Steve Bugeja from Manchester has been crowned winner of the BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2013, out of 600 acts who entered the competition.
The final, hosted by Patrick Kielty, was broadcast live on BBC Radio 2 last night, and saw Steve battle it out against five other finalists.
Steve said: “I am genuinely shocked. The finalists were amazing. The standard was really good so this is a massive honour.”
He’ll now receive £1,000, development advice, guidance from the BBC Comedy Department and a commission from BBC Radio Comedy.
Bob Shennan, Controller Radio 2 and 6 Music, said: “Congratulations to Steve. I’m sure we’ll be hearing a lot more from him in the future. The BBC Radio New Comedy Award 2013 has been a tightly fought competition with an extremely high standard. The award is an important part of the Radio 2 schedule and we remain committed to providing a platform for emerging talent.”
The BBC Radio New Comedy Award exists to find the best up-and-coming stand-up talent in the UK. Previous finalists include Alan Carr, Peter Kay, Sarah Millican and Russell Howard.
This year, over 600 acts entered, with 80 acts competing in eight regional heats held across the UK; 12 were chosen – two by an audience vote – to perform in the semi-finals in London and Birmingham; and lastly, six acts were put through to the final stage by a panel of comedy judges, which included executive producer for BBC Radio Comedy, Julia McKenzie, and comics Mark Steel and Gary Delaney.
This year, for the first time, the New Comedy Award saw Radio 2 and BBC Radio 4 Extra team up for the competition.
Caroline Raphael, Commissioning Editor, Radio 4 & Radio 4 Extra, said: “Another year. Another winner. Radio 4 Extra has been delighted to play such a big part in this year’s award. Every day we celebrate the best of radio comedy from across the decades from the stars of the past. Being able to cherish the BBC’s comedy heritage and support the new voices and future stars is the best of both worlds for our listeners and the talent themselves.”