THE final of So You Think You’re Funny is upon us and it is stressful for many reasons.
This is where nine very new stand-up comedians perform seven minutes of their very best material to a full house of supporters and comedy aficionados.
The great and the good within the comedy business are there to see who they can handpick to be the stars of tomorrow.
The fact that these baby comics have only been performing for less than a year puts huge pressure on them to be good.
Performing here is very different to working a small, intimate comedy club – it is incredibly nerve-racking and I have seen many a comic falter in that situation.
We have a fantastic judging panel this year, the most famous of whom is Ruby Wax. In fact, this is the first year we have had all women judges – not sure how that happened.
The judges are the director of the Melbourne Comedy Festival Susan Provan; Helen Hawkins, the culture editor of The Times; Angela Robertson, A&R at Universal; and Zoe Rabnett, talent producer for Just For Laughs, Montreal.
The poor wee performers pace up and down in the dressing room and hope that their performance is going to change their lives.
I know that it certainly can. Peter Kay won in 1997 and went straight into his own Channel 4 series. He has never looked back.
I bumped into John Bishop yesterday, who I believe is involved in the TV Festival. John was a finalist and is hardly looking back either, as was Russell Howard, Sarah Millican, Russell Brand, Mark Watson, Rufus Hound, Johnny Vegas, and Allan Carr. All of whom have done not too badly.
It’s great when we have women in the final, this year we have two. I wish them luck. May the best person win.