Bath Comedy Festival
Bath Comedy Festival - information for New Acts

Bath Comedy Festival has been designed to attract the cream of cutting edge talent but also to support New Acts wanting to make their mark.

The Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition involves a series of heats and a Grand Final judged by a panel of industry experts.

The winner receives the Bath Comedy Festival New Act Of The Year Award, 250 and guaranteed paid Bath Comedy gigs during the following year.

See the what's on page for details of the events.

If you are a New Act and are interested in taking part in the 2023 competition, click on the link below to fill in the submission form:.

New Act Competition 2023 Submission Form - Click here to register your interest

You will need either an existing Google account, or to create a new one.

Closing date for applications is 31st Jan 2023 (UK time).

The Festival thanks Mirth Control and Louisa Gummer for their help in coordinating the competition.

Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition 2022 - Adam Flood wins this year's Newcomer Award

The 2022 New Act Competition featuured 100 long-listed contenders in ten heats, with 12 finalists reaching the Grand Final performing eight minutes each, judged by a panel comprising comedy industry heavyweights Graham Smith, Alan Nixon and Julia Chamberlain, guest judge and past winner Matt Richarddson, plus Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel. Here are the results:

First place: Adam Flood
Second place: Hubert Mayr
Joint Third place: Freya Mallard & Will Owen

Adam Flood has won Bath Comedy Festival's New Act of the Year 2022 competition.

The final took place on Monday 18th April at Bath Comedy's Walcot House venue.

Flood's biography describes his stand-up style as "high energy and off kilter". In 2019 he was named a UTC One To Watch and took part in the BBC New Comedy Award and, in 2020, he won a Panel Prize at the Beat The Frog World Series competition.

At the Bath final, he impressed the judges with jokes about his haircut and his use of an auto-tune device to parody pop songs.

Flood wins a 250 cash prize, guaranteed paid gigs with Bath Comedy and a huge trophy filled with mini eggs.

The judges gave second place to Hubert Mayr, with Freya Mallard and Will Owen jointly coming third.

2022 Bath Comedy Festival Newcomer Award finalists
Bath Comedy Festival New Act Of The Year 2022. Image shows from L to R: Geoff Whiting, Freya Mallard, Will Owen, Hubert Mayr, Adam Flood, Matt Richardson, Nick Steel. Copyright: Kerrianne Gauld

The other finalists taking part were Alex Kitson, Samantha Day, Tom Hutchinson, Aaron Jay, Jasmine Morton, Sug Wallace, Billy James and Alfie Packham.

Geoff Whiting, who hosted the final, comments: "Having been heavily involved in compering and running the heats for this competition, I was very impressed by the standard of comics that entered, especially the 12 finalists. Performing in front of a warm and supportive crowd, they rose to the occasion and there was some stand out performances from several comics that I truly believe have a very big future in the business!"

Bath Comedy Festival director Nick Steel says: "The finalists this year were of a very high standard, and it was a hard job for the judges to whittle them down to just four winners! We have definitely witnessed some future stars in the making - far from being cancelled, it's great to see comedy being continually reinvented and evolving with the next generation of performers. Rock n roll is not dead, so to speak!"

He went on to praise the new venue at Walcot House, which is soon to become another home for Bath Comedy shows, and thanked the audience for being so supportive of live comedy, which he's always believed to be one of the most important and inclusive art forms, and "something we all need more than ever."

All the finalists were given a goody bag containing items from Festival Sponsor Bath Ales.

Just some of the laughter in the audience this year
Bath Comedy Festival New Act Of The Year 2022. Image shows just some of the laughter in the audience this year, at the great comedy-friendly venue at Walcot House. Copyright: Kerrianne Gauld

Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition 2020-21 - Bennet Kavanagh wins the Lovehoney Newcomer Award

The 2020 New Act Competition was disrupted by the pandemic lockdown, but eventually we managed to hold a competition in July 2021, with 100 long-listed contenders in ten heats, with 10 finalists reaching the Grand Final, judged by a panel comprising comedy industry heavyweights Graham Smith, Alan Nixon and Julia Chamberlain, plus Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel. Here are the results:

First place: Bennet Kavanagh
Second place: Henry Whaley
Third place: Sharlin Jahan

Bennet Kavanagh receives the coveted Lovehoney Newcomer Award, a cheque from Bath Comedy Festival for 200, plus at least two paid appearances at Bath Comedy Club nights and/or next year's Festival.

