Harrogate Comedy Festival's New Comedian of the Year contest for 2017 saw a high standard of entry produce a high standard of result.
Known for being bravely idiosyncratic in its choice of winners over the years, last night's victor at Harrogate Theatre was a self-styled "Romanican immigrant" - in fact, Romanian comic Radu Isac whose set cooly skewered British - and East European - foibles and hypocracies.
The sharp-witted oddball was impressively unusual and clever from the start and narrowly pipped the even odder but hilarious Jack Gleadow whose audio-visual recreations of famous movie scenes such as Easy Rider and Titanic was inspired.
As one of the judges on behalf of the Harrogate Advertiser, even when the steely Radu wasn't actually make me laugh, everything he said made me, and the audience, see the world in a different way.
Rushing straight out of Harrogate Theatre with his prize money and beer from sponsors Daleside Brewery to catch a bus, the winning Radu is highly respected on the UK comedy circuit.
chortle.co.uk, biggest stand-up comedy portal in the UK described him as: “He nicely treads the line between weird and relatable, even in a language he admits he can only speak when committed to a script. Nice work.”
Not sure Radu would appeal to a pro-Brexit audience, though...
Other comedians making a good impression in the competition final despite their nerves included Harrogate woman Mandy McCarthy, a self-professed middle-aged, middle class Harrogate mum who delivered her overly-polite set very professionally.
Other outstanding stand-ups included:
A real-life Scouse vicar, the Rev Allan Finngean with honest tales of life as a Baptist Minister.
the silver track-suited, bearded Mancunian Tom Short with gritty tales from the gutter.
Bespectacled Sue Perkins-lookalike Sian Davies representing, she said, everything "LBGTQI and everything else".
Bubbly Bradford blonde Steff Todd whose acting dumb act impressed.
Bearded Middlesborough man Francis Garrity, a promising John Bishop act-a-like.