By Davey Pearson
Pic by Guy Wah. Judges Kevin Precious and Becky Hughes with winner Martin Durchov
Last Friday (4 Oct) saw the grand final of the Sussex Comedian Of The Year Competition, and what a competition it was.
Hosted by the talented Paul Ricketts, a seasoned stand up comic, the Horsham Year of Culture 2019 show, had been building over the past 8 months with 4 heats to find 6 finalists.I, along with four other judges Kevin Precious of Barnstormer Comedy, Professional comedian Dan Evans, Kaye Freeman of Andromeda Talent, Becky Hughes of Freeman Brothers and Matthew Fisher from Scamp Speakers, had the job to choose a winner from 6 very funny comedians.Paul set the scene nicely, prepping the audience with confident ownership of the event, he even offered the prize of a Co op pork pie to those brave enough to fill dreaded front row.
Whilst a pork pie was an obviously delightful prize for one member of the crowd, no such prize would suffice for our crowned winner, no, the prize for this prestigious and much anticipated competition of humour and wit,was an amazing £500, a slot at The Capitol Theatre and the coveted Sussex Comedian of the Year trophy, oooooh!
To kick off the night our first act was Dave Eagle.
With his hilarious dark humour and using his own blindness as the subject of his content, Dave gave the audience a real flavour of what to expect from the night. He was followed by the 5 further finalists, Michael Akadiri, Konstantin Kistin, Michael Durchov, Carl Carzana and Esther Manito.All the acts delivered fantastic performances, and the audience responded well, with plenty of noise and laughter.The time had come to decide the winner and we scurried away into a small back room to discuss our thoughts.
After making what was a difficult decision, our winner of the Sussex Comedian of the Year 2019 was the awesome Martin Durchov.
Martin had won the very first heat way back in March, and again highly impressed the judges.
His native Bulgaria was very much the topic and I personally found his innocent persona and the ability to mock himself, as well as show pride for his heritage, a driving factor to his success on the the night.
We caught up with Martin after the show to find out how he was feeling:
“I am feeling very happy, I have been in many comedy competition finals but never won one and the feeling is amazing.
I was very grateful as well for the validation. Winning really makes you feel like putting in all the hours of writing, taking trains and doing shows for no money actually has a point and could maybe lead to something one day.
“As part of winning the competition I get to perform at The Capitol in Horsham on the Big Sundae show as a guest spot alongside some amazing comedians off TV, I hope in 5 years I can come back as a regular spot on a show like that with TV credits of my own.I don’t think there is enough representation of Eastern European comedy on British Tv and I hope I can change that in the next 5 years”
Well done to all the acts and especially Martin, one to watch for sure.