Manford’s Comedy Club are delighted to announce that the New Act of the Year 2019 Grand Final will be held on Sunday 30th June at the Northwich Memorial Court, hosted by comedy superstar Jason Manford.

Over 200 hopeful comics applied to join the competition in December, and after four heats and the semi-final in Blackpool, 10 finalists will battle it out in the Grand Final. The winner will take home £1,000, along with progression spots with Manford’s Comedy Clubs and a guest appearance on Jason’s ratings winning Sunday morning Absolute Radio show. Making up the final 10 are Evaldas Karosas, Sian Davies, Dave Bawden, Matt Bragg, Horatio Gould, Usama Khan, Liam O’Brien, Sachin David Kumarendran, Carla Pol and Charlie Hopkinson.

Jason Manford said: “One of the best things about having comedy clubs across the UK is that I get to see all the new exciting acts coming through the ranks. This competition will enable us to give these new acts a bigger leg up. It’s going to be a great evening with some fantastic comedy.”

Also performing on the night will be The Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue, who simply have to be seen to be believed. They are without a doubt the maddest, silliest, stupidest, cleverest and strangest funniest double act of comedians on the circuit. Together since 1992, their highly original performance approach has made them regulars in Universities and comedy clubs around the country, including appearances at the Edinburgh, Glastonbury, Phoenix and Reading festivals.

Listings information:

Date: Sunday 30th June 2019

Time: 7.30pm

Tickets: £10 + booking fee
Tickets from:

Evaldas Karosas

Originally from Lithuania, where he first started to get interested in comedy, Evaldos is fast establishing himself on the comedy circuit. He moved to the UK a year ago, and has only been doing comedy here for six months.

What makes him stand out, is the fact that he is delivering comedy in a second language!

Brexit is providing him with a wealth of material at the moment.

Sian Davies

Liverpool comedian Sian Davies is no stranger to competitions, winning the Hilarity Bites New Act Competition in 2018. Her comedy combines sharp one liners with hugely relatable story telling. Using a mixture of real-life experiences and razor sharp wit, Sian is quickly making a name for herself on the North West comedy circuit.

She was also a northern finalist of the Funny Women stage award 2018 and selected to take part in the prestigious Circuit Breakers showcase at the Leicester Comedy Festival.

Dave Bawden

Dave describes himself as a low energy, surreal, Northern story teller. Having started in March 2018, he covers introspective and surreal explorations of childhood, family, friends and life. He has won the Duke of Comedy New Act night and performed on their pro-bill, he was successful in his heat of the Hilarity Bites New Act competition 2018 and came second in the Cheshire Cat New Act competition of 2018. Good story-based comedy with a very strong delivery.

Dave began doing stand-up comedy in March 2018, signing up to a comedy Open Mic night in his home borough, the Wirral, in secret from friends and family. Since then Dave has done over 100 gigs and developed a style of delivering laconic, dark one liners and has started to pursue a lifelong love for joke telling.

Matt Bragg

Dry humour, delivered with precision timing, Matt Bragg is now being recognised by a whole host of comedians and promoters on the circuit. He recently supported Harry Hill and is incredibly and effortlessly funny with his unique and engaging storytelling.

Originally from Oxfordshire but sporting the cool Manchester look of Liam Gallagher and swagger to match, Matt’s ability to pull the whole audience into his storytelling is brilliant with his pauses marking him as a comedy genius, leaving you hanging for just the right amount of time before revealing a hilarious punchline.

Horatio Gould

Horatio is a 21-year-old stand up from London, who has been doing comedy for almost 2 years now (80+ gigs). He graduated this year from Warwick University with a film degree and reached the Chortle Student Comedy Award semi-finals 2018.

He says his biggest influences are Stewart Lee, Hannibal Buress and Jerrod Carmichael. His style is mainly observational and story based and he has done two Edinburgh runs with Warwick University comedy society.

He describes his material as “the carefully thought out rants of a neurotic young man, almost entirely made up of opinions I will regret when I grow up.”

Usama Khan

Born and raised in Bradford and currently residing in Birmingham, Usama provides a fast paced, fresh and consistently hilarious set. With a punchy and controversial style, he plays on people’s perceptions and stereotypes to make light of hard to talk about topics. Since starting in comedy in 2017 he has already taken part in a variety of competitions and comedy tours. Some highlights include reaching the semi-finals of the Frog and Bucket World Tour and working alongside the likes of Tez Ilyas, Sadia Azmat and more.

Liam O’Brien

Liam started stand-up in March 2018. His battles with drug addiction, alcoholism and mental health issues have left him with a wry look at life and things are really not going his way – kids, job and stand up all add to his frustrations on www. Liam is now three years clean and sober and his mental health issues are manageable. Liam openly talks about his life, worries, his disabled son and his sweet and chaotic relationship with his fiancé. Stories from childhood, a lack of father figure and growing up in a very poor part of Liverpool add to his sideways look on life. At times charming and at times overwhelmingly depressing, you may feel awkward, uncomfortable, but you will laugh and love him.

Sachin David Kumarendran

Brought up in Middlesbrough, and currently based in Birmingham, Sachin has been performing his innovative, varied style of stand-up comedy regularly on the national circuit for less than a couple of years. With previous semi-final appearances in such prestigious national competitions as So You Think You’re Funny, The Chortle Student Comedy Award and Bath Fringe New Act of The Year, Sachin’s failure thus far to step up to the big leagues of comedy can be said to be sufficiently marginal to still warrant much excitement about his future career, with plenty of reason to be optimistic that this could be the year where he finally goes one better than the England Football Team and at least reaches the final of a major competition.

Carla Pol

Carla is a 31 year-old-Italian comic who has lived in Rome, Montreal, Edinburgh, Manchester and Leeds and is now based in Huddersfield. She grew up on a rabbit farm in the North of Italy and worked as a Sign Language interpreter and advocate of the Deaf for many years.

She moved to the UK two years ago to follow her dream to perform comedy in a second language. Since then she has been gigging all around the North of the UK, making the best of it. Performing in a second language is a unique and challenging experience for the audience and for the promoters.

When the language seems to be a barrier, Carla falls back on using all the visual and physical skills that deaf people taught her over the years.

Charlie Hopkinson

Charlie retired from being a math’s teacher at the tender age of 26 to concentrate on honing his skills as an impressionist and comedian, beginning in standup in October 2017. He has won several competitions to date including Harrogate New Comedian of the Year 2018, Southport New Comedian of the Year 2018 and Hull New Comedian of the Year 2018


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