Samira Banks was declared the winner of the 36th So You Think You’re Funny? award on Thursday night at a packed event at the Gilded Balloon Teviot venue.
Chris Donavan and Lizzie Norm came second and third place in the competition for new acts which has now been running for 36 years.
More than 400 acts from around the country took part in the competition – which is open to stand ups who have been performing for less than a year.
The judging panel included Greg McHugh – aka Gary: Tank Commander, Bruce Dessau, Editor of Beyond the Joke, Susan Provan, Director of the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Marianne Ways, US Talent Booker and Katy and Karen Koren, Artistic Directors of Gilded Balloon.
Karen & Katy Koren said, “Huge congratulations to Samira Banks for being named this year’s So You Think You’re Funny? winner! This year’s competition was fierce, hence our judges submitting 10 finalists instead of the usual maximum of 9, so Samira should be incredibly proud.
“So You Think You’re Funny? is the UK’s longest running and most established competition of its kind and this year in particular, it’s been so rewarding to see SYTYF alumni like Shane Daniel Byrne and Kathy Maniura bring solo shows to Fringe for the first time – with sell-out crowds and 5 star reviews all round.
“We’d like to thank every single comic who entered this year’s competition and we can’t wait to follow the finalists’ careers – we’re sure in years to come they will be some of the UK’s biggest comics.”
Guest Judge Greg McHugh said,” I was so excited to take part in judging this year’s So You Think You’re Funny? competition. It’s a great reminder of the incredible new talent breaking onto the comedy scene across the UK and I’m sure everybody at tonight’s final saw some comedians who are set to do huge things in the future. Huge congrats to all 10 finalists and to Samira Banks for taking the crown – YOU WON COMEDY!!”
Former So You Think You’re Funny? winner Maisie Adam hosted the Grand Final at Gilded Balloon Teviot tonight (24th August) with 350 fans, comics and industry in attendance to watch Samira Banks take the top prize. With previous winners including Aisling Bea, Peter Kay, Tommy Tiernan, Lee Mack and many more, So You Think You’re Funny? has kickstarted the careers of dozens of the UK’s top comics and gives vital support to up and coming comedians.
The funniest new comics in the UK are put through their paces at regional heats before heading to Edinburgh for further heats, with judges feeling this year’s competition was so strong that they submitted 10 finalists instead of the usual nine.
As the crowned champion, Samira Banks takes home: a cash prize, a run as part of Gilded Balloon’s 2024 Fringe programme, a paid performance slot in the Comedy Arena and weekend pass at Latitude Festival 2024 thanks to Festival Republic, two seven minute spots at Just for Laughs London, a professional headshot photoshoot by Steve Ullathorne, alongside mentorship, support from Karen and Katy Koren and the So You Think You’re Funny? team.