Live Review: BBC Radio New Comedy Awards Final 2015, Comedy Store

bbc new comedy awards final 2015

Update: Go to the end to discover the winner if you don't already know.

Having been introduced as "Human Curiosity Man” by compere Patrick Kielty, Andy Storey drew the short straw and was first up to do his six minutes. He had some nice observations on language, joking that it's un-PC to say Knock Down Ginger these days and deconstructing the phrase “plenty more fish in the sea” and suggesting that the final three words are pretty redundant – where else would fish be? He also had a clever routine about shaving off his bushy beard only to be told that not having one didn’t suit him – “that’s my actual face”. London life gave him inspiration too, with his northern parents outraged at hearing about him drinking decadent herbal tea – it can only be a downward spiral into debauchery from there. A nice confident start, setting the bar pretty high.

Londoner Athena Kugblenu found plenty of humour in her African-Indian background. After the obligatory Nandos gag she claimed that Reggae Reggae Sauce is to black people what Pot Noodle is to Chinese people. “Thoughtful, reflective, political and funny” said Patrick Kielty in his introduction and that was pretty fair. She had a good line about the problem of a black James Bond - how is he ever going to be undercover and be able to go around killing people? She was also sharp on UKIP and racism. An intelligent set that managed to be both easily accessible and playful and still say something serious.

Comedian three was Cambridge graduate-turned-online poker player Ken Cheng. Like Andy Storey Cheng also deconstructed a familiar phrase, though here he extended the gag much further with greater comic rewards. In Cheng’s case it was killing two birds with one stone - why would you do that to birds and technically it’s not easy either. He then proceeded to work out geekily how you might do it and lobbed in a nice callback later on. Very good, reminded me of James Acaster in both delivery and ideas (both love a loophole), which is no bad thing. He certainly got the loudest live audience reponse at the Store, but the vote is down to the radio listeners...

Review continues here

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