By judge Graham Chalmers
One of the highlights of the current Harrogate Comedy Festival saw a Knaresborough comic take top spot at Harrogate Theatre.
Knaresborough’s Rob Mulholland stormed the opening heat of the annual Comedian of the Year contest for up-coming talent.
The bearded Jarvis Cocker lookalike with the sharp tongue and sharper mind not only impressed the audience in Harrogate Theatre Studio but the judges, who included Stray FM, Daleside’s business development manager Vincent Staunton, the theatre’s chief executive David Bown and Graham Chalmers of the Harrogate Advertiser.
Runner-up in this competition whose final is held next Wednesday night, was articulate Guardian-reading Geordie Jake Donaldson and shocking bare-footed, red-haired Blackpool babe, Alana-Jade Cooper.
MC-ed expertly, as always, by brave and bold Lancastrian Danny Duggan, most of the eight newcomers put on a good performance in this friendly but intimate competition.
African MC Africa Zulu (the clue’s in the name!) gave a thought-provoking if half-baked analysis of racial differences, ex-Boroughbridge High School pupil Edward Harrison had a winning personality without the set while former metal rock musician Howard Walker of Bradford again had a better personality than his material.
Only two act seemed to struggle a little, as new acts can tend to do.
Plain-looking Steve Goodall from plain old Sheffield was so oldfashionedly unclever in a 1970s way, he might have been satire - but he wasn’t.
Finally, Nick Frost lookalike Dave Tomlinson from Stoke was aiming to be deliciously dry but the tone and material wasn’t fine-tuned enough yet to make it more creepy than witty.
Meanwhile, the Harrogate Advertiser Series is calling on our readers to submit their favourite one-line gag for possible publication.
Nothing blue, nothing Max Miller, please, folks - this is a family newspaper - as submissions will be printed in this week’s edition and online where possible.
Email your submissions to firstname.lastname@example.org
Make sure you include your name and a contact phone number!