finalists’ accommodation in the City and contributing towards their travel. 

Karen and Katy Koren, Artistic Directors at Gilded Balloon, said: We’ve decided to put ten people through to the Grand Final this year (rather than the usual nine finalists) in recognition of an exceptional year and the exceptional talent coming through, despite the challenges experienced by all performers over the past few months. Along with finally seeing live audiences back at the venues, it’s also been an inspiration to see the new comedy talent who are still striving to be part of our wonderful industry despite the challenges they have faced.”

As well as being in front of a live audience, the show will also be available to stream live from the venue in association with Next Up Comedy.

Since its inception in 1988, it has been one of the most influential competitions of its kind for spring-boarding new talent into comedy careers. Many of the finalists have gone on to become household names not only in the UK but around the world. Previous finalists include Peter Kay, Dylan Moran, Lee Mack, Tommy Tiernan, Jason Manford, Lucy Porter, Reginald D Hunter, Josie Long, Russell Howard, Francesca Martinez, John Bishop, Alan Carr, Nina Conti, Rhod Gilbert, Sarah Millican, Kevin Bridges, Romesh Ranganathan, Hannah Gadsby, Jack Whitehall, Rob Beckett and Aisling Bea.

So You Think You’re Funny? 2021 Finalists –


Omar Badawy

Omar was born in Cairo, Egypt, and at four years old, he was whisked away to the valleys of Wales. His stand up focuses on his upbringing, culture and strange encounters.


 Rae Brogan

Rae Brogan is a new act based in Glasgow. Hailing from London, she has had to rely on her incisive humour and dynamic delivery to distract the Scots from her unfortunate accent.


 Lottie Field

Lottie is an improviser with the Free Association, stand-up comedian and musician. She had a past life in ethnomusicology before fleeing academia in the hope of becoming a clown. She also loves portrait painting, Indian classical music and attempting to be a Buddhist.


 Kathleen Hughes

Kathleen Hughes is a Glaswegian comedian who began performing stand-up in January 2020, globally considered the worst possible time to become a comedian. Her writing has been featured on BBC Radio Scotland’s Breaking the News and BBC Radio 4’s Newsjack.


 Nate Kitch

What can be said of Nate Kitch (The comic)? Like a good puddle [he] draws you in, only to then reflect the observer [you] back at themselves but with much more depth than a puddle would have. (Or does he?) You won’t like and it’s not for you but it’s very very clever.


 Caroline Maddison

Caroline Maddison is a comedian and writer originally from Lincolnshire. After doing her first open mic in late 2019, her witty charm and anecdotal material has appeared on both BBC NewsJack and BBC Upload Festival.


 Kathy Maniura

Kathy Maniura is a character comedian who uses friendly absurdity to send-up the oddities of people, animals and things. In lockdown she began sharing weekly videos on her Instagram @kathykathymm. She also makes up one half of comedy duo Horseplay. 


 Phil Marzouk

Phil Marzouk had only performed comedy for six months before his first run of paid gigs were hit by the plague. Still, since then, Egypt’s only comedy magazine Tutan-HAH!-mun called him “the best thing to come out of Egypt since shawarma”.


 Farhan Solo

Farhan started comedy in late 2019 and has already started making waves in London’s open mics. He skilfully navigates universally relatable topics such as race, religion, politics, family and dating - all through the eyes of an eccentric millennial Muslim.


 Andy Watts

Silly thoughts, ideas and non-sequiturs, from the imagination of comedian/cartoonist Andy Watts. Max Turner Winner 2020.



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