COMEDIANS from across the region are busy preparing their best jokes as an annual competition makes its return next week.
South Coast Comedian of the Year 2018 will be running from next week until the end of April – giving comedians from across the south coast a serious chance to make a name for themselves.
As well as a £300 cash prize, the winner will also have the chance to perform as a support act for a major comedian.
The event, now in its fifth year, has been organised by James Alderson.
He said: ‘We have gone from 65 entrants in the first year to 109 this time around – but crucially, the audience has been growing even faster, to the point where we have had to move into the Guildhall this year.
‘It is a great community event because the audience votes for the winners from each heat.
‘It is nice to have so many people supporting the event; there isn’t really anything else like it.
‘Giving the winner the chance to support one of the major comedians on the circuit is also an enormous opportunity for them to make a name for themselves.
‘There is a lot to gain and it is a good rung on the ladder to success. It is helping to grow the comedy scene on the south coast and I look forward to hearing what sort of content people have come up with this time around.’
One of those hopeful to make their mark is Simon Wilson from Fratton.
He said: ‘James is a well-known face in the comedy scene so that gives the competition a lot of weight to it.
‘The prize is really cool – so pretty much everyone I know in comedy has entered.
‘It is nice to go up against such tough competition and is always good fun.
‘You have to practice as much as you can – it is six minutes of performance so getting people to laugh for that long can be a challenge.
‘You have to perfect your material, but I can’t wait to get on the stage.’
The first heat is on Wednesday, January 24 at 8pm – to get tickets go to portsmouthguildhall.org.uk.