New Act Competition Winners
L to R: Bennet Kavanagh, Henry Whaley, Shalin Jahan, Nick Steel.
Photo by Lloyd Ellington


All the finalists were given a goody bag containing items from Principal Sponsor Lovehoney and Festival Sponsor Bath Ales:
Lovehoney Newcomer Award finalists
Photo by Lloyd Ellington

Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition 2019 - David Eagle wins the Lovehoney Newcomer Award

This year's New Act Competition saw a total of 120 long-listed contenders battle it out over twelve heats and two semi-finals, with 10 finalists reaching the Grand Final, judged by a panel comprising comedy industry heavyweights including Graham Smith, Alan Nixon and Jill Edwards, guest judge and master comedian John Moloney plus Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel. Here are the results:

First place: David Eagle
Second place: Martin Durchov
Third place: Chelsea Birkby

David Eagle receives the coveted Lovehoney Newcomer Award, a cheque from Bath Comedy Festival for 250, plus at least two paid appearances at next year's Festival.

New Act Competition Winners
L to R: Chelsea Birkby, Martin Durchov, David Eagle, Geoff Whiting (Mirth Control), Nick Steel, Elaine Sosna (Lovehoney).
Photo by Lloyd Ellington


The announcement was live-streamed on Twitter - click here to watch the video

All the finalists were given a goody bag containing items from Principal Sponsor Lovehoney and Festival Sponsor Bath Ales:
Lovehoney Newcomer Award finalists
L to R: Chelsea Birkby, Martin Durchov, Nathan Eagle, Michael Cummings, Alex Prescot, Paul Hilleard, David Eagle, Nick Steel, Saban Kasim, Fran Kissling, Will Hall, Jenny Laville, Geoff Whiting, Elaine Sosna
Photo by Lloyd Ellington


Read the British Comedy Guide report here

Bath Comedy Festival New Act Competition 2018 - Pete Latham wins inaugural Lovehoney Newcomer Award

This year's New Act Competition saw a total of 120 long-listed contenders battle it out over twelve heats and two semi-finals, with 10 finalists reaching the Grand Final, judged by a panel comprising comedy industry heavyweights including Graham Smith, Alan Nixon and Jill Edwards, plus Bath Comedy Festival Director Nick Steel. Here are the results:

First place: Pete Latham
Second place: Carl Carzana
Joint Third place: Thanyia Moore, Klaus White

Pete Latham receives the inaugural Lovehoney Newcomer Award, a cheque from Bath Comedy Festival for 250, plus a guaranteed paid appearance at next year's Gala show.

New Act Competition Winners
L-R Richard Longhurst (Lovehoney), Nick Steel (Bath Comedy), Geoff Whiting (Mirth Control), Carl Carzana, Pete Latham, Klaus White, Thanyia Moore, Les Redwood (Visit Bath)
Photo by Lloyd Ellington


The announcement was live-streamed on Twitter - click here to watch the video

A separate presentation of the trophy was made at a special gathering of Festival supporters, patrons and friends, held at The Royal Ocean Racing Club in London.

Lovehoney Newcomer Award presentation
L-R Les Redwood (Visit Bath), Geoff Whiting (Mirth Control), Nick Steel (Bath Comedy), Pete Latham, Vaneetha Balasubramanium (Lovehoney)
Photo by Kerrianne Gauld

Previous Winners


2020-21
Winner - Bennet Kavanagh
2nd - Henry Whaley
3rd - Sharlin Jahan

2019
Winner - David Eagle
2nd - Martin Durchov
3rd - Chelsea Birkby

2018
Winner - Pete Latham
2nd - Carl Carzana
Joint 3rd - Thanyia Moore & Klaus White

2017
Winner - Sunjai Arif
Runner up - Benji Waterstones

2016
Winner - Pav Rao
2nd - Mark Dennett
3rd - Faye Treacy
Special Commendation: Tamar Broadbent

2015
Winner - Bethan Roberts
2nd - Phil Cooper
Joint 3rd - Aideen McQueen and Jay Cowle

2014
Joint winners - Archie Maddocks and Paul Revill
Runner up - Russ Peers

2013
Winner - Larry Dean
2nd - Garrett Millerick
3rd (joint) - Nico Yearwood & Jonathan Wagstaffe

2012
Winner - Harriet Kemsley
2nd - Manos the Greek
3rd - Dan McKee

2011
Winner - Matt Richardson
2nd - Andrea Hubert
3rd - Chris Turner

2010
Winner - Mickey Sharma
2nd - Rob Beckett
3rd - Mark Simmons

2009
Winner - Joe Lycett
2nd - Jo Selby