I enjoyed good company the other day at the Bloomsbury Theatre, London, where I was one of the judges in the New Act Of the Year Competition.
It’s an event that has been going nearly as long as So You think You’re Funny?
It started in the 90s when it was called The Hackney Empire New Act of the Year, but sadly the Hackney Empire dropped it. Nevertheless, organisers Claire and Roland Muldoon have managed to keep it going.
The competition is not just stand-up, it includes variety too. One of the featured contestants was a Scottish lady who had painted a face on her tummy and mimed a song through her belly button – not attractive.
The judges included Jenny Éclair, Brenda Gilhooley (who used to do a brilliant comedy character called Gayle Tuesday) and Don Ward, who created and owns The Comedy Store.
There were 11 judges in all, too many, I think. They can never agree.
However, I am glad to say the person I chose as No 1, actually won, so that was good. His name is Paul F Taylor, and he was imaginative, original and most importantly very funny. Definatley a name to watch out for in the future.
As I took the train back to Edinburgh, my worst nightmare happened.
I was minding my own business in one of these new fangled automatic toilets when, all of a sudden I heard an American lady shouting apologies... I had not pressed the lock properly and the door had started to open again while I was still sitting on the toilet with my trousers round my ankles. How embarrassing.
I jumped up screaming, still trying to close the door. Once I had recovered my composure, I sheepishly came out of the toilet.
I will never use one of these toilets again, I can assure you